The Vicious Cycle of LGBT Discrimination: Religious, Legal, Criminal, Social

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The idea that religious condemnations of homosexuality impact criminal acts against the LGBT community has long been discussed. I’d offer that the intersections between different realms all reinforce each other. Whether it is criminal, religious, social, or legal, any words or actions the LGBT community only reinforce the idea that such attitudes are okay.

Heard about any hate crimes lately? There were two just this week in Buffalo, a man and a woman (hat tip to my friend Erin for the links). It fact, it’s starting to look like there might be an anti-gay gang in Buffalo. Towleroad also has some updates on other pending cases.

Heard any religious discrimination against gay folks lately? The role of American evangelicals in Uganda comes to mind. That’s besides the point that we hear religious leaders condemning the LGBT community on almost a daily basis…

Heard any discrimination from the entertainment industry? Perhaps the other night when the punchline on Letterman, at the expense of new Obama appointee Amanda Simpson, was the same argument most transbashers have used to get out of their hate crime charges?

And let’s talk about legal discrimination! Despite the fact that the state of New Jersey has a judicial mandate to provide equal partner rights to same-sex couples and the fact that civil unions have been proven not to work in achieving this equality, the New Jersey Senate went ahead and voted against marriage equality today (14-20). (Watching all these votes is getting draining; more on that tomorrow, methinks.)

These forms of discrimination need to be interrupted every time in every venue. They all need to be responded to with the same vigor and fortitude. Every time we just shrug off something like another failed marriage vote, we’re giving our stamp of approval for such discrimination to continue.

We need to be more comprehensive in standing up for LGBT issues. We need not tolerate any person who dares suggest we are less than or not due our turn at equality.

I’m a little too flustered from watching the New Jersey Senate all afternoon, so I’ll leave it at that for now. We will only continue to watch inequality persist if we tolerate it.

Some words of wisdom left to us by Jonathan Larson:

Why do we refuse to hang a light when the streets are dangerous?
Why does it take an accident before the truth gets through to us?

Why should we blaze a trail when the well worn path seems safe and so inviting?
How, as we travel, can we see the dismay and keep from fighting?

What does it take to wake up a generation?
How can you make someone take off and fly?
If we don’t wake up and shake up the nation,
We’ll eat the dust of the world wondering why.

Why do we follow leaders who never lead?
Why does it take catastrophe to start a revolution?

Cages or wings: which do you prefer? Ask the birds.
Fear or love, baby? Don’t say the answer.
Actions speak louder than words.

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