Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why LGBT people should care about women's reproductive rights

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Voices of Faith
Heterosexism, the saying goes, is but one room in the house of sexism.  Gay rights and women's rights are linked, because fundamentally both are based on the equal rights of people who are not straight  males.

From the Rev Harry Knox:
[O]ne fundamental connection that I hope we can all see given the events of the last two weeks. It’s that the struggle for LGBT rights and the struggle for reproductive rights are inseparable—and that we have to change the role religion is playing.... 
the larger goal of the extreme anti-gay, anti-abortion movement, which is that it is not ultimately about LGBT people or reducing the number of abortions. It is about imposing one narrow, religious view of sexuality and reproduction on everyone, with as much government support as possible.... their primary goal is not to reduce the need for abortion, it is to regulate other people’s bodies and decisions and punish anyone who makes choices outside what they establish as the moral norm. I call this approach “moralism.” It is deeply rooted in our American culture and it is deeply religious in nature.
As those committed to LGBT equality and/or reproductive health, rights, and justice continue to move the work forward, I hope that more and more of us will come to recognize that they are, in fact, the same struggle. And when it comes to religion, let me say this clearly: whether or not you identify as person of faith, you can help change the role religion is playing in the struggle. You can help your friends, family, and co-workers understand that the people trying to impose their extreme conservative views on others represent only a small minority of the religious community. You can help them to understand that there are millions of people of faith in this country who believe that every person deserves access to the rights and resources they need to make decisions according to their own beliefs and conscience. 
In order to successfully challenge moralism and the misuse of religion as a tool of discrimination, we need to build a broad, inclusive movement that includes both people of faith and people without a religious affiliation. It must include both religious organizations and secular organizations, and religious organizations cannot be the only ones talking constructively about the role religion plays. 
It is only through new and deeper forms of collaboration that we will overcome the challenge before us. I pray that the events of last week, and those that will undoubtedly come in the future, serve as a rallying cry that creates new energy, new allies, and a deeper sense of solidarity in our shared struggle for justice.


Anonymous said...

And when I hear the anti-marriage equality crowd ranting about the "defense of marriage" what I understand it to be about is defending the definition of marriage as consisting of a dominant male and a submissive female.

JCF said...

Moreover, the notion of marriage as the union of two ***freely consenting adults*** is a WAY more radical change to marriage, historically, than the *genders* of the two people involved.