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Hard to fathom

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There’s been a lot of buzz on social media this past week over the actions of some U.S. states directed against same-sex couples and the LGBTQ community in general.

The moves prompted plenty of backlash, including concert cancellations by big-name rockers like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams in North Carolina and Mississippi, respectively, while production companies have threatened to stop filming movies and TV shows in such states in protest.

It’s hard to fathom that this kind of fight still is going on in 2016; that people face state-sanctioned discrimination based solely on their sexual orientation or identity.

The International Day of Pink—held annually on the second Wednesday of April—was created to celebrate diversity while raising awareness to stop homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, and all forms of bullying.

And clearly, given what’s been happening south of the border and elsewhere around the world, it’s a message that needs to be delivered as forcefully as ever.

Progress is being made. Locally, both school boards continue to push anti-bullying efforts through various programs and guest speakers. And just last year, students at Robert Moore School here took the initiative to create a Gay-Straight Alliance club.

We may never be able to eliminate bullying completely. But that doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel, either. We have come so far in the fight against discrimination based on gender, race, and religion, which no doubt started on a small scale before finally taking hold, and surely the same will prove true when it comes to sexual orientation.

Wearing pink once a year won’t solve the problem but it is an important start, nonetheless. And that, after all, is the only way to bring about societal change.

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