Fired for being gay? Hey, that's perfectly fine to James Lankford, a Republican lawmaker from Oklahoma. As the gay rights movement gains acceptance in mainstream society, and even with President Obama, some GOP lawmakers are being dragged into the modern world kicking and screaming. Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford thinks it's perfectly fine for companies to discriminate against people for being gay if it goes against their company's beliefs. That's right, folks. Being gay, if this guy had his way, would be suitable grounds for your boss to fire you. It's clearly a human rights issue, but like many unenlightened conservatives, Lankford believes homosexuality is a choice, and ignores medical experts who say it isn't.
Disregarding several major organizations like the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, conservatives continue to spout off nonsense about homosexuality being a choice issue. They might tell you of the woman "driven" to become a lesbian by abusive fathers, husbands, or boyfriends. Or tell of young gay men who were miraculously cured of their homosexuality through therapy to help them deal with their past sexual abuse or what have you. Some people even think men pretend to be gay just to get close to attractive women in the hopes of getting intimate with her.
That assertion that every single man who claims to be gay is pretending just to get in women's pants is not only ludicrous, it's insulting. No one chooses to become gay just so they can experience a lifetime of discrimination. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered folks are one of the last remaining group of minorities for whom it's still socially acceptable to marginalize. It's still perfectly fine for businesses to fire an employee for being gay.
In the wake of President Obama's support of gay marriage, the fact that conservatives are in an uproar over it because they claim Jesus spoke against it is simplistic and illogical reasoning. Nowhere in the New Testament did Jesus mention homosexuality, and in early Christianity, the Church actually performed same-sex marriage ceremonies for men.
The American religious right form of conservatism has distorted the original values of Republicans, Christianity, and the tolerance and love of Jesus. You don't shun someone for being different. After all, the Son of God accepted a prostitute, a tax collector and various other outcasts from society into his inner circle. In today's world, such a man as Jesus would be criticized and ostracized by the very people who claim him as their personal Savior. Ironic, isn't it?
When will conservatives like James Lankford learn that the key to winning hearts and minds is not in alienating people whose lives you disagree with, but in embracing them in acceptance?
Â©2012 Reno Berkeley for Gather News.