on Saturday, September 21, 2013
The year is 2050, and the human race is still hanging in there, despite the overwhelming odds against us. Some cynics might argue that, as a whole, mankind is not doing all that well. We are stifled by the pollution we were too stubborn to prevent, it is largely accepted that our home planet is doomed, and a large percent of the population is too absorbed in the gadgets that have practically become extensions of our body. All of these are valid points. However, by some miracle, we humans have managed to progress an impressive amount in terms of the social issues that plagued the decades behind us.

Picture this. You are in your early thirties, and you move into a lovely little house in the suburbs with your spouse and your toddling child, away from the smog of the city, on a street of houses just different enough from your own to make your home feel unique. You quickly make friends with your new neighbors, inviting them over for a quaint little potluck dinner. There you meet Kathy and Richard Davidson, and their ten year old daughter Sally, and Jessica and Nick Anderson, and their three year old son Darren. You remark fondly to your spouse that you should make sure to set up a playdate for your two little tikes. Then, in walks a pair of men around your own age, bearing between them a rather precocious five-year-old girl with a pixie cut, a drooling one-year-old in a onesie printed to resemble a tuxedo, and a scrumptious looking plate of homemade cookies. The pair introduces themselves as Ted and Zach, and you find out that they live three houses down from you and they’ve been married almost eight years. You are not shocked by these revelations whatsoever – you had already met the newlywed lesbian couple who lives across the street from you, and your roommate in college had been openly bisexual. In fact, no one at your little get together seems especially perturbed by the arrival of this same-sex couple, or at the fact that they are the parents of two children. The rest of your get-together goes swimmingly, and as it comes to a close, you have made plans for a playdate for your child, the Anderson boy, and Ted and Zach’s tots as well. You muse to your spouse as you prepare for bed that you are so glad you decided to host this party. You sleep well.

Now, doesn’t that sound like a lovely little bubble of suburbia?

In the year 2013, thirteen states in the United States of America allow same-sex marriage ("States"). However, the majority of the US population lives in an area without same-sex marriage rights ("States").
In recent years, there has been much controversy in the news media over whether or not same-sex couples should be afforded the same rights as opposite-sex couples. Interestingly enough though, while the public dispute became much louder, the marriage equality movement was picking up significant momentum. According to a 2013 ABC News poll, since 2004, popular views on gay and lesbian marriage have essentially flip-flopped – with support steadily increasing, and dissent dripping at a nearly identical rate (Kliff). If opinions continued to change at the same rate, the percent of people in favor of same-sex marriage rights in the US would reach 75% in less than ten years. Talk about progress. Studies have found that members of the Millennial generation (1981 or later) are much more likely to support marriage equality (Kliff). Similarly, the older the person asked, the less likely they are to be in favor of the same proposal (Kliff). Therefore, reason stands that as we move forward into the future, support for same-sex marriage will increase, as new children are born into this world and are taught by their Millennial parents, right from the start, that there is nothing abnormal about homosexuality, and that marriage equality is a favorable proposition.
Whether or not you believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married, the plain fact is that, eventually, it is nearly inevitable that marriage equality will come out victorious. Therefore, it is important that we ask ourselves what gay marriage rights will mean for the average, heteronormative citizen. Well, you've found yourself in the right place.

Same-sex marriage laws will allow same-sex couples to have legal and economic protections for themselves and their children ("Why Marriage?"). These protections include being able to transfer property in the event of the death of one spouse, and hospital visitation rights. "But, children?", you may ask – how does that work? Some gay and lesbian couples chose to use surrogate mothers and sperm donors respectively, but many others choose to go the route of adoption. Considering the amount of children waiting to be adopted in the US alone, this can hardly be a bad thing for our country. Additionally, to address the concerns of the skeptical, many studies, including one from the American Academy of Pediatrics, have shown that children raised by gay or lesbian parents are, "affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents' sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents" (Perrin, Siegel, and The Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health).

So what is to become of our great nation? We are heading full speed towards full marriage equality, and with the birth of new generations, our social values will progress to the point that same-sex marriage is no longer a debate. Same-sex couples will be able to marry and adopt children the same way heterosexual couples can. Imagine that.

Equality is in the future for LGBTQ+ Americans. At this point, it is only a matter of time.

Works Cited:

  • Kliff, Sarah. "Whatever the Supreme Court decides, these nine charts show gay marriage is winning." Washington Post - Wonk Blog. Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/26/whatever-the-supreme-court-decides-these-nine-charts-show-gay-marriage-is-winning/>.
  • Perrin, Ellen C., Benjamin S. Siegel, and The Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. "Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian." From the American Academy of Pediatrics (2013). Web. 21 Sept. 2013.
  • "States." Freedom to Marry. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://www.freedomtomarry.org/states/>.
  • "Why Marriage?." Why Marriage Matters. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://www.whymarriagematters.org/pages/why-marriage>.
on Tuesday, August 20, 2013
i can haz write?
The written word is not what it once was. Or, perhaps more accurately, society no longer knows how to use to its full potential. The decline of language can be attributed in large to the desire modern cultures have for instant gratification. Aldous Huxley referred to modern humankind as the Great Abbreviators, saying, “none of us have the wit to know the whole truth, the time to tell it if we believed we did, or an audience so gullible as to accept it" (Postman). The modern world's desire for brevity is never showcased better than in the so-called chat-speak used so commonly by today's youth. Initialisms and abbreviations are all well and good when used is the right way - namely to keep one's thumbs from falling off from too much texting. It is when this chat lingo finds its way into speech, and, even more horrifyingly, academic or professional writing, that our discourse begins to suffer. I have never personally taken pleasure in using chat-speak, and would never have even considered using in a school setting, and therefore was shocked when, a few years prior, one of my fellow students had to be told to refrain from doing just that. Even the writing those individuals who manage to use complete words are not exempt from the decline of language. Despite the efforts of hordes of qualified teachers, many people enter high school, college, and even the professional world without the ability to write well. OMG, rite?

catz rule dogz drool lol txt it
So what is the starting point for this linguistic downward spiral? As Neil Postman wrote in his eerily prophetic book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, the invention of the telegraph, and the subsequent invention of the television are largely to blame for this phenomenon. Postman says that the ability for instantaneous communication, and therefore instantaneous entertainment, has essentially reduced our tolerance for activities that take more that an ounce of brain power, and has created an expectation of entertainment value in all areas of our lives, including in our education system. And if we cannot muster up the effort to flex our craniums in order to learn more about the world, then heaven forbid we converse using complete words and sentences.

What comes next, dear readers? Are we as a race doomed to continue our descent into illiteracy until we are once again forced to growl and bare our teeth at each other in order to communicate. Perhaps not. In the words of George Orwell, "modern English...is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step" (Orwell). Thus, I implore all of you: leave the text-speak to texting and learn a little something, and together we can save the English language.
Never fear! Super Cat is here to save language as we know it!