We need to do something about prejudice.
Prejudice is a problem that we all come across in modern day society. We hear about it in books, in the news, in movies and being widely expressed in public. We, as a society, find prejudice a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. The funny thing is that we seem to be the ones who are expressing prejudice towards others. If this is the case, why do we find it such a big problem? Hypocrisy maybe? Either way, prejudice is an issue that we need to take serious action on.
Prejudice is defined as: "an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought or reason" or, "unreasonable feeling, opinions or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious or national group". In simpler terms, what these definitions mean is making a judgement or statement about a person without having known them. This may include discrimination against one's race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation and marital status.
A major focal point for prejudice is one's sexual orientation or marital status. It is said to be socially acceptable for a person to be a part of a heterosexual relationship. However, a large number of people do not find it socially acceptable to be part of a homosexual relationship. This may be because of certain religious or social reasons. Also, and individual may be taught that homosexuality or bisexuality is "impure" or "against nature". Many of these teachings come from certain religions such as Christianity and Islam. An outstanding Bible verse, Leviticus 18:22, says "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination". This meaning it is shameful for a man or woman of the same gender to have sexual relations with one another.
In New Zealand, same-sex marriage is not legal. however, from 2005, a civil union between same-sex couples was legally permitted. This entitled same-sex couples to have the same rights as a heterosexual married couple. These rights include immigration, social welfare and matrimonial property. matrimonial property means all property that is owned jointly by two married people. This may include money, housing, cars, gifts received from others etc. An exception to these rights is adoption. Although it is legal for a homosexual individual to adopt a child (except for a male individual wanting to adopt a female child), homosexual couples are unable to adopt a child as a couple. This is antiquated and unjust.
Discrimination against a person's sexual orientation is a prejudice that cannot be taken lightly. One's sexual orientation does not define who they are as a person.