What is the Biggest Challenge LGBTQ People Face?
Are traditional belief systems holding us back from winning full equality?
I addressed this issue on Quora not too long ago. In fact, I addressed it often. The sentiment I expressed below is representative of my views on religiously based homophobia.
What do you think? Is religious condemnation of LGBTQ people something that ought to be acceptable?
How did the former Christian foundation of the separation of the “races” differ from today’s conservative Christian condemnation of LGBTQ people?
Imagine this scenario. A child is talking to his mother.
“Why are black people different from us?”
“God separated the races after Noah's Flood, sweetheart. He doesn't intend that they mix as equals. Black people are still his children, but in a different way.”
“What do you mean different, Mommy?”
“Well, they aren't as smart as white people. They need guidance and help. As good Christians, we have to love them and even help them, but we have to always remember that God intends that we be separate from them.”
“The Bible teaches us that it's a sin to mix the races. Black people can't live with or go to the same schools as white people. They can't marry white people. This is against God's plans.”
The above dialogue is intended to be shocking. I don't believe that any of what that imaginary mother is saying is valid or morally good.
But here's the thing.
Until very recently in the United States and many other places around the world, beliefs like that were common and ordinary. They were expected.
I heard conversations like that with my own ears when I was a child.
We queer folk face similar sentiment from religious people every day of our lives.
The biggest issue we face right now is that it is still socially acceptable to express religiously based homophobia.
If anyone today were to publicly express the racist nonsense I reproduced above, you can be sure that people would be shocked. There would be consequences.
The same can't be said yet about expressing homophobia. There are very few social consequences in many places for expressing the same sorts of religious nonsense about queer people.
You hear it every day:
Hate the sin, love the sinner.
God loves you but he calls you to be celibate.
Homosexuality is condemned in the Bible.
Gay people need to pray God will deliver them.
If you don't find the above sentiment shocking, then you're inured to religiously based homophobia. It ought to shock you as much as the religiously based racism I reproduced at the beginning of this answer.
The biggest issue we queer people face today is that religious people feel socially entitled to preach and teach their homophobic bigotry.
They feel perfectly free to call us sinners.