2011, LGBT STILL FIGHTING FOR EQUALITY

I last wrote on this topic in October of 2010. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the concept of a population group in America in the year 2011 that is still fighting for equality. I know there are many short-comings with American society, and maybe I’m naive enough to believe our citizens are smart , educated, fair, and open-minded, but why is the LGBT community still looking for acceptance and equality?

In 1973, homosexuality was officially removed from the list of mental or psychological disorders. It was then recognized by the medical and psychological research communities as sexual orientation. In other words, research proved that a person is born with their sexual orientation, it is not a learned “habit”. But now, 37 years later, why is there still a negative stigma attached to homosexuality? It’s based on ignorance, fear of the unknown, and guilt placed upon us growing up in whatever particular religious order we were raised. The amazing thing is, it’s still happening today, despite the facts available to all revealing it is not a person’s choice what their sexual orientation is, it is what they were born with.

I attended a seminar last evening in Minneapolis hosted by Mr. Wayne Besen, founder and director of the activist organization “Truth Wins Out”. Mr. Besen talks of the culture of “gay healing” or “gay curing”. He talked of many organizations based in the U.S. that prey on less enlightened people, people who they convince gay can be cured. There targets are parents of young people who are gay and gays who are so confused about the legitimacy of their sexual orientation, and are made to feel so guilty about it, they seek a “cure”. Remember, this is 2011, in the United States of America! This is going on here! I know, it’s hard to believe. Anyway, Besen and his organization have been researching these “ex-gay” operations and have found a huge failure rate, corruption, and hypocrisy. Yes, people who went to these snake oil salesmen found out who you are born as, can’t be changed, thus the failure rate. They found corruption, taking money from many sources to lavish on themselves, and hypocrisy, many of these “gay cure artists” turned out to be gay themselves, leaving their business, getting divorced from their wives and taking up with another man in fully committed relationships! Again, this is 2011.

The people who believe being gay is a choice couldn’t be more wrong. Common sense would tell you different. Members of the LGBT community in our country are faced with so many additional hurdles in life than straights. These people face bigotry and prejudice on a daily basis. They fear for their very health, safety, and well-being. The are discriminated against for most anything. Just as if you asked an African-American in 1955 if he/she would rather be white, you could ask any member of the LGBT community if they would rather be in the breeding community today. In both cases, the answer would be common sense, because of the struggles for racial justice in the ’50’s and LGBT acceptance now, they would opt for the easier. But, they can’t! It’s who they are. They are Black, they are gay. There is nothing they can do about it. So America, get over it! Put your petty, insecure and ignorance based prejudices aside and move on.

Since last I wrote on the topic, some important progress has been made. DADT was finally repealed by the government, so now LGBT members in our armed forces can serve openly, in other words, stop lying about who they are. That was definitely a case of institutionalized bigotry and discrimination. It’s gone now. Same-sex marriage bans are the next case of institutionalized bigotry. In most states, the laws prohibit consenting responsible adults from getting married based on their sex. My question is, who is the government to say who can and cannot be married? There is no rational basis for this discrimination to continue. Gay-hating organizations claim it’s not natural. Define natural. If a person is born as a gay person, what can be more natural than that. Why should that person be treated different from the person who happens to be born a breeder? There is no common sense answer. Gay-hating groups will say the very reason for spiritualistic marriages is for the purpose of propagating the race. How do you explain all of the straight married couples who choose to not have children or can’t have children for physiological reasons? They can’t give rational explanations because there are none. The gay-hating community’s last-ditch argument for opposing same-sex marriage is that it threatens the health and viability of the institution of marriage. What are they protecting? An institution with a failure rate of over 50% today, and a divorce rate that may hit 60% in another ten years. So what are they protecting? If anything, maybe same-sex marriage in this country will start to reverse that trend of failure. The good news on this front, Illinois is working on a marriage or civil union bill, and the Governor of Maryland is proposing a same-sex legalization bill in that state!

Support for equal marriage rights is coming from some unusual sources. Laura Bush, her daughter Barbara, her mother-in-law, Barbara, Meghan McCain and her mother, etc. these are women from conservative republican families that have realized the stupidity and discriminatory nature of same-sex marriage bans. Good for them, and I think more conservative leaders will be coming through. It only makes sense, common sense.

Unfortunately, right here in once progressive and proud Minnesota, we have the largest school district in the state, the Anoka-Hennepin District, being as paranoid and homophobic as you can get for a governmental agency. You see this district, has one of the highest rates in the whole country for LGBT student suicides. Despite hours and hours of testimony regarding the unstopped and unrelenting bullying of LGBT students in their district schools, the administration decided the schools were doing no wrong by not protecting these kids from harmful, and even debilitating bullying from other students. They say their “policy neutral” stance works just fine. Tell that to the families of the dead kids, tell that to the LGBT kids still getting bullied in school. All these kids want is be themselves without fearing reprisals. Is that too much to ask? Now, last week, the district struck again. Champlin Park High School was having their “winter formal” event where the students vote on the “royalty”. A lesbian couple was elected as the royalty. The school then announced there would be no “royalty walk”, where the royalty couples enter the event as couples. The district said they members of the royalty would enter individually. More blatant discrimination, breaking a school tradition simply to ruin the event for the LGBT kids. After threatened to be sued, the district backed down and the event proceeded like any other year. Why does it have to resort to the court or threats of that to get people to act and behave like people?

Members of the LGBT community only want whats do them as members of our society. They don’t choose to be gay, they just are. If the right thinks it’s choice they make for sexual gratification, how much more wrong could they be? A person can get sexual gratification from anyone or no one! The idea it’s a choice goes against human nature. Why would people choose the hard way to navigate through life, when the easy way is to just be a breeder and go about life by the “usual” American way? It’s time for all Americans to recognize all citizens as that, fellow citizens. No titles, no color or gender orientation labels, no social labels, just people. I see how easy things would be if that were the case, do you?

Thanks for today’s read, please submit your comments on the blog site itself, it does spur thought and discussion.
Cam Obert

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2 Responses to “2011, LGBT STILL FIGHTING FOR EQUALITY”

  1. tomobert63 Says:

    Great job, Cameron!

  2. Linda Says:

    Great piece! Thanks, Cam! One small correction. Lesbian and Gay people would not want to BE Straight if given the opportunity. What we want is to have all of the PRIVILEGES Straight people have… and take for granted. Keep up the good work, Cam!

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