One Equal World

Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality

A photo of a mosque in Chechnya.

A mosque in Chechnya.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Russia is known for having regressive views towards homosexuality, but the republic of Chechnya (which is part of the Russian Federation) is taking things to another level.

Police there are suspected of having rounded up over 100 men “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.” At least three have been killed, though specific details remain unclear.

The round-up began after a gay rights group in Russia applied for permits to march in a different part of the country. Although authorities aren’t releasing much information on the case yet, it’s very clear that Chechnya is not LGBT-friendly.

To give you a little background, Chechnya is a small region in Russia that has long been a thorn in the side to Russian leadership ever since Stalin. The region’s current leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, is known for human rights violations, although until now, gay men were not targeted in large numbers.

Kadyrov’s spokesman, Ali Karimov, denied reports of the action, stating that there are no gay men in Chechnya, and that “it’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.” But he went on to say that if there were gay men in Chechnya, “law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

It’s clear that the government of Chechnya is hiding something, and certainly has no love for its gay citizens. Outright denying these claims, which have been substantiated by several sources (including Russian federal law enforcement) is a weak smokescreen at best.

But claiming that there aren’t even any gay people to oppress, while dismissing them as some kind of pests who would have been killed by their own families, shows a complete lack of conscience on the part of Kadyrov. Unfortunately, the only thing that this proves is that it is still very, very dangerous to be gay in certain part of the world.

love

We don’t choose who we love. We just love.
Image: Shutterstock

How come nobody ever says, “You chose to be straight?”  How about never? Yet, a lot of people still think being gay is a choice.  Of course, it isn’t.  It’s just innate biology.  You love who you love.  That has nothing to do with choice.

If it did, wouldn’t you just choose the person who had the most money, or the one with the best personality?  Maybe you would choose the one who had a mixed-breed labradoodle because they don’t make you sneeze.  Maybe… but none of these people are ones you happen to be in love with.  Sure, they have nice qualities, but love is not a choice.  It’s a feeling.  It’s an enigma.  Nobody can say what love is in words since it’s not something words can aptly define.  Yet, most of us know love.

A new ABC drama, “The Fosters,” is making waves by tackling the idea of homosexuality being a choice.  The daughter ends up talking with her father about why she left the church and never went back.

To really upset conservatives, the lesbian couple in this drama happens to be biracial.  Oh, and they are foster parents.  Terri Polo and Sherri Saum (yes, their first names rhyme) play the couple.  Hmm…funny that their last name is Foster and they are foster parents.

The bottom line is that the daughter gives such a good explanation of her “choice.”  She said, “Let’s pretend that it is a choice…I chose to be happy.”  Enough said.

Last week marked the sixtieth anniversary since the “Lavender Scare,” when President Eisenhower signed an executive order that made it illegal for LGBT people to be employed by the federal government. Like its much more publicized counterpart, the Red Scare, this scare ruined countless lives as the government rooted out, exposed, and fired LGBT workers.

The purging continued for another thirty years after it began.

The Lavender Scare purging of homosexuals in federal government began sixty years ago.

And though it’s been sixty years since the signing of the order, the federal government actively hunted down LGBT workers for thirty years after that. The McCarthy-esque law didn’t just ruin careers, either; it also ruined lives—and in some cases literally destroyed them. In a time when being openly gay was taboo, many killed themselves rather than be exposed to family and friends.

The law came into effect during a time when homosexuality was commonly thought to be a mental illness; gays and lesbians were thought to be a security threat and susceptible to blackmail by communists wanting classified information. McCarthy and Roy Cohn (ironically believed to have been a closeted homosexual) sought out and fired many gay workers. They also fought opposition by blackmailing others with threats of spreading rumors of homosexuality.

The Lavender Scare began 60 years ago.

The Lavender Scare began 60 years ago.

Today, there are far more protections for LGBT people in the workplace—depending on the state you’re in. Federal government workers are now protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation, but unfortunately those laws don’t protect workers in private companies and corporations. Some states have passed non-discrimination laws that are LGBT inclusive, but most do not have those protections. To be sure, there are still many battles ahead before full equality in the workplace is reached.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is a bill that would provide basic yet express protections in the workplace for LGBT people, with the exception of religious organizations, the military, and small businesses. It was first presented in Congress in 1994 and has been revised and re-presented several times since then. It has yet to be passed.