By Rev. Joel S. Slotnick
Once again, I have gone to one of my favorite websites, Dictonary.com for its definition of Complacency: “A feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.”
March 16, 2016, Christianity Today reports (in part) “Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law on March 10 HB 43 or the Pastor Protection Act that shields religious entities and individuals from any lawsuit if they refuse to administer same-sex weddings.”
February 20 2016, CNN reports (in part): “After lengthy debate, Georgia’s state Senate passed an amended version of a religious freedom bill Friday, sending it back to the House and infuriating critics who slam the revised measure as anti-gay and lesbian.”
“Now the bill blends the Pastor Protection Act, which would enable religious leaders to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, and the First Amendment Defense Act, which critics have said would allow tax-funded groups to deny services to gays and lesbians.”
April 1, 2016, Florida Agenda’s Richard Hack reports (in part) on Monday, March 14, 2016, 3 am at BK Whopper Bar in South Beach “24-year-old Jordon Schaeffer and his boyfriend 25-year-old Eric Danko exchanged in a kiss, which led to a verbal altercation with customers at the Burger King outlet, who labeled them “faggots.”
Ten days later, Thursday March 24, 2016, The Charlotte Observer reports (in part) “North Carolina’s new law sets a statewide definition of classes of people who are protected against discrimination: race, religion, color, national origin, age, handicap or biological sex as designated on a person’s birth certificate. Sexual orientation – people who are gay – was never explicitly protected under state law and is not now, despite recent court decisions that legalized same-sex marriage.
These reports above are just a tiny portion of things that are being used against who we are as human beings, just because we’re LGBT. Just because we don’t live our lives the way some want us to. Just because some people would love to see us disappear. Just because some think we’re not normal. Just because some would love to turn back time and have us considered criminals. Just because some would put us in institutions because we’re seen as mentally ill.
Just because many of “our own” have become complacent.
Yes, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. That made a lot of people very happy, but it also made many very angry. Sure, things are better than they were ten years ago. But they are far from where they should be. Many would say this being an election year has something to do with it. Various candidates are banking on the ultra religious votes to get them elected, and they will go to any length to make it happen–at the expense of the LGBT and their rights. Some of those candidates are far from religious. In fact, if you want to get picky about things, some of them have lived less than “Christ-Like” lives, yet are bandwagon Christians for convenience. They have an audience who will listen to their hypocrisy.
Those are some reasons (but not excuses) for anyone to take for granted what has been fought for and considered won. Yet, we cannot take bandages off because some wounds have healed. They are far from healed and the daily stories of what happens to the LGBT community is the reality handed right to you.
I’m going to repeat a line from my last column: “STOP LEAVING IT UP TO SOMEONE ELSE to fight for what should naturally be yours. Stop thinking “it will never happen.”
There is absolutely NO REASON each of us can’t take responsibility for our lives and help the lives of others to come. Didn’t our heroes of Stonewall do it (fight) for us? If “we” don’t get moving, “we” just might not have our tomorrow. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
It’s fun to sit back and watch a parade go by. But now more than ever, it’s time for ALL the LGBT community to get in the parade and solidify their place in life. Complacency is unacceptable.
I leave you with the words of Peter Thiel: “I do think there is this danger that our society has made its peace with decline. I’d like to jolt them out of their complacency a little bit.”
Rev. Joel S. Slotnick is an ordained Interfaith minister and full time digital court reporter. He can be found on Facebook and followed on Twitter.