Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TLC Getting People Talking About Equality

TLC has been getting more people talking about polygamy with "Sister Wives," and now with "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding," they are getting more people to talk about gay couples and consanguineous couples marrying. As I have talked about before, the Gypsy show has a cousin wedding. has some coverage of the issues by Rich Juzwiak.

The two couples profiled on last night's episode of TLC's cultural curio spotlight My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding provided an ingenious bit of contrast. There were first cousins Annie and Josh, whose incestuous relationship is apparently permitted in their Romani culture. And then there was the lesbian couple Ana and Linda, whose love is taboo.
Love is love. Both relationships should be supported.
So what's the problem?

It's always dangerous to judge an entire culture by reality TV, and acceptable behavior often ranges from family to family, anyway. As American Gypsy Oksana Marafioti wrote on Slate, "People know so little about us and yet think they know so much." And if we survey American culture as a whole, first cousins are allowed to marry in 25 states: that's 19 more than those that allow gay marriage. This episode provided a working example of all kinds of cultures' hypocrisy.
Yes. We need full marriage equality. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults, without prosecution, persecution, or discrimination. Family should be supportive. You don't have to understand it or want it for yourself... just support your family member's sexuality. There is enough hate and misery in the world. Support happiness!
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