Nothing’s Black & White Except Pandas

Michigan always keeps things interesting.

Late last week a digital billboard appeared in Macomb County here in Michigan:

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Now, let me just say, that on the surface…No one is born sporting the full ROY G BIV. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t look bad. 🙂

But in conversations on social media and in person over the busy Mother’s Day Weekend (Happy belated Mother’s Day to everyone BTW!) I had some interesting perspectives, points, and opinions shared. Some were supportive while others not, but overall it provided me a better perspective and understanding as to the two sides of the issue. So I thought I’d share with you some of the points made from all the sides I interacted with.

“Homosexuallity is a behavior”, a.k.a. a choice.

Ok, let’s say one agrees and that we are born straight but due to environment and situations we “become gay”. Is religion not the same? We are not born Christian, Muslim or Jewish. Our religion and faith are products of environment and experiences. Therefore, why is religion a protected civil right and sexual orientation and identity are not?

Sexual orientation not proven or disproven to be genetic, etc.

It has not conclusively been proven that sexual orientation is genetic or not genetic.

Use of Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:5

The First Amendment allows an organization free speech. The First Amendment also allows faiths and religions to practice freely. So we should concede to using Biblical quotes and their religious beliefs to support their opinions and views  in the billboard.

RestraintheJudges Website

This initiative is sponsored by an organization that is supported by organizations based in Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia, Washington D.C. and Nevada. None which have strong ties to Michigan.They span the race, religious and professional spectrums from black pastors to white lawyers to conservative Republicans to white mothers.


How does a same sex couple getting married impact a male/female marriage? How does a same sex couple’s first marriage impact a male/female’s third marriage?

These are just a few of the more interesting points made throughout my conversations.

For me the biggest thing now is the lack of rise and fight from some of my friends and colleagues. Not only have these billboards been popping up around Michigan, but last week there was a game that was launched (but thank God was removed) that allowed individuals to KILL LGBT individuals. These are visible and tangible actions against who I am and brutal discrimination. And another layer to it all is that LGBT individuals are still not overarchingly protected on a national or federal level. So where is the uprise and support from some of my colleagues who have passionately advocated for other recent events in our society?

Is it because it’s not a clear cut black and white issue, therefore everyone is not required to take a stance? If that’s the case do I still have a right to expect colleagues to prioritize it? Should I not expect support on an issue that directly effects my life and my work if it’s not a protected civil right? Is it because it is not a visible identity it does not carry as much importance? Where is the fire from my community for the safety and protection of these identities?

I admit that these are definitely thoughts on an emotional and biased view but no less so than others from friends and colleagues on other social justice issues. Thanks for reading friends!

Until next time

Peace, Love and Pandas!


Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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