Utah Man Fasting to Stop Same-Sex Marriages (Carlson) & A Gay Dad's Open Letter to the Man on Hun...

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Utah Man Fasting to Stop Same-Sex Marriages (Carlson) & A Gay Dad's Open Letter to the Man on Hunger Strike Against Same-Sex Marriage (Watson) by Mind Map: Utah Man Fasting to Stop Same-Sex Marriages (Carlson) & A Gay Dad's Open Letter to the Man on Hunger Strike Against Same-Sex Marriage (Watson)

1. In the same way that the LGBT/Watson has a responsibility to respect Meacham, Meacham has a responsibility to respect Watson/LGBTs


2.1. Dec 20, 2013: A federal judge struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. The decision brought down a nationwide shift toward allowing same-sex marriage in a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.

2.2. Monday Jan 6, 2014: The Supreme Court ordered a stay on same-sex weddings while the state, in response to Mr. Meacham’s hunger strike, challenges the judge’s ruling.

2.3. Friday Jan 10, 2014: The federal government will recognize marriages performed in Utah after a judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban. Attorney General Holder said, noting that the newly-wedded gay couples “should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status” as the legal challenges unfold.


3.1. Ethics vs. Legal

3.1.1. Are the viewpoints more concerned with values and morals, or with the legal implications? Trestan Meacham: is he basing his opinions on his own personal values? Is his thinking technical or grounded?

3.2. Rights vs. Responsibilities

3.2.1. What are the rights and responsibilities of each of the individuals? How do these collide with each of the other viewpoints? Rights: The Government of Canada's (2013) Charter of Rights and Freedoms highlights multiculturalism — "A fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage and identity. Canadians celebrate the gift of each others' presence, and work hard to respect pluralism and live in harmony." Character and citizenship education contributes to the development of conscientious community members and responsible citizens" (Alberta Education, 2005, p.3). US Citizenship & Immigration Services (2014): Freedom to express yourself; Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Responsibilities: With rights come responsibilities. It is the responsibility of Canadian citizens to ensure that all individuals feel their rights are valued and recognized. US Citizenship & Immigration Services (2014): Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.

3.3. Political Parties

3.3.1. Republicans vs. Democratics The opening paragraph states: "...the years of "Conservatives Behaving Badly"and "The Republicans in Congress conducted a massive foot stomping, pout-out and shut down the government because they did not get their way..."; "Now we have a couple of adult size tantrums playing out publicly"


4.1. Actions Speak Louder than Words

4.1.1. Even though the hunger-strike took place south of our border, issues like this are mirrored everywhere in the world. It took something as simple as a hunger strike from one individual to 'shut-down' the government. A temporary ban was placed on equal marriage because of one person's opinion and statement. What happens when the event goes larger or becomes more extreme?

4.1.2. If neither side is satisfied, could it go as far to cause something similar to a 'war'?

4.1.3. Diversity has the ability to be greater recognized and celebrated. From this one event, we can transfer knowledge into other issues.

4.1.4. Even though words can be hateful and inappropriate, actions can do the same as well. How far do actions go that stipulate as 'too far'?

4.1.5. There can be a deterrence to self-identity. In ways, this can lead to the stifling of an identity/ the diversity within an individual. In turn, this will devalue a sense of belonging. It’s important to differentiate between what is right and wrong. Furthermore, we need to identify why we believe something to be right and wrong. This gives us a clearer sense of identity. Is it not important to ensure all people embody a sense of belonging – that they feel valued and of worth? What happens when someone doesn’t feel this way… what has happened to them and their identity? All of this ties into what it means to be a citizen.


5.1. How does the issue link to citizenship concepts related to interdependence?

5.1.1. The word "citizenship" denotes the link between a person and a state; Mr. Meacham holds a belief that separates him from the state - does this make him less of a citizen?

5.1.2. Our economies are interdependent; as global citizens we increasingly look to one-another as our economies and viewpoints move toward greater tolerance.

5.2. What is important about it, for us and for others?

5.2.1. As citizens ourselves, what happens when we hold a belief diametrically opposed to that of the governing body? Each citizen is entitled to personal freedoms: has Mr. Meacham crossed the line?

5.3. What should our students know about this in order to learn about citizenship issues?

5.3.1. Equality is an important value and the key ideal for which many countries stand.

5.3.2. Considering the recent introduction of Section 11.1 of the Alberta Human Rights Act, teachers need to first assure parents have been notified that the class will be touching on material that is both religious and sexually oriented. Since parents are given the right to remove their children from this discussion, as teachers we may be faced with a situation where this topic can only be taught to a small minority of our student body.

5.3.3. Human society has an increasingly global nature; if this man is successful in his protests, what does that say about the same-sex tolerance paradigm, and what does this suggest about what we stand for as a community?

5.3.4. Celebrating diversity comes with its share of challenges. There is a dichotomy here: Mr. Meacham is putting forth an individual perspective on same-sex marriages, but in doing so he ignores the perspectives of others. As a community, it is essential that we constantly entertain different viewpoints; disrupting equilibrium and tipping the balance is an essential part of learning and evolving as citizens. In this respect, Mr. Meacham presents us with a perspective that we must be careful not to label as parochial or we ourselves become perpetrators of this very problem of intolerance. That said, a position of tolerance needs to be taken for those citizens who have, and continue to be, marginalized. Are we limiting ourselves if we immediately cast out Mr. Meacham's opinions as invalid? Isn't one of the benefits of a diverse community the wealth of diverse opinions? As Alberta Education (2005) states, "[Character and Citizenship Education] represents a consensus on certain attributes or core values such as respect, responsibility, fairness... that transcend socioeconomic and cultural lines. Character and citizenship education nurtures these attributes in an explicit, intentional, focused and systematic manner by promoting, modelling, teaching, expecting, celebrating and consciously practising them in everyday actions." (p.1)

5.3.5. How will students respond to this after reflecting on the hunger strike which happened here, in Canada, when Theresa Spence refused to eat in support of Idle No More. She was on strike for 6 weeks, and there was no response from the government whatsoever. In Meacham's case, he strikes for 15 days and the government rescinds their legislation. This is an excellent opportunity for extended inquiry in the classroom, not only in terms of freedom and equality, but also in terms of government legislation and politics as they exist on a global level.


6.1. Who

6.1.1. Mormons/Protester Perspective This ardent, vehement belief on marriage is deeply rooted in the Mormon religion and his ideologies, which forms a framework for his belief system. Trestin Meacham refuses to eat until marriage equality is again banned in Utah. Went 12 days without food, surviving on water and occasional vitamins. "I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home." "Some things in life are worth sacrificing one's health, and even life, if necessary." Ended his hunger strike after 15 days when the Supreme Court put a temporary stay on same-sex marriage in Utah.

6.1.2. WHERE WE OVERLAP. Our beliefs on marriage and sexual orientation (in addition to all our other beliefs and morals) are deeply rooted in our identity. Who we are, where we come from, our religion or lack thereof, and the experiences we have been exposed to throughout our lives shape our person and provide the foundation for who we become. Through deciphering and understanding their perspectives and beliefs, are we then subjecting them to a group? Instead of recognizing them as individuals? As Oliver (1990) states in 'Grounded Knowing: A Postmodern Perspective on Teaching and Learning', in order to develop a sense of grounded knowing, we must first place ourselves in the shoes of each perspective; in order to do this, we must feel the many aspects of an occasion as they move into the unity of the event.

6.1.3. LGBT Citizens/Gay Father Perspective A view that all individuals should be free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Everyone can live openly. Identities, relationships and families are respected. Fair treatment is employed continuously among all avenues. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people enjoy the constitutional rights of equality, privacy and personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgenders (LGBTs), represented in this case in the form of Rob Watson (a gay father with a same-sex partner, raising two sons adopted as infants from foster care). Watson wrote an open letter to Mr. Meacham (click arrow for link). "We need to call on Utah authorities. They need to react immediately to the promise of subversive action or run the risk of law and order being severely undermined. LGBT citizens have the right to not be subjected to harassment and need protection."

6.1.4. Government/Political Parties Perspective Utah is the most conservative state in the country. The Republicans have a stronghold on politics in state legislature and are perhaps more inclined to listen to voices that adopt the same viewpoint than those which are diametrically opposed. The Utah government is under little, but slight, pressure from other states and, to extend further, many democratic areas of the world where same-sex marriage has already been recognized as a fundamental choice.

6.2. What

6.2.1. Ethics Legal and ethical rights

6.2.2. Equality/Freedom Marriage equality Religious freedom

6.2.3. Politics Nullification Government legislation

6.2.4. Actions Hunger strikes Open letter addressing the protest

6.2.5. Values


7.1. When digging deeper, can we determine questions that extend our knowledge and inquiry?

7.1.1. Can anyone feel safe if a minority is continuously under a lens and under attack? What makes a group of people a minority?

7.1.2. What does diversity matter to us as individuals?

7.1.3. When and why did people form the notion that 'diversity' is 'wrong'? Specifically LGTB communities. How do we come across our own viewpoints? Do we take our own personal experiences to formulate perspectives? Or do we adopt the viewpoints from others/transfer onto others? Does this matter?

7.1.4. Where does the constitution fall into place? Would there be a difference if this were to occur in a different country/state? And should it matter?

7.1.5. What makes the actions of one individual feel wrong? Why does it cause so much anger? It is important to identify and understand forms of harassment and hatred. What do we define to be hate? What happens when someone feels devalued or harassed? How can we as a community identify and respond to this?

8. Article 1 (Carlson)

9. Article 2 (Watson)