Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reframing the conversation around LGBT Equality...

Today, PFLAG National Executive Director Jody Huckaby weighs in on how simple use of language can impact the important work of PFLAG…

Thanks to Sue Null, formerly of PFLAG Houston, now based out of North Carolina, I had an opportunity to read a very disturbing article reflecting the anti-gay establishment’s attempt to reframe the language we use in our work for equality.

Ryan Sorba, chairman of the Young Conservatives of California, spoke at The Awakening conference in Virginia. There he discussed the need to change the terms by which the anti-LGBT movement refers to LGBT people. Sorba proposed alternatives to the word “gay,” and by a unanimous show of hands of the audience, the terms “same-sex attraction,” “same-sex intercourse,” “sodomy” and “unnatural vice” were deemed more appropriate to the cause. In addition, Sorba also suggested that LGBT people should be referred to as “anti-Christian.”

Self-described “ex-gay” Greg Quinlan, formerly of the Human Rights Campaign, and a founder of PFOX: Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays used his appearance at this conference to state, among other things, that “Homosexuality is the greatest threat to the criminalization of Christianity… .”

The criminalization of Christianity? Unnatural vice? This attempt to reframe the discussion around equality for all people is nothing less than shameful. And the use of faith-based rhetoric to do it is an affront to people of ALL faiths. To be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is not mutually exclusive with being a person of faith. One might argue, in fact, that it takes a great deal of faith to deal with the constant barrage of accusations, hurtful commentary, and outright condemnation from self-proclaimed “true Christians.”

Now is a good time for all of us who care about LGBT equality to reframe the conversation by talking more about faith, by talking more about our families, by talking more about the impact these outright lies have on us, our loved ones, our families and on the LGBT and ally community as a whole.

How will YOU reframe this conversation in your daily work of moving equality forward?

Please share your stories in the comment section below; we’d really like to hear from you.


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