At the Edge

Commentary on the Big Issues

Anti-LGBT Laws

LGBT discrimination still exists today, even in the United States, despite the fact that Obergefell v. Hodges solved for a major portion of it. It’s disgusting and despicable, and with this (very brief) post, I hope to highlight a specific issue on LGBT rights: “religious freedom” laws. 

There are still 29 states in which individuals can get fired for being gay, or face similar abject discrimination just because of who they are. Take the case of Casey Stegall, a children’s social services worker who was fired just because of his sexual orientation. That’s the sort of thing that happens in America — progressive America. Why? The push from the Republican Party’s religious right, of course, in the form of bills such as the First Amendment Defense Act and Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

All of these bills claim to be for the “preservation” of religious freedom, but the real objective behind them is obvious — this is a push against the LGBT+ community. In other words, they want to give people the right to destroy other people’s lives — making them unemployed, denying them healthcare or education, etc. — simply because they’re against the “religious principles” of those people. And by “they are against,” I’m saying that their existence is against the reactionary religious beliefs of certain individuals (including this bunch of far-right politicians).

The classic example of this form of discrimination is the example of people refusing to bake the cakes of LGBT individuals. That is hardly the main focus here. The main focus is cases such as those when hospitals can turn away LGBT people even in cases of emergency, causing the deaths of individuals. It’s when huge corporations can exploit LGBT individuals because of their conservative inclinations, by firing individuals, and thus destroying their lives, because of their sexual orientation. This should be reason enough to reject such despicable laws: engineered to rid individuals that don’t fall into the far-right’s precepts of their lives.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This is a vast threat to social justice that the conservative establishment wants. Because they don’t care about the people as much as they care about their pathetic principles. The way these laws form a crux of politics is despicable, and they should be rejected with the deepest fervor.

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3 Comments

  1. Shruti

    Very well written – it’s very nice.

  2. Dyuthi

    True. However, I don’t understand how this reality will change, especially considering the US now has a pretty right winged conservative government, whose support base mostly consists of people, who do believe in whatever “Spiritually True” messages religions convey.
    Politicians are now incentivized to actively capitalize on such opinions, regardless of their own, for support.

    So, while it is true that these laws need to be taken down, I do not see how that will happen, as with the passage of the “Bathroom Bills”, in quite a few states, we can quite comfortably conclude that such change is unlikely to happen.

    My question is, what are the alternatives people have. Because while mass opinion altering would be wonderful, it is next to impossible…

    • Thanks for the response!

      I haven’t researched American public opinion on bathroom bills, anti-LGBT laws, etc. However, I know for a fact that it won’t be significantly polarized, to the extent that politicians can oppose them. I’ll add that the majority of Americans support, for instance, equal marriage. So, I think there’s sufficient political capital for change to come.

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