This article was written by Cath Kestler, a Silver Creek resident.
By practicing what we advocate and with any kind of acceptance that we expect from others, let’s stop being so damn judgmental and crucifying everyone who doesn’t fit in to our boxed-in perception of what is right. ~~ Kemmy Nola
Society as a whole has become more accepting of gays and lesbians than they did just ten years ago.
A central tenet of the American way of life is individual freedom. All of us should be able to make our own decisions about our private affairs without interference from far-right religious organizations that seek to impose a narrow interpretation of the bible on everyone.
Religious Right groups do not support personal choice. Instead, they oppose church-state separation and seek political power to mandate their doctrines.
The hostility towards the LGBT Americans is well known. For years, these groups have spewed hateful venom toward LGBT people and used the proceeds from their multi-million dollar operations to try to gain “dominion” over the government.
It is difficult just to “come out”; the LGBT community has come a long way in the past ten years, including the equality of the choices to marry. The LGBT community continues to struggle for equal rights.
In many states, you do not have the right to protection from harassment and discrimination. A majority of the states can deny you job security; you can be fired just for being gay.
A Rowan County clerk in Kentucky has denied granting same-sex couples marriage certificates three times, citing it being against her religious beliefs. This has been happening since the Supreme Court decision that was brought forth two months ago. This clerk continues to deny issuing licenses. As of 8/26/2015, she has been ordered by the court to start issuing marriage certificates as of Monday, August 31, 2015. Unbeknownst to the clerk, she issued a license to a transgendered man and a pansexual woman based on appearances.
There are also bakeries that refuse to bake cakes for LGBT couples—it never occurred to me that baking a cake was considered participating in the marriage. Restaurants have been reported to refuse reservations for receptions to LGBT couples. I’m glad to see that small businesses can afford to turn away good paying customers based on religious beliefs. I certainly wouldn’t patronize an establishment with the criteria to refuse serve to law-abiding citizens.
These appear to be close-minded people that fear the unknown; or unfamiliar and that is what the LGBT community is to them. Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.
While speaking to friends and family regarding LGBT issues, my cousin, Bobby was very forthcoming and willing to answer a few questions.
Bobby took a few days and really put thought into his answers; I first asked him what was the most difficult thing to deal with as a LGBT man? ‘Opposition that comes from close family and relatives can take an enormous toll out of someone’s life. It is the most difficult to see parents who deny their children the right to live with their own individuality, so far as to completely shut them away until there is no more light left to be seen. Another answer for it: to this date, the most ridiculous notion we must deal with in the LGBT community is whether or not this life we live is chosen or genetics. This is so absurd because when you are bullied so severely throughout your entire life for this, and to the point of wanting to commit suicide, don’t you think that most of us would have considered “choosing” a different avenue than continuing to be tormented for it?’
He continues to go on, ‘Acceptance is amongst the one most important point in the LGBT community. The general public should understand that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is just something special that a person is born to be. It’s not a chosen factor that a person decides to do one day, and we would see a real positive change if our world was able to accept LGBT as just another personal identification, rather than a stereo-typed group.’
The one thing the LGBT community wants to see come out of the Supreme Court ruling? ‘The biggest step we could take as Americans is getting past this whole “religious freedom” facade that many on the opposition of the gay rights movement use in order to continue treating us with inequality. If we were able to get to a place where we can recognize each other as diverse humans beings living in this world together, rather than with a closed or judgmental mind set, then he believes we could reach true success on the forefront of equality amongst our people.’
My Golden Rule: treat others as you would want them to treat you. If we all could take this into consideration, life would be much, much easier. Don’t you agree?
Cath Kestler, a Silver Creek resident