Will Modern Family Feature the First Broadcast TV Same-Sex Marriage?
If your invitation hasn’t come in the mail don’t panic, it’s probably on its way. The National ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has recently sent out mock e-vites to the viewing of Modern Family’s Mitch and Cam’s wedding; urging the writers of the show to produce an episode with their wedding as its central theme. This is another step, amongst many, toward equality and transparency of the gay community in modern television. Many shows have taken the bold step to include gay characters or are centered around gays, such as the recently canceled The New Normal and Happy Endings.
Many people believe exposing viewers to the gay community through television had played a large role in the increase of acceptance of issues like same-sex marriage in society. Shows such as It’s All Relative, Queer As Folk and Will and Grace really brought gays away from the comic relief and showed that LGBT people lead normal lives just like everyone else. These shows portrayed the difficulty of finding love, maintaining love and even the trials of starting a family, meeting in-laws, and growing a family by having or adopting children.
The ACLU has a similar viewpoint of transparency with their current wedding invitation styled petition. As debates have raged on for years of whether or not television influences society, there have been a significant amount of evidence that says it does and many people believe showing a gay couple getting married would be a positive influence. “Cam and Mitch are an adorable committed loving couple. They deserve to be married and its a great example for viewers!” said David Hearne a commenter on the blog site Towleroad.com.
In recent years, television has become riddled with gay themes and characters. Unfortunately with a rise in characters comes a rise in issues that the gay community wants to see portrayed.
With shows like Happy Endings and New Girl, which feature gay main characters, the problem of addressing different issues has run relatively smooth.
Max, from Happy Endings, is an unlucky in love and life kind of guy who is just trying to make it. The complete opposite of most of the flamboyant stereotypes previously portrayed in media. Just as well, Sadie, from show New Girl, is an OB/GYN in a loving relationship and having a baby with her partner. A couple battling traditional gender roles. Both hold strong portrayals of different types of gay people in society today.
On the other hand, shows centered around or based on gays, such as New Normal, try to compact too much into the 24 minute format. The characters seem to have gone through every problem every gay person has ever faced which can make the movement towards equality seem more of a pity party than anything else. New Normal is actually set to be canceled, whether it was viewership or the quality of the writing is not really known, but either way, I’m glad to see this show fade away from the LGBT television line up.
Where it is a good thing to cover all aspects of gay life and expose new ideas and possibilities to gays and others, it should be done with grace and in steps. Cheers rang out as Justin from Ugly Betty had his first kiss; a long way from soap operas panning away from a kiss between two men.
The ACLU has the right idea to now have them marry on the show, in my opinion. “Mitch and Cam are a couple that America has come to know and love, and seeing them get married, and seeing the characters in the story grapple with their desire to get married, makes it real for a bigger part of America,” said James Esseks, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project at the ACLU. (Associated Press)
However, there are still uncertainties among the gay community. Those who support the union are not sure if the timing is right. Jesse Tyler Ferguson expressed in a tweet that he would first like to see the repeal of Proposition 8 in California before the fictional marriage takes place along with much of the blogosphere. Some even say that they shouldn’t be married until it is legal everywhere. Arguably some of the fictional gay marriages, such as Stanford and Anthony’s wedding in Sex and the City 2, within film and television didn’t seem to be as well greeted. At the same time some gay weddings were widely accepted, as in X-Men’s Northstar and Kyle. (This is a jump into comics but the audience and thought remains the same.)
As the gay community continues to struggle on its way to equality, there are times when the smallest of battles can turn the tides. “As we wait for the Supreme Court to rule, we want to keep this issue on the minds and screens of Americans everywhere,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero told The Hollywood Gossip, and perhaps the marriage of a gay couple on Modern Family will help in this fight.
Reply to the invitation here and encourage others to continue to look out for more shows and movies featuring gay people and couples.
In addition to the presence of a well educated population, one of the reasons religion has withered in Western Europe is because the memory of the excesses of religion in the past are still remembered. Wars of religion, the special rights granted to the Church and general behavior which was the antithesis of true Christian [...]July 1, 2014
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