Something You Shouldn’t Have to Travel to Access: Equality

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When we travel around this country, and especially to other countries around the world, we get the chance to see different ways of life.  True this experience is muted when you sometimes stay closer to the beaten path of points-friendly chain hotels and resorts, but even then you can get glimpses of a world beyond your own.  Sometimes you will see things around the world that you are thankful don’t exist in your own backyard, and sometimes you will see things that you very much wish were a part of your daily life.  Sometimes you can bring pieces of those other routines and cultures into your home and claim them as your own.

These things you see and desire in other places may take the form of quality public transportation, fresh and local food, cooperative living, or even equal rights and opportunities for everyone.  I travel to places far and wide, but I (proudly) live in East Texas.  There’s really a lot to love about Texas, but there are some things that I would love to be different.  For example, we have no public transportation to speak of, in most cities you have to get in your car to go anywhere, the heat can get a bit oppressive, and if you want fresh and locally sourced food you have to work really hard at obtaining it.  Oh, and my sister and many others like her who happen to love someone of the same gender as themselves can’t couldn’t legally marry and have that union recognized until now.

I firmly believe in the value of travel, but there are some things you really shouldn’t have to travel to in order to access, and equal rights is one of those things in my book.

I’m so proud of the travel community, and so many travel related companies I enjoy, for publicly celebrating today’s monumental Supreme Court ruling.  This isn’t about politics, this is about family, something integral to this site.  In my view we not only have made life more equal for our own citizens, but also have told the world that we welcome and respect families that come in various forms while they are visiting our country.

AA Equality

From @AmericanAir Twitter Feed

I’ve been a lot of places, and I haven’t found the “perfect” place yet.  We certainly aren’t “perfect” yet, but we are striving to be “more perfect”, and I’m proud of that.  It makes me smile a little bigger when I am traveling somewhere far away and can fondly think of what we have at home.  I’m grateful that more families that might look different from mine will have the opportunity to be treated and respected the same way my husband and I are treated.  That treatment may not always be perfect, but if we are at least getting to a point where it is equal, then I can stand behind that.

Congrats to this country, and those who visit, for a momentous day, and a big victory for love and family.

 

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this post. Of course, Boarding Area is a platform for travel bloggers, and sometimes it’s really easy for us readers to get tunnel vision thinking about points, miles, upgrades, etc. It’s really refreshing to see the tremendous events of today reflected on this platform today.

  2. WOW! Powerful words! Glad I started following your blog! Amen! Thank you for saying what you did! Means a lot! Happy to see travel has made you see the world in a different place. That’s the best gift travel can give. Opening your eyes to the world!

  3. Disappointed to read this nonsense! The 97% of US population who believe in traditional marriage is supposed to be cheering and supporting the 3%?
    Do you know it is not actually about a love and effection between 2 men or 2 women?
    American left is undermining religion and the institution of marriage . The “militant gay activists” attacks business owners who refuse to serve same-sex couples because of religious beliefs. But the same people who defend marriage equality also condemn offending Muslims with cartoon renderings of the Prophet Muhammad, even though Muslims might also be offended by same-sex marriage.

    well, then should we maybe stop flouting and flaunting gay marriage, because gay marriage is really disapproved in Islam,. “Gay marriage, homosexual behavior is not tolerated, it is not permitted and it is punished severely when it is caught, when it’s spied. And yet in American media all over the place we are celebrating gay marriage, we are flaunting gay marriage, and I ask, does this not also offend Muslims?

    • Wow. That was truly one of the most incoherent and disingenuous rants I’ve seen yet. As someone who is presumably a conservative Christian, are you really arguing against gay marriage because some Muslims may find it offensive? Some Muslims may also find the practice of Christianity offensive. Should we ban that too?

      • In the words of A.C. Slater – please don’t judge us by our worse specimen.

        Many conservative Christians believe that we cannot and should not legislate morality according to a single religion or the interpretation of few.

  4. Never mind religion, the case is really about marriage being “the basis for an expanding list of governmental rights, benefits, and responsibilities. These aspects of marital status include: taxation; inheritance and property rights; rules of intestate succession; spousal privilege in the law of evidence; hospital access; medical decision making authority; adoption rights; the rights and benefits of survivors; birth and death certificates; professional ethics rules; campaign finance restrictions; workers’ compensation benefits; health insurance; and child custody, support, and visitation rules.”

  5. I know full well this is a change that not everyone agrees with (remember, I’m from East Texas). While I brought this topic to the site because I think it is a situation where equality I have seen in other parts of the world has come to my backyard, and a situation where families who look different than mine are now offered equal treatment, it is not open season for religious and political debate and fighting.

    I’m not deleting any comments already shared, but will be deleting comments that further go down a political or religious fighting rabbit hole. The ruling was made, and I know that not everyone agrees with it, but the time for arguing about it (at least here) is over.

  6. I just had to chime in because of the hateful words people will inevitably post (and have already posted).

    I appreciate your words because it’s great to see a mother who won’t spread hate and intolerance to her children. I appreciate your blog because it helps this gay uncle travel better with his nephew to show him that there are a lot more wonderful places and people than there are bad ones.

    @arkansas – our definition of family and love isn’t as restrictive as yours. You should at least respect that if nothing else.

    @sam – I don’t think you realize that “attack” has different meanings. Business have been boycotted for refusing to serve LGBT people, yes. But gay people have been attacked – beaten and killed – for holding hands on the street. Playing the victim with all the hate speech doesn’t look good on you. Nothing has been taken away from you. You can still refuse to marry gay couples at your church or mosque. But we now have the right to have the same protections (like housing anti-discrimination) and tax breaks for our families that you do.

    Whatever the case, it’s now the law of the land. Get over it.

  7. You certainly can write whatever you want on your blog. That’s the great thing about America. There are plenty of sites to get political and social commentary, so I will no longer click on your site for travel insights. And that’s the great thing about America.

    • Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

      Hey Summer, I’ll get some friends to click double for every one of the supposed “I’m gone” posters.

  8. Summer thank you for writing this post.

    Some of the replies here are the reason I’m sometimes ashamed to admit that I’m an American.

    I will have no problem leaving this country in about 6 years when I retire.

    I will be very happy to be a citizen of the world!

      • Thanks for the kind wishes Rich!

        There is so much more of the world to see – no reason to stay here in the US.

        • David M.: If you feel there is “no reason to stay in the US”, I sincerely hope that you also feel as strongly that there is no reason, or reasons, to ever come back to the US and that you remain “a citizen of the world”. To that end, I truly wish you the very best and god speed!

          • Rich,

            Thanks for wishing me all the best.

            As for your God I certainly do not need or want him.

            You know what find the most interesting about America. IMO the People who thinks hey are the most Christian are really the least Christian.

            Don’t forget that God tells you to love your neighbor – yes even your Gay neighbor!

  9. Longtime reader here MP! I agree that you should stick to travel tips and leave homosexuality out of a family oriented website that this is suppose to be. Tsk Tsk!

    • Maury,

      All the homosexual people want is to also have a family and be happy.

      Not sure how or why these things could possibly have a negative effect on you and/or your family.

      David

  10. This is one of the many benefits of traveling the world, an opening of the mind, an awakening of the human spirit that is universal no matter where you are. We all want one thing, equality, in many different variations of the word. Whether you’re in East Texas or in Buenos Aires, Argentina, we all want to be treated equally.

    Traveling helps us to really see how we are way more alike than we are different. This includes our fellow Americans. I’m a straight Christian mom who, although I may not totally understand what it is to be gay, I believe that I shouldn’t be treated better than anyone else simply because I married a man.

    Point is…. Keep traveling families! It keeps your mind open and your interpretation of the “right” way to be much more fluid. People are different and that’s awesome.

  11. two of my favorite bloggers Gary and Summer who happen to be based in TX really speak my heart! Thank you! Ironically, TPG, Lucky and Adam from Point me to plan are very low key today. What’s a strange world!

  12. From a fellow East Texan (TYR) who now lives in IAH land, thank you for sharing those words. It’s amazing how minds change when it’s not “those people,” but my daughter, my son, my coworker, my friend. We’re all in this together.

  13. As a fellow Texan, I applaud your post. The only way in which this ruling has changed my life is my cake consumption will suddenly spike because of all the upcoming weddings.

    • @HoustonRobert – best comment I’ve read. As my 8 yr old daughter with a giant sweet tooth would say, “mmmm, I can taste the cake already”.

  14. What is sad is that all the naysayers call themselves travellers. My question is where do these haters travel? If they travel they would have an open mind to people and places. They would learn about different cultures and try to understand different ways of doing things and that people can’t control who they fall in love with. You are not a traveller if you continue to live in a bubble and only go to places where you belong to a majority. Those people above saying they will read other travel blogs because they can’t wrap their head around how I or MP’s sister or anyone can love a person of the same sex…go ahead leave, but don’t you dare call yourself a traveller because your mind is about as closed as a raccoon’s hand in a bird feeder.

    • I’m sure they don’t give a crap what you said to them, but you don’t get to define them as non-travelers cause they are clearly not as “enlightened” as you.

  15. thank you, Summer, for your very important and well-crafted piece on a momentous day in this country! here’s to ‘liberty and justice for all’ and the continuous opening of hearts and minds through the world of travel …

  16. Thank you for this post, Summer. I’ve been reading your blog for a long while and this is my first time to comment. Some of the negative comments on here were discouraging, so I just wanted to chime in and commend you for standing up for equality!

  17. Great post Summer! There are probably a lot more people in East Texas who agree with you than you think. And they will be glad to read a post like this from a fellow East Texan.
    I’m a similar minority – an atheist (similar to you being a gay rights supporter in East Texas, that is). And something occurred to me for the first time yesterday listening to the discussion of this issue. A lot of people say that the government should allow “civil unions” for everyone and leave marriage to the churches, mosques, synagogues, etc altogether. I thought, wow, maybe that would mean that my husband and I wouldn’t have been able to get “married”. I realize there would probably be ways around not believing in God and still getting someone to marry you, but for that first moment, I did not at all like the thought of having a Civil Union, when everyone else could have a marriage. Just a tiny taste of what it would be like to be gay and not be able to actually get Married.
    Proud of the travel community today, and always proud of the civil discussion you foster on your site. Well done America and SCOTUS.

  18. Thanks to everyone for weighing in. I did delete one comment, but for the most part love hearing what members of the “traveling family community” have to say on this topic! I totally agree with many of the sentiments, including that one of the beautiful aspects of travel is that it allows our eyes and hearts to be open and accepting of ways of living different from our own.

    We never have to agree with or adopt everyone else’s choices or style of living, but as long as they aren’t hurting us, I see no harm in accepting and respecting them. I am so grateful for this role travel has played in that part of my life, and am thrilled it has done the same for many of your families. Keep traveling, keep loving, and keep sharing.

  19. Well, MommyPoints’ post certainly generated a lot of (entirely unnecessary) replies, as might be expected. Live and let live people! This country needs some good news, something to be proud of, especially after the Charleston shootings. It’s OK to be straight and not hate!

  20. Summer, thanks for the post. Fellow North Texan and I applaud the post. You could’ve played safe and pandered to the supposed 97% (not sure if its true, but that is besides the point), standing up with, and for the minority is NO shame.
    Kudos to America for acknowledging and allowing the differences that are there.

    When has EVERYONE ever agreed to anything in this world, whether its right, or not?
    LOVE AND LET LIVE

  21. I don’t think that “not approving” of gay lifestyle makes one a hater, racist, homophobic, or anything else! To each his own – just don’t force it on anyone.

    • “Just don’t force it on anyone”. Couldn’t agree more. You realize that’s all the proponents of marriage equality ever wanted and now have, right? Nobody forces their “traditional” view of what marriage should be on anyone else and vice versa, and we’re all cool, yeah? I feel pretty confident the scary gays aren’t going to turn anyone else’s marriage gay against their will, so seems like everyone’s happy now.

  22. I was saddened with the news of the courts ruling. Marriage was ordained by God himself when he created male and female. I worry my child will think it’s okay to live in such blaspheme of God and what it means for our great nation. 🙁

    • Well the good news for you and others who hold similar beliefs is that marriage in the eyes of the law doesn’t really impact marriage in the eyes of your church. You are still able to teach your children to believe whatever it is that you and your family wish regardless of whether or not it is legal in the eyes of the United States. While I very much am in support of this ruling, there are plenty of things that are legal in the eyes of the government that we don’t teach our daughter to participate in, and no one is taking that away from you. Instead, additional rights are simply being granted to someone else.

      • This is wishful thinking that churches will remain free to believe what they believe and act accordingly. Wait a few years (maybe months) for the discrimination lawsuits to staring being filed against churches who refuse to participate in same sex marriage. Business owners (florists, photographers, caterers) who disagree are already being legally compelled to participate or being put out of business. If the LGBT community does not believe what I believe, it is their freedom. But I am not forcing them to believe it and anyone who disagrees with their lifestyle should likewise not be forced. I respect your opinion but I do not share it. Even though I don’t believe that you are trying to force your opinion on others, this is not the type of information I am interested in when I read your blog. So, I will respectfully unsubscribe.

  23. Summer,
    I am a long time reader and avid points collector. With points I have been able to take my family of eight (yes, my wonderful wife and I have 6 children) to England, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Samoa, Hawaii, Alaska, and numerous locations in the states (including Corpus Christi and Houston in Texas). My favorite redemption was on Air New Zealand, when I was able to get 8 business class seats in the Pacific! We have also lived outside of the US for 3 years. Through this hobby of points, we have been able to see many other cultures, ideas, and ways of doing things. I want to thank you for your wonderful coverage of the Grand Slam promotions of years past – they were great in earning points to fly my family.

    I do not often comment on posts, however, the reason that I am commenting on this particular post is that it seems to be saying if someone is a part of the travel community, then that person must automatically be “publicly celebrating today’s monumental Supreme Court ruling.”

    Summer, with due respect, this appears to be lumping everyone who travels and collects points into a specific viewpoint. It feels like a broad brush stereotype of the travel community and those of us who collect points. This is on a subject that was controversial enough with the court that it was a 5-4 decision with a dissent being read from the bench.

    As you indicated, we have seen much that we have liked as we have traveled, and much that I believe could be detrimental for families and children. Even in our own country some locations have legalized things that I believe are not good for children or families (i.e. abortion, smoking marijuana, gambling, etc.). My personal deeply held belief is that this lifestyle will not be beneficial for our society’s children or families.

    In saying this, I kindly and respectfully acknowledge that my belief is different from yours. I simply ask that you please not lump all of us who travel and collect points into a specific viewpoint.

    • Totally accept and respect that there are a multitude of attitudes and personal opinions on this and virtually any other issue. That said, I’m pretty sure I didn’t see any public statement from any travel company or representative against the ruling last week, but instead saw public support from American, United, JetBlue, Delta, Alaska, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, etc…. So, while individual miles and points collectors absolutely have their own viewpoints on this issue, the travel community at large seems to largely have gone out of their way to support marriage equality and that was what I was trying to reference.

      • Travel companies only need to look to Indiana to see the vehement and vitriolic response they would receive if they did not celebrate Friday’s ruling.

        Celebrating the ruling is an act of calculated and careful self-defense as much as it is a genuine celebration.

        • DK, I think they could have easily stayed silent (as I could have) and pointed to it not being a “travel related issue” if they wanted to, but they chose not to.

  24. It is disingenuous to say “This isn’t about politics, this is about family”.

    It is also naive to say, as many commentors have, that this not have a broad affect on all citizens. As a libertarian, I once believed and argued this line. But while this reasoning is rhetorically powerful, it does not pass muster. It is easy to see how it is having “spillover” effects into many different corners of society.

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