Letter to the Editor

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Civil rights includes LGBTQ community

Dear Editor:

A few years ago, one of my relatives was giving a party in her home. Shrimp, champagne, truffles, and sterling sparkled the rooms.

The hostess welcomed and regaled all of the family, except one. She barred my 14-year-old lesbian daughter from the gala, and expressed sorrow for those with “alternative” lifestyles. She advised me to make my daughter wear a dress after her visit to a beauty shop for a manicure and an “update.”

I wanted to cry. I hugged my daughter and tried to empathize with what I thought would be her feeling of humiliation. She had no such reaction. Instead, she expressed sorrow for, in her words, “the people who are not yet able to understand that our world is growing forward” and that she was one of the people leading the way.

My daughter was right, almost. Overall support for LGBTQ rights and laws that protect them is high, at 69% for Americans overall. A majority of all major political affiliations, religions, ages, and geographical areas support such laws. Support within one group, though, has been declining. Republican support has dropped from 61% to 56% since 2015. (Public Religion Research Institute, “Americans Show Broad Support for LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections,” Greenberg, Beyer, Najle, Bola, and Jones, 2019).

We are a large and diverse country. If we are to continue as a nation, we must recognize civil rights as rights, not privileges that we mete out only to those we feel are worthy. My daughter is a wonderful, vibrant, giving person. She should not be mistreated for her sexual preferences.

Sincerely,

Patty Wilkes

Athens