In my last blog, “Why So Much Hate,” I wrote about the hateful comments I receive on social media after blogging about topics such as Islamophobia, LGBTQ equality and Racism. In the LGBT area, I am shocked about some of the people commenting about LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) people clamoring for “special rights.”
Last month when I published a blog about an LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Training toolkit that will be launching in North Carolina in February, one woman commented that “this crap should not be allowed in our schools or at work” and that she is fed up with “gays wanting special rights.” When I tried to engage her in a conversation about areas where LGBT people are not treated equally, he accused me of harassing her and reported me to Facebook!
I am hoping that those who continue to shout “special rights” read this with an open mind to sincerely understand the difference between equal rights and special rights.
Marriage: Equal Rights – people can marry the person they love, whether they are same gender, opposite gender or gender fluid. Special Rights – if we made marriage only available to same gender couples and no longer allowed heterosexuals to get married. I would love to have someone explain to me why allowing a same-gender couple to get married infringes on their rights.
Workplace Protections: Equal Rights – all people should be able to work if they are qualified and capable of doing their job, and not get fired simply because they are gay. Special Rights – if we passed a law that stated if a gay person and a straight person applied for a job, preference must be given to the gay person. If you are so afraid that a gay person is going to steal your job, work harder and update your skills.
Safety in our Schools: Equal Rights – All children, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or gender fluid should be allowed to get a quality education without being bullied or having their issues not addressed by school administration. Special Rights – Establishing top-notch special schools exclusively for LGBTQ children only with the best teachers, facilities and equipment, and providing scholarships to top colleges only for LGBTQ students.
Safety on the Streets: Equal Rights – A gay couple should be able to walk down the street holding hands without being heckled or physically accosted. Special Rights – Passing a law that only same gender displays of public affection (PDA) are allowed and that heterosexuals are forbidden to hold hands or kiss in public.
Bathroom accessibility for transgender people. Equal Rights – all people should be permitted to use a public restroom that matches their gender identity and presentation. Special Rights – when a transgender person wants to use a restroom, everyone must immediately leave and wait until the trans person is finished.
I hope my readers get the drift here. LGBTQ people pay their taxes just like everyone else, and deserve equal treatment and respect under the law. We are just asking for equality without taking anything away from anybody else.
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Blog author Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBT diversity strategy and training. Please explore the rest of my website and never hesitate to contact me to discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department. [email protected]