There has been SO much news relating to the cruise liner sinking off the coast of the Tuscan island Giglio killing 13 people and we hope that the boat's Captain gets the punishment he deserves for abandoning his ship with people still aboard. While the news is both terrible and shocking, the actions of the village people where the distressed survivors arrived on land show that acts of kindness still happen everywhere - they just don't get as much press!
It turns out that there is actually an entire week dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness - February 13th - 19th http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/! Our landlord's sister actually did us a great RAK yesterday - we had left our parking lot gate key in Sarah's car that was being fixed (so we had another one with us) and as we jumped around in front of the gate trying to make it open (as you need a permit to park on the road) very late at night, she spotted us (as she lives in the next block), got out of bed and let us park in her space. We were SO grateful.
We are now on a mission to complete our RAK!
In other news, have you seen the coverage around Sherlock Holmes being gay? Apparently, in the films and the new series, the title role has been portrayed as a gay man! We love the films with Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law, and the BBC series set in 21st Century London. The best bit is they have scenes filmed around SOHO and the characters write a blog!
Great news for Glee fans too - Jane Lynch (love her!) and Matthew Morrison are the latest actors to sign up for a one night play in LA about the Proposition 8 ballot. The play revisits the measure which banned gay marriage in California. The play also stars Jaime Lee Curtis (Freaky Friday & My Girl (Laura has just announced she's never seen this film OMG OMG!)), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family - love him too!) and George Takei (Star Trek). It will be great publicity for the NOH8 campaign!
Every article we read on gay marriage makes the challenges we will potentially face even more real. Thus far we have been lucky enough to not have received any discrimination - in fact most people are fascinated by our relationship and interested to know more. However, a story we read recently really highlighted just how much this isn't the case for everyone. When we joined our gym we got a couple's discount and our personal trainer LOVED asking about us and our relationship - how sad that in Ohio not only did a gay married couple get denied the 'family discount', when they complained to the state they got told 'The state of Ohio does not protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and the state doesn't recognize same-sex unions.' Ouch! Outrageous! This. Must. Change.
Discrimination is awful wherever it happens and it's good to see that if you stir up hatred in the UK you will be punished. A group of Muslims who were caught handing out anti-gay leaflets were the first people convicted under a new law. 'The Public Order Act 1986 was amended by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 to create the offence of intentionally stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.' If found guilty the maximum sentence is 7 years. Sue Hemming of the Special Crimes & Counter Terrorism Division followed this up with this statement 'Everyone has a right to be protected by the law and we regard homophobic crimes, along with all hate crimes, as particularly serious because they undermine people’s right to feel safe. While people are entitled to hold extreme opinions which others may find unpleasant and obnoxious, they are not entitled to distribute those opinions in a threatening manner intending to stir up hatred against gay people.'