LGBT Equality: The Struggle Continues

Tanoya Poulsen

(The Signpost Archives)
(The Signpost Archives)

The LGBT community, allies and proponents of equality rejoiced on June 27, 2015.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in favor of legalizing gay marriage across all 50 states. This was a big win for the LGBT community in the U.S., but we’re not quite out of the fire yet.

The World Congress of Families, known as the WCF, is an American organization tied to American Christian and conservative groups that spread the message of protecting the natural family by denigrating the LGBT community around the world. The WCF is connected to governments around the world that help write and support anti-gay legislation.

In 2013, Russia supported the WCF by passing a ban on gay propaganda, meaning that same-sex couples can’t adopt children and that people can even be fined for propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors. In short, this means that adults can’t tell teenagers or children that homosexuality is normal or equal to straight relationships.

Since these laws were passed, violence against homosexuals has increased. Vigilante groups of young adult Russians attack and brutalize homosexuals and transgender people, feeling that they have a license to harm them, since the government doesn’t recognize their relationship.

The WCF is also working in Serbia, Australia and Africa to support anti-gay legislature.

The WCF is able to work with other governments by building relationships with high-ranking government officials.

The constituents can’t see the organization’s hand behind the message, so they accept what their leaders tell them, which is a critical issue because in Africa, homosexuality is seen as an American import. So having their leaders speak against homosexuality only strengthens their position on this issue.

The WCF could be classified as a hate group because they use myth to support their position and their rhetoric to inspire anti-gay legislation, which leads to more violence against homosexuals.

They criminalize homosexuality by tying it to mental illness and pedophilia. They spread information that claims homosexual sex is unnatural. Simply having a religious belief against homosexuality and speaking your opinion doesn’t make you a hate group or a hating person. However, when your words are calculated to inflame a population to see homosexuality as a criminal act and then you turn a blind eye to the violence and refuse to take responsibility for your words, that is when it becomes a problem.

In 2009, Scott Lively, a Pentecostal pastor in Massachusetts, used such inflammatory words that many feel incited the anti-gay legislation in Uganda, which stripped homosexuals of their rights.

Lively told the people of Uganda, under the guise of a religious service mission, that homosexuals are responsible for the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Currently, the death penalty for being homosexual is off the table, but it was included in the original proposal. However, you can be imprisoned and stripped of your property for being homosexual. Lively is currently under investigation by the U.S. Supreme Court for crimes against humanity because of this Ugandan legislation. It is against international law to directly influence another country’s legislative process.

The point is that while the fight for equality might have temporarily died down here, the fight is still being fought in other countries.

We can’t tell them what laws to make or how to enforce them in order to give equal rights to the LGBT community. What we can do is oppose the actions of hate groups that spread hate and violence within and across our borders.

You don’t have to agree with homosexuality or the legalization of gay marriage to support equal dignity and rights for every human being, no matter how different their lifestyle or beliefs.