First, let me say that rockOUT is an awesome name for the Slippery Rock campus LGBTQ organization. Kudos to whomever came up with that moniker.
The faculty co-advisers have an (I can't help it) awesome letter in today's Post-Gazette, supporting HB 300. Here's a snippet:
This isn't about “pursuing a homosexual agenda” but about extending basic rights to all people in a country dedicated to equality and fairness.
We are familiar both with discrimination and with the rhetoric that describes the protection of basic rights as “special treatment.” It is not special treatment to ensure that a gay man who does his job well and thoroughly be protected from being unjustly fired because his boss doesn't like “queers.” Neither is it special treatment to ensure that a lesbian who is being harassed at school be guaranteed protection.
The simple (and sad) reality is that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community continues to wake up daily in a world where hating “gays” is still somehow acceptable, where calling a boy or a man a “fag” is the worst insult imaginable and where a lesbian is gang-raped simply because she drove a car with a rainbow gay pride sticker (“4 Arrested in Lesbian Rape,” Jan. 2).
Ah, the “r” word (rhetoric) once again nailed into its rightful place as inflammatory speech.
Cindy LaCom and Sharon Sykora capture the most fundamental element driving homophobia in the United States — men's fear of being labeled queer. They don't have room to delve into the underlying misogyny driving that statement, but the simple truth is that there are many heterosexual men who are so threatened by any perceived challenge to their masculinity — so insecure in their own skin and identity — that they will use every institution at their disposal as a weapon in their defense — church, school, government, whatever. They simply cannot tolerate men who want to be with other men or women who do not want to be with men at all. This insecurity drives acts of indescribable violence (the rape mentioned above) as well as the much more civil, but equally hateful discourse in the State legislature and the Presbytery meetings recently conveened to discuss homosexual issues.
It is fear wrapped up in the cloak of hatred and while HB 300 will help to protect us from both, it is incumbent on us to be more proactive in addressing the fear itself.
You must push for the state and the County bills. You must not be content to simply make one call — make multiple calls asking your friends and family to pick up the phone. You must write other letters to the editor. Find someone from the Mon Valley to write a letter. Find someone from the other wavering districts. Now is your chance.
Cindy and Sharon sum it up nicely by endorsing HB 300 (and applauding the PG for doing so)
Things have gotten better, certainly, and continued education, advocacy and activism will bring us all closer to our country's ideal of “equality for all.” In the meantime, we thank you for endorsing that ideal. We do, too.
Amen, ladies. Thank you for writing.