Our current group of co-ops and interns is very talkative. At our weekly meeting, check-ins and updates on our lives always lead to great conversations. Besides that, we create agendas and discuss ways to market our student group ‘Huskies for Sport in Society’. I most enjoy conversations on social justice and the experiences each of us has in group dynamics. At the recent JCLC, we saw how a small conversation can make people feel included. Talking to a child sitting alone and wanting to be part of a fun game, turned out to be a small action that made him or her feel recognized.
Lots of talking happened at the Supreme Court this week. It reviewed Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, two laws on marriage equality. Both cases have been a conversation starter, in America as well as my home country, the Netherlands. It was one of the main items at the ‘Acht uur-journaal,’ the most-watched Dutch news show.
It feels as if more people are starting to care about equality. Fighting for gay rights seemed to be an issue for the LGBT community only. Same-sex couples went out on the streets and propagated for what seemed like ‘their’ right. Lately, we’ve been hearing more people speaking out about the issue. For example, we’ve been hearing from children who’ve been raised by two mothers or two fathers,. They’ve become a valuable source of information for the media. Zack Wahls’ experience of living in an apparently ‘abnormal’ household turned out to be not as different as one might have thought. The 19-year old student said in 2011 that, “the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of [his] character…” It only took a small conversation to learn about this.
Just a few days before the Supreme Court’s review, former NFL linebacker Scott Fujita also reminded us of what a simple conversation can do. He hopes his daughters grow up knowing “love” means the same for homosexual and heterosexual couples. Fujita appeals to another large group in the society: athletes and sports-fans. He is able to raise awareness amongst them by openly supporting gaymarriage. Similar to Scott Fujita, I hope that at some point we no longer have to speak up for out-players, athletes, or homosexuals in society, but can speak with them about issues that matter to us all. All it takes is a conversation.
Let’s continue this conversation and work towards an equal and inclusive society. A great start would be to take Prop 8 out of the state of California, and consider it a law that has an effect on all of us, just like Zach Wahls and Scott Fujita did. Let’s give ourselves authority by not just having the Supreme Court talk about these issues, but also discuss gay rights by the coffee machine, at the dinner table, or in our ‘co-op cave’ at the Sport in Society office. I’m sure we’ll have very interesting discussions.