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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

World stuck in backward behavior

The world just isn’t progressive enough for the year 2014. Cell phones still have poor battery life, the Mackinac Bridge is still under construction and minorities across the globe are still being oppressed by the people in charge.

Andy Frakes
Andy Frakes

A prime example of this oppression is Gambia, a small African nation that has made it their business to put homosexuals behind bars just for being gay, said the Huffington Post. In 2005 an existing law was amended to include lesbians, too, and now it’s not just 14 years in jail, it could be a life sentence. The president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, explicitly stated that he would cut the heads off any homosexuals found in his country. Keep in mind, this is from a governing body that wears business suits, holds “elections” and watches television.

This statement from Jammeh is certainly cringe-worthy, and the U.S. has never been quite so oppressive in domestic policy as Gambia against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transexuals (LGBT). However there are still more favorable places than the U.S. to be gay.

Canada began legalizing same-sex marriage in 1999, and in 2005 it became the fourth country in the world to legalize it across the board. U.S. Congress struck down legislation on Thursday Sept. 4 in Indiana and Wisconsin, two conservative states, that banned same-sex marriage. Multiple states now wonder if the U.S. will follow the example Canada and other forward-looking countries have set, legalizing same-sex marriage state-by-state until the federal government decides to make a blanket ruling.

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While the world at large seems to be stuck in backward behaviors, a beacon of progress was visible in Marquette Tourist Park this past weekend.

The Upper Peninsula Rainbow Pride (UPRP) Festival enjoyed some success with their inaugural event, including a healthy turnout and an intention to return next year. The festival is the first of its kind in the Upper Peninsula.

Pam Johnson, festival board member and participant in the day’s events, was walking around the event area with fellow board member, David Shew, and both were eager to discuss the start of their involvement with the pride movement.

Johnson said she and Shew had faced many problems because of their respective lifestyles. “Sometimes we had to literally fight people just to make it out of a bar at the end of the night,” said Johnson.

Shew gave a big smile then and added, “It’s nice to see where we [the LGBT community] are today, to be able to say ‘Here I am, and this is me.’”

Both Johnson and Shew expressed excitement at the number of people in attendance and the fact that the festival was absent of any aggressive opposition. According to Johnson such displays are common at pride events, and she was grateful to have avoided that issue.

Most commonly it’s religious groups vocalizing their opinions against gay marriage. However, such arguments are without strong support, even in the scripture they cite. The same passages that call homosexuality a sin also impose rules that women should serve their husbands and people are not to wear clothes of mixed fabrics. The specifically anti-gay stance is often a case of hearing what one wants to hear and not thinking critically.

Allowing same-sex marriages in this country would, as some say, mean a change in marriage’s definition. However this isn’t necessarily a negative thing. We have changed our definition of “voting public” to include all races and genders, we have changed our definition of “crook” to include Richard Nixon and we have changed our definition of “freedom of speech” to include this very article, though critical of the federal government it may be.

Now our country is being called upon again to redefine legitimate marriage; discriminating in this way based on someone’s sexuality is not only unjust but inexcusable. It’s time that we, as a nation, embraced the trend of social progress and rid ourselves of this prejudiced legislation holding us back.

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