In a powerful essay in the Raleigh News and Observer yesterday, law professor Shannon Gilreath of Wake Forest University wrote about the kind of message the various laws are sending to the wider populace in regards to how we who are LGBTQ are not only "seen and heard," but are to be treated. Shannon sites that studies show that in states, "particularly in our neighboring Southern states, where anti-gay marriage amendments are in place, violence against gay people, and especially gay youth is escalating at alarming rates." Shannon notes that the recent marriage equality ruling by the CA Supreme Court "stoked the amendment fires here even more...the anti-marriage amendment was introduced on May 14 Sen. Jim Forrester, R-Gaston, whose wife recently wrote that gay people in NC are 'seeking to...rob our children of their innocence.'" Gilreath then wrote about all the hate crimes perpetrated on LGTB people, in which their innocence of childhood was robbed; Gilreath cites the rise of bullying in school; Gilbreath cites the statistic that there is one suicide of a young person every sex hours because "of the unrelenting harassment they face in schools and, sadly, sometimes even at home."
What Gilreath forgot to include was this: LGBT people also face unrelenting harassment not only at school and home but also church, mosque and synagogue as well. Every time a denomination stands up and denies LGBT people ordination, marriage, and even baptism and Eucharist, we, who are members of community of faith participate in acts of harassment.
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When the California Supreme Court made their most recent decision, what they did was send out a climate of love for and among all. What Sen. Jim Forrester did, in posting an amendment of the Constitution of the state of NC against LGBT marriage, is send out a message and a climate of hate for and among all.
It is time to change.
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