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Human Rights 4 all.
"Do you think your family is unusual?" the interviewer asks the kids. "No" is the common refrain. The message is simple: A loving family is a loving family no matter its color or shape, and kids simply don’t care if they have two moms or two dads or something in between.
There are several alternatives available to the Department of Defense regarding the policy of women in combat. There is the policy followed for so many years restricting women from serving in combat roles or near combat units. There are many arguments to maintain this status quo including but not limited to pregnancy, less upper body strength, and disruption of unit cohesion. There is obviously a lot of upheaval concerning the previous policy.
There is also the option of allowing women to join combat units, but not forcing them into combat situations. This option raises another question of equality, though, if men are not allowed the same freedom.
Another option is to open all career fields to women, but change standards so they will more easily be able to join these units. All this would do is lower national security by not maintaining the high standards of fitness we have championed over the years.
The current policy established January 23, 2013 is to lift restrictions gradually so that women will be integrated completely by 2016. There will still be various restrictions on certain field such as special operations (aclu.org).
I agree with most aspects of the recent policy change especially regarding the gradual integration of women. Women have proven themselves worthy of the opportunity to serve in combat on many occasions. Official integration is the next inevitable step. Our country is focused on creating equal opportunity, and this decision lines right up with those values. The gradual integration is important to allow time for the critical implementation process of such change.
I do believe, however, that at the end of this process, all military career fields should be open to women as long as they can meet the physical and mental requirements already set in place. As acknowledged by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, “If members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job, then they should have the right to serve, regardless of creed, color, gender or sexual orientation (2013).” - Jocie H.
"In order to make a difference in the world of human trafficking, changes need to be made to the United States attitude, outlook, policies, and effort towards sexual exploitation and the sex trade. The first alternative presented is that the United States should increase the penalty for people accused and proven guilty without reasonable doubt of participating in human trafficking. Currently, the judicial court holds crimes in human trafficking efforts to the same standards to that of robbery. While the act is in fact robbery because it degrades its victims of their human worth, it should be punishable with a higher cost. For example, the state of Tennessee classifies human trafficking only as a Class B felony (5). Therefore, the first proposal entails that offenders who are charged with human trafficking can spend life in prison without the possibility of parole. In addition, offenders proven with the power and control of running a sex slavery trade could face capital punishment. This would make it a higher risk for offenders to take part in this atrocious crime. The second alternative would be to implement a prison work force where the money earned by the criminals guilty of human trafficking goes towards paying for rehabilitation for victims of their crimes. Both the felons and victims would benefit from the program. The third alternative is to greatly increase border patrol. Every large truck or vehicle with large amounts of storage space should be thoroughly checked and search before crossing country lines. More efforts should be put forth in interviewing the people with suspicious conduct and means of travel. There should also be a training program that border control officers should be required to go through in order to be prepared to stop incidents of human trafficking. The last alternative presented would be to increase the regulation and punishment for prostitution in order to prevent women from entering dangerous and more vunerable states to which they could encounter human trafficking. This not only would prevent women from dehumanizing themselves, but also preventing them from being a higher risk of becoming a human trafficking victim. The best and most approved recommendation from the alternatives would be one of the latter: strengthening border control. This would give the federal government more control to investigate suspicious travelers and prevent more sexual slavery from taking place in the United States.” - Olivia S.
"I would recommend a national law in which a voter has to present a government-issued form of identification. The national government will implement the law working alongside state and local governments. I would also like to implement a program in which the government-issued forms of identification are free. There is no need to put a price on something that is a right to an American citizen, and forcing people to go and purchase a government-issued form of identification is doing so. Voting in local and state elections is a right given to every United States citizen over the age of 18 and nothing should infringe on those rights. Implementing a system in which acceptable forms of identification are free will hopefully in turn increase voter turn out in all age groups and even increase the minority vote." - Morgan C.
“There are three alternatives actions that could be taken regarding this issue. One alternative would be keeping the status quo. That would mean all current policies would stay the same and there would be no advancement or regression. A second alternative would be allowing the states to override the federal plan to keep discriminating and not allowing these couples the proper benefits. The third alternative would be advancing all current policies in a positive and forward direction. This would allow same-sex couples to be married in any state and their marriage would be considered valid everywhere in the United States. They would also receive all benefits heterosexual couples are privy to. According to a New York Times study, same-sex couples denied marriage benefits will have an additional $41,196 to $467,562 in expenses compared to a heterosexual couple (ProCon.org). The Comptroller for New York City found in a study that legalizing gay marriage would bring $142 million to the city’s economy and $184 million to the state’s economy over three years (ProCon.org). The numbers show that allowing same-sex couples to marry and have federal and legal benefits will help bolster the economy. This being said, state-level discrimination needs to stop as well. The new law does not specifically protect against star-level discrimination and should be changed so that the wording knocks that out completely.
Implementing new policy approaches in the United States has always been done gradually, which is how any new policy regarding the institution of marriage should be, in the states that do not currently allow it. Gradual implementation would mean starting with states that have lesser laws against gay marriage and working up to the ones that have strict laws against it. If done slowly, the backlash from anti-gay groups, hate groups, and religious groups would be less because they would see the changes happening at a regulated rate and learn to deal with it. As always with both state and federal level governments, new laws and policies are signed but not put into complete action until a handful of months later. It would be known that on a certain day it is legal for same-sex couples to be married, just like heterosexual couples.” - Meagan E.