PGN has traditionally focused its coverage on local news, leaving the more national and international reaching stories to other newspapers. Sometimes, however, there are too many people and actions in all the nooks and crannies of Washington, D.C., threatening our community and PGN cannot stay silent.
In the past few weeks, there has been an amazing number of assaults on — and slaps in the face to — the LGBTQ community nationally. They must not be ignored.
They affect ALL of us, no matter which city or town you call home.
There is the presidential hopeful, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who came under fire last week when her past anti-LGBT rhetoric was questioned. She apologized for her past, but there was more than just rhetoric in her past. She had been an anti-gay activist. And while she’s a Democrat, her ideas on LGBT issues are more closely aligned with those of Vice President Mike Pence, who believes in and promotes programs such as conversion therapy. We don’t need more of that in the White House.
Speaking of Pence … His wife, Karen, has returned to teach at Immanuel Christian School in Virginia. The private school is admittedly and proudly anti-LGBTQ. The school disallows employees from engaging in what it calls “moral misconduct.” That forbidden conduct includes sex before marriage, marriage between anyone other than a man and a woman, and identifying as transgender. Again, when people like the vice president and second lady believe these types of discriminatory and hateful rules are not only OK, but even right — we can’t stand for that.
But wait, there’s more.
The trifecta was Tuesday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear any cases challenging President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender personnel in the military. This means the administration can implement the policy at any time, while lower courts continue to weigh the issue on its merits. This gives credence to Trump’s beliefs transgender people are dangerous, or worse, not even people.
Here’s a proposal: They could just build a wall around us. Some right-winger, somewhere will pay for it. Better yet, they can ship us all to a private LGBTQ island. The only stipulation would be the island should be located where rainbows occur frequently.
And, maybe the island should be near Mexico, Guatemala or some other country from which refugees are coming — many of whom are LGBTQ and seeking asylum in the U.S. because they fear for their lives at home.
If those decision makers in Washington decide to act on this proposal, they should pay attention to all of the skilled, smart, creative, well-known and well-accomplished people they’d be tossing out. But, the island would be inclusive, and probably decorated nicely and well run!
In a year when LGBTQ people all over will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the strides made in the community stemming from that revolutionary time, this type of attitude from our lawmakers, people who are supposed to look out for all of us, is downright scary.
So, if an island for misfit gays doesn’t pan out, perhaps members of the LGBTQ community, instead of celebrating the progress made following Stonewall, should think about initiating Stonewall II.