An excellent post, today by Charlie Glickman on what it means when we use the term “Family Values”. It started over the story of Leisha Hailey getting kicked off a Southwest Airlines plane when she kissed her girlfriend. Now I do not know the style or intensity of the kiss, but I am sure that far more intense and erotic behavior has been displayed between heterosexual couples on Southwest and probably every other airline in the country. We do not have the term “Mile High Club” for nothing.
As it seems to be described, “Leisha Hailey and her girlfriend Nina Garduno shared a few light kisses on a Southwest flight when a stewardess told them this was a “family” airline and that kissing was not okay…” Now possibly that is a slanted view, but what it points to is that we ALLOW the louder, narrower point of view to control us. Someone complained to the steward. I do not know how it was approached or what she said, but someone felt that they had a right to say that two women should not kiss in public.
The other event that Mr. Glickman mentions is when Trails End Farmers Market in London, Ontario, Canada demanded that the owner of a booth remove their transgendered employees or close the booth. The reasoning behind the demand was “this was a family-friendly business and they didn’t want that sort of ‘population’ in their establishment and that they made people uncomfortable”, though the complaints of discomfort were not specified by the manager. Again, someone felt they had the right to demand that transgendered people could not be allowed in a public setting, and it was accepted.
Why is it we accept the complaint and challenge the behavior rather than accept the behavior and challenge the complaint? Why do we feel it right to ask, demand or even condone that people are forced to stop legal activity because a narrower mind complains? What does it mean to be “Family Friendly”, to have “Family Values”? Increasingly it seems to mean being bigoted, narrow minded and cowardly, and those are definately not my family values.