Wednesday, October 5, 2016

VP debate an insult to LGBT community

From the Advocate:

It’s still sinking in: Mike Pence’s discrimination against LGBT people as governor of Indiana wasn’t deemed important enough to discuss during the vice-presidential debate Tuesday.
How can that be? 
Pence is still the governor of Indiana. He signed the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act just last year. It was among the most famous of these laws, but similar ones have been proposed across the country. The effect of such legislation is that businesses can legally refuse service to LGBT people merely by citing their religious beliefs.
The Pence version of the RFRA was partly repealed in Indiana, but an even more draconian version of the law passed in Mississippi; it's now been blocked by a federal court. No one could blame the LGBT people of Mississippi if they’re feeling a little invisible today. 
Honestly, I feel a little insulted that as my community faces a wave of discrimination, we were ignored.
Sometimes it feels like the world read about the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality and just checked a box; the gays are fine now. 
Has the media already forgotten that, just a few months ago, a man went into the Pulse nightclub and killed 49 people in an incredibly bloody act of hate against LGBT people? I haven’t forgotten. Orlando Pride is later this week. Trust me that no one there has forgotten.  
Mike Pence helps create an atmosphere in which we are targets, in which we are not safe. RFRAs like his send the message to crazies that LGBT people are less human. Pence ought to be confronted — or at least asked — about whether his policies and rhetoric bear any responsibility for breeding a culture of homophobia and transphobia.
Debate moderator Elaine Quijano, a respected CBS news correspondent, deserves credit for asking about implicit bias among our police force against African-Americans, for confronting Pence about how exactly his boss plans to deport millions of people. But to not ask Pence about his level of responsibility for a culture of hate against LGBT people is itself irresponsible. To instead ask Pence about how his faith plays a role in his governing only adds to the insult. 

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