Monday, February 23, 2009

LGBTQ rights in Maine / on marriage

Maine's LGBTQ community is organizing to establish marriage as a right for all people, including gay and lesbian couples. This campaign is going to cost money -- you can donate to Equality Maine here. But it also is going to take a lot of conversations. Talking with young children about exclusion and civil rights is really important -- and something they can pretty easily get a grasp on. Talking about why some families might choose marriage, and some might not, is more complicated, but still important. We don't want to conflate the right to marry with over emphasizing the importance of marriage, since many LGBTQ and straight families happily (or unhappily) exist without married parents. And, we don't all want our children thinking that getting married is the end-all and be-all, despite media/government campaigns to the contrary.

We haven't read any great picture books about creative family formations recently - has anyone else?


For help talking with teens about homophobia and its effects, check out the
Free Ugly Ducklings Screening in Portland

Join us for a free screening of the documentary film 'Ugly Ducklings,' readings from the play, and a panel discussion with members of the creative team. The event is Friday, February 27th, 2009, 7pm, at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center at 76 Congress Street in Portland, Maine. The film is appropriate for ages 12+.

'Ugly Ducklings,' the film, highlights homophobia, bullying, and harassment: the real experiences that lead young people to mask their sexual identities, feelings, and questions. By weaving together scenes from the rehearsal process, the play, and from interviews with the fourteen female actors as well as local experts on gender, Hardy Girls Healthy Women and Greater Waterville C4CY have created an important program that can be replicated throughout the country to change cultural attitudes.

Our goal for Ugly Ducklings is to educate and inspire people to take action against bias-based bullying and harassment, so that we can protect our children from the harassment and violence that can lead to self-harm and suicide. Find out more about the Ugly Ducklings Campaign.

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