Five Examples of LGBTQ Equality – It’s equal rights, not special rights!

Allowing same gender couples to marry does not infringe in any way on heterosexual marriage.

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.

Shouldn’t all kids … straight, gay and trans …. be able to get a quality education without being bullied?

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.

Transgender people should have the right to use the restroom of their gender identity in peace.

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]

Some Princes Don’t Care Much For Princesses – So What’s the Big Deal?

The queen was quite concerned that all the other princes in their region were married, but her son Prince Bertie was not.

The queen was quite concerned that all the other princes in their region were married, but her son Prince Bertie was not.

Please see the several links to additional blogs and resources at the bottom of this short blog.

In the May 15th Raleigh News and Observer, front page, was a story (link) about third grade teacher, Mr. Omar Currie, who got into hot water for reading the book “King and King” by Dutch authors Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland to his third grade class in rural Efland, North Carolina. Mr. Currie read this delightful book to his class after a boy was being bullied in his classroom and the word “gay” was used in a negative sense. (NOTE: follow up newspaper article on the subsequent public hearing.)

This book is a classic fairy tale about Prince Bertie, who is single despite his mother’s wish that he find a princess to marry. After the queen issues an invitation to the world’s princesses to come meet her eligible bachelor prince son and Bertie meets a very diverse set of princesses from all corners of the globe, he finally (and bravely) declares to his mother, “I’ve never cared much for princesses.” Luckily, Prince Bertie meets Price Lee, and they fall in love and get married.

Good news!  Prince Bertie finally meet Prince Lee, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.

Good news! Prince Bertie finally meet Prince Lee, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.

Now a local resident who does not even have a child enrolled in the school with a few other local parents are raising a fuss about the “inappropriateness” of the book. So I ask, what is so inappropriate about reading one single children’s book that features a same-gender couple? Here are 3 important short points:

1. Same gender (or gay) marriage is now a reality in 21st century USA and in many countries around the world including Europe and Latin America. A majority of US states now have same-gender marriage and more than likely it will be a nationwide reality after the US Supreme Court issues a final ruling on this matter in late June. And even Mr. Currie states that several students in his school have two moms or two dads. Shouldn’t those families be included in stories as well as all others?

2. Schools must address bullying and foster diversity. When a girl is bullied for being a “tomboy”, or a boy is bullied for being a little feminine, or a child is bullied for being multi-racial, or has a disability, or two mommies or two daddies, the school must address it. Children need to be taught early and often that bullying is always wrong and that all people should be respected and valued.

Third grade teacher Omar Currie acknowledges applause in response to his impassioned speech at a community hearing. Photo: Harry Lynch,

Third grade teacher Omar Currie acknowledges applause in response to his impassioned speech at a community hearing. Photo: Harry Lynch, [email protected]

3. Teaching about different ways of life does not diminish or detract from anyone! Mr. Currie estimates he reads 500 books in a typical school year to his class. So one book out of 500 features a same-gender couple. That in no way takes away from opposite gender couples or single parents families that may be portrayed in the other 499 books! People need to get over feeling threatened by people who are not exactly like them.

In closing, I would like to salute the enlightened teacher Mr. Omar Currie for doing the right thing in his class. Let’s all emulate Mr. Currie and support diversity of all kinds of families in our schools, business settings, churches and communities!

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Additional blogs and resources:

Blog about LGBT bullying and hate speech.

Blog about a leading anti-bullying non-profit, the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

Connection to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), resources for promoting equality and protection of all LGBT students in schools at all grade levels.

Blog with two scenarios of schoolyard bullying eventually impacting workplace harassment.

Blog about LGBT diversity and bullying in the sports world.

Website with resources on hate crimes.

Blog with link to an organization about being an ally to the LGBT community.