By Dani Naess Hellesund
LGBT rights have been a hot topic for quite some time now. The vast gaps between rights of heterosexual people and people who describe themselves as non-heterosexuals, have been tightened slowly for the last four decades, but there is still a long way to go.
Evidence of the ever-growing support for the LGBT rights movement throughout the United States can be seen in many places. Politics and entertainment are important and two of the most public places of support for these rights, but also the places where the discontent with LGBT rights are heard the loudest.
The support of LGBT rights could be seen at the grandest entertainment event of the year, the Academy Awards or the Oscars. Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, this event attracts the biggest stars and the most influential people of the glitterati for a grand celebration of achievements made during the last movie year (2013).
For people who support LGBT rights to voice their opinions at such an international event gives LGBT rights a lot of exposure. The winner of Best Supporting Actor, Jared Leto, who portrayed a transgender AIDS patient in the movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” said after he won, “To those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love, tonight, I stand here in front of the world with you and for you,” according to the New York Times.
Although the Academy Award show provided some positive exposure, these acknowledgements from some of the movie business’s biggest stars are not enough.
The most important people in America are the “regular” Americans. Ordinary citizens are the ones who need the importance of this issue to be the most explained. The Oscars may give them an idea, but some nice words from a celebrity aren’t enough in this case, even if they were said with the best intentions.
Of course, these acknowledgments of support from actors have helped a lot, and are still helping, but the time for nice words has passed and the time for action is upon us. It is now time for the government to be serious about basic human rights, and to start to make it easier for the American people to understand why this cause is so important.
The fact that some people are critical and uncertain, or even traditionally/religiously against LGBT rights is in some way understandable because people often fear what they do not know or understand. That is why the government has a special responsibility here, to make sure that people understand and make informed decisions on issues that they understand.
People have differing opinions on various subjects is only natural, but these opinions are for the people. The governments and the people in office should not make decisions that go against basic human rights. People are entitled to their own opinion, but they should all be given the opportunity to understand every aspect of the issue.