A really powerful campaign was just released by the UN and their specialized UN Women division, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. It shows that by typing in the phrases — “women should”, ‘”women shouldn’t”, “women cannot”, and “women need to” — people are still discriminatory via their Google searches. The ads utilize suggestions made by Google autocomplete, which is “a reflection of the search activity of all web users and the content of web pages indexed by Google.” Which got us thinking — what does search say about gays? What we found isn’t shocking, but it is dismaying in today’s ever-changing world.
Check out the ads below, as well as our comparable searches:
Homosexuality is illegal in some 78 countries, five of which actually prescribe the death penalty; meanwhile, other nations are trying to pass similar legislation. Even in countries where homosexuality is technically legal, like Russia, LGBT people still live in fear of violence. To combat this, the UN recently launched an anti-homophobia campaign as well as a global campaign for LGBT equality. As for gays not being allowed to adopt, laws and attitudes are changing not only in the US, but all over the world, even in Russia where plans to pass an anti-gay parenting bill were, at least temporarily, dropped.
Over the past few years, marriage equality has been sweeping the nation and whether you like it or not, the times they are a-changin’ — just yesterday New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Meanwhile a study by the Williams Institute estimates that some 16,000 same-sex couples are raising more than 22,000 adopted kids in the U.S. Still, only a handful of states and countries fully recognize these families.
Yes, gay men still can’t officially give blood, which is ridiculous because straight people can be just as risky or even riskier with their sexual partners. The American Medical Association clearly knows this as they voted to reject the federal ban on gay male blood donations earlier this year. However, the decision ultimately rests with the FDA, which maintains that gay men are a high risk group — despite minimal risk of HIV/AIDS transmission. Well, at least lesbians can now donate blood in China.
Well, frankly, some gays do need to stop whining and shut up. But not about equality. Never shut up about that. It’s only through tireless activism and the courage to speak up that we can affect true change. To borrow a slogan from ACT UP’s gay heyday, silence = death. And there are far too many people who would want LGBT people to experience both.