Friday, May 25, 2012

Discriminating against gay people is NOT okay


It boggles my mind that in 2012 we STILL have to say this. In a country founded on religious tolerance - where we've faced discrimination against Native Americans, Japanese, black people, and Jews, just to name a few - it defies all logic that we should still think that discriminating against LGBT people is acceptable. It is not. End of story. 

Equal protection under the law is just that. There is no damned asterisk to the Constitution that says "unless you're gay/black/poor/Jewish/female, etc." I refuse to sit quietly while people continue to cloak their ignorance and hatred in misguided notions of religion. You are free to believe whatever you want, but so is everyone else. Get. Over. It. 

Some ignorant asshat delegate in Virginia (who is now running for Senate on his success in prohibiting a gay man from obtaining a judgeship) announced at a Virginia Tea Party rally that "sodomy is not a civil right" and that being gay will shorten your lifespan by 20 years. 


This kind of virulent bigotry and hate-mongering cannot continue to go unanswered. 

So I wrote him a letter. 
Dear Delegate Marshall, 
Politicians like you are the reason I have elected to buy a house in Maryland, not Virginia. It sickens me to the core that in this day and age, people like you still think it is okay to promote bigotry, hatred and intolerance. 
Regardless of your personal beliefs on the topic, no person deserves to be relegated to second class citizenship because of their sexual orientation. Oddly enough, this country was founded on a principle of religious tolerance and religious freedom – nowhere does that specify that it’s only tolerance and freedom for privileged white Christian males. 
There’s this interesting passage in the Constitution – I like to refer to it as the First Amendment – that states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” That means you don’t get to legislate your religious beliefs onto the population. Hatred and ignorance cloaked in religion are still hatred and ignorance. 
The Fourteenth Amendment also states “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” I challenge you to point out for me the asterisk that adds “unless you think gay people are icky.” Maybe “sodomy” isn’t specifically enumerated in those “privileges or immunities” but neither is being an ignorant bully, and you seem to be taking full advantage of that. 
Also, spreading lies to substantiate your own ignorance is dangerous and deceitful. You recently stated that homosexual sex “…cuts your life by about 20 years. It causes increased health problems. It doesn't serve the common good to promote this.” You know what actually causes health problems? Facing prejudice and discrimination. The American Psychological Association states that “the prejudice and discrimination that people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual regularly experience have been shown to have negative psychological effects.”
 
The APA also states that “social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents' are generally grounded in prejudice, and stereotypes about gay people are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ markedly from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.” Real science and actual facts show that the only thing truly and uniquely harmful about a homosexual lifestyle is the prejudice faced on a daily basis. From people like you. 
I encourage you to consider the prejudicial and discriminatory nature of your beliefs and actions, and to endeavor to remember that religious freedom and equal protection under the law apply to everyone, without exception, lest you end up - as so many will - on the wrong side of history.
Sincerely, Heather


2 comments:

  1. Love the letter - there is NO asterisk!
    Namaste,
    Lee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Sadly, I never received a response...

      Delete