Nico Stoerner, Staff Writer
It’s like a contemporary book burning.
NBC’s newest fall sitcom “The New Normal”, which tells the story of two gay males looking to start a family, has recently been banned from a local affiliate station in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Surprise? I think not.
It is indeed the epicenter of the Mormon religion and also happens to have been ground zero of the Mormon campaign that passed Proposition 8 in California; a law that defined marriage as “between a man and a woman” and revoked the rights of gays and lesbians to marry in California. At that point California was only the second state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage and was spearheading the equal rights movement in the west.
Fast forward to 2012 and their religious fervor now extends to prime-time. Shows like this are important as they provoke thought and humanize the very people that religious zealots would condemn. Unfortunately religious leaders are well-aware of that fact.
Thus, the question has been raised “are there parts of the US that aren’t ready for ‘The New Normal'”? I argue that those same parts of the US are the ones that need it the most.
As our world becomes ever smaller with the use of faster technology, transportation, and communication it is increasingly more important to do everything we can to promote the equal rights of all people. What better way to do this than through the medium of entertainment?
Indeed, the arts are a medium through which people identify with people different than themselves; allowing them to artificially experience their emotions, good and bad.
Jonathan Kipp (the Director of Marketing at Oregon Reproductive Medicine, the leading fertility clinic in the US for LGBT couples) shared his thoughts on the subject:
“While the notion of a surrogate moving in with expected parents – gay or straight – may be a bit farfetched, ‘The New Normal,’ will no doubt be entertaining. But what’s more important is a program like this will be another step in showing Americans that our country’s families are diverse. We believe in family and we help many gay couples, from all over the world in fact, start or grow their family. It’s a privilege for us to do this work and we look forward to laughing alongside all of the other viewers.”
Here’s looking forward to a great new show, a new challenge, and “The New Normal”.
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