As people who know me or read my blog, know I try very hard to see both sides of every issue. I might favor one side, but I usually understand that the other side has reasons that they believe are valid. This has never been the case with the need for everyone to be treated equally. There is no other side!
Many years ago I had a heated discussion with one of my top debaters. He is one of the kindest young men I know, but his stance on gays in the military (the big controversy of the nineties) troubled me. He believed that putting a gay man in the barracks might cause discomfort among the straight men. I said to him then, what I say to the people who are trying to limit gay rights today. You have a right to your discomfort, but you don't have the right to take away someone else's rights in order to ease your discomfort.
In fact, there should not be a need for the label, gay rights, any more than there is a need for labeling the rights of red headed people, left handed people or people of any color. Human rights should cover it all! With all of the tragedies that we can not control, adding intolerance of each other's differences to the list is simply unacceptable. What happened in Orlando was horrendous on so many levels. That one man could feel so much hatred for any group of people is unthinkable. That an obviously unstable man who has been under surveillance several times by the FBI and homeland security could still manage to purchase a weapon of such destruction is unconscionable.
That the world stood together in support of the LGBT community and lit the skies with rainbow colors shining from buildings and monuments that represent their countries, in turn represented what is indeed the best of us. There will always be unstable people who wish to do harm, and unfortunately there will always be people who use religion as their excuse to cause mayhem. Thankfully, there will also always be a basic goodness in the majority of people, and a realization that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a right worth protecting for everyone, and labeling will someday be something used only on items in a grocery store.
In her novel, Look Again, Lisa Scottoline shows how certain vulnerabilities cloud our judgement and lead us to question what we know is right. What do you do when a picture of the child that you have adopted and loved for the last few years is on a flier showing him as a kidnapped child? Do you throw the paper away and convince yourself it is just a coincidence of similar features, or do you follow through on a search that could tear your life apart? Journalist Ellen Gleeson can not ignore the picture that is looking up at her, even though she knows that her investigation could tear apart her life.
On a lighter note, Denise Grove Swank brings us her cozy mystery, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. She introduces us to DMV worker Rose, who has a vision of her own death and makes her own "bucket list." Of course when it is her unlikable mother who is found dead, and Rose becomes a suspect, that list is the least of her worries.
Both books are escapism in a time when a bit of escapism is just what the doctor ordered.
As always, full reviews of both books will follow this blog.