This week I had a good email exchange on the topic of families and gay rights.
The big Nine Shift presentation in Washington DC before 300 people was quite an honor. Thanks to everyone who attended. And to those who respectfully have a different point of view. One person wrote afterward and we had an excellent dialogue on the topic of families and gay rights.
Here's part of his response. "To me, there are issues of greater importance and significance to the future of education and the economy, namely the strength and stability of our nation's families.I am interested in your perspective as to why gay marriage/rights issues are relevant to educating our nation's children." I will post my reply on families next, but here's why it is important to understand gay rights.
This issue is important to understand because Generation Y, the largest generation in our country today and the heart of our future economic prosperity, has endorsed gay rights by a large majority. It’s like civil rights for Boomers in the 1960s for Gen Y. Because of this, cities and states have to accept gay rights/marriage or risk economic decline. And employers and workers (your students a few years from now) have to accept it or risk losing customers, jobs, and business. So if Minnesota had passed a law restricting marriage to heterosexual couples (the vote last month failed), it would have experienced a huge decline in economic prosperity as young, college educated white collar professionals moved from (or did not move to) Minnesota, thus essentially taking down its economic vitality. For your students, they need to recognize that they will be entering a workforce where gay people are accepted. And they will need to be able to work with gay people.
One hundred years ago the issue in 1912 moving into 1913 was whether women should vote and work, and the effect on the family. One could argue there is still an issue with respect to the health of the family about women working today. There are millions of Gen X families who sacrifice so that one parent can stay home. And yet women working was, and is, a reality. And we all accept, whether we agree or not, women in the workplace. To do otherwise would jeopardize our personal careers and the prosperity of our local, state and national economy.
So that’s why this is all happening, and why it is important to understand. Again, we each may agree or disagree on this or any other issue, but from my perspective as a futurist, historian, economic and educational consultant, this is what’s happening and what we have to do to position our community, our citizens, and our nation for prosperity in this century.