Stop Calling Harmful Bigotry “Religious Freedom”

The Supreme Court is considering a case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, that once again pits LGBTQ rights against so-called religious liberty. In this case, one of the plaintiffs, Catholic Social Services, is arguing that it has the right to discriminate against same sex couples when placing children in foster care.

I’m sorry, but as a gay person, I’m just done with every single religion that has a problem with us.

The Catholic Church has protected priests who were known child molesters for decades, and we gays are the problem? Really?

I have had several friends who were raised Jehovah’s Witnesses and, when they left the faith as adults, their parents disowned them.

When I came out, I lost exactly two friends, both born again Christians. They were very close friends of mine. They were totally OK with being friends with atheists and even being friends with people who had promiscuous premarital sex so long as it was straight.

As soon as I came out — long before I’d ever actually dated a woman — they were done with me. I was the exact same person I was before, only happier, healthier, and more honest, and they were no longer willing to speak to me.

LGBTQ youth face an increased risk of homelessness and suicide. Our families reject us routinely enough that it’s a standard gay first date question, asking whether or not you still have a relationship with your family after coming out. We have entire support groups helping one another tell our families and — far too often — deal with the fallout from rejection afterward.

I would argue that anyone intolerant enough to disown a child is far less fit to be a parent — adoptive, foster, or otherwise — than any gay person whose only “sin” is living and loving authentically.

I know lots of families ripped apart by homophobia. I know of no families ripped apart because a loving same-sex couple desired to be parents.

Nevermind that a lot of that biblically justified homophobia is questionable to begin with. The Old and New Testaments weren’t originally written in English, and some scholars have argued that homophobia was added into them in more recent translations.

For example, while English translations say it is an abomination for men to lie with “men,” the same passage in the German translation says it is an abomination for men to lie with young boys. (I’m totally on board with that too. Molesting children is absolutely an abomination. Right, Catholic Church?)

But you know what? You have a right to interpret your Bible wrong, and you have a right to believe whatever you want. You stop having that right when it starts harming others.

In this case, Catholic Social Services wants the city of Philadelphia to work with them to place foster children with families — andthey want to discriminate against same-sex couples, in violation of the city’s anti-discrimination policy.

Academic studies show that the children of same-sex parents turn out fine. Given there is a shortage of foster families and there are children who need homes, why should any loving same-sex couple willing to foster a child be turned away?

If the plaintiffs get their way, this Supreme Court case could open the door to even more legal discrimination in the name of religious freedom. Honestly, why is the right to legally discriminate an issue that is up for debate in 2020?

Can’t we just be done with this already?

More articles by:
July 02, 2020
Quincy Saul
Who Made the Plague?
July 01, 2020
Melvin Goodman
De-Militarizing the United States
Kenneth Surin
UK’s Labour Leader Sacks the Most Left-Wing Member of His Shadow Cabinet
Ruth Fowler
Then as Farce: the Commodification of Black Lives Matter
Kent Paterson
Crisis After Crisis on the Border
Rick Baum
The Pandemic and Wealth Inequality
Michael Welton
“Into the World of Bad Spirits”: Slavery and Plantation Culture
James W. Carden
The Return of the Anti-Antiwar Left
Dan Wakefield
Charles Webb Enters Heaven
Julian Vigo
A Call for Radical Humanism: the Left Needs to Return to Class Analyses of Power
Binoy Kampmark
A Trendy Rage: Boycotting Facebook and the Stop Hate for Profit Campaign
Michael D. Knox – Linda Pentz Gunter
As Monuments to War Generals Come Down, Let’s Replace Them with Monuments to Peace
Cesar Chelala
Attorney General William Barr’s Insomnia
Raphael Tsavkko Garcia
Is Bolsonaro Plotting a Self-Coup?
Mandy Smithberger
COVID-19 Means Good Times for the Pentagon
Joe Emersberger
On Pablo Celi, Ecuador’s super shady “Auditor General”
June 30, 2020
James Bovard
Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities Exposed in New Indictment
Bianca Sierra Wolff – Lisa Knox
ICE is Leaving Immigrants to Die in Detention, and Retaliating When They Speak Out
Don Fitz
Should NYC’s Wall Street Be Renamed “Eric Garner St.?”
Chris Hedges
My Student Comes Home
Richard C. Gross
Obamacare Vulnerable
John Feffer
The Hatchet Man’s Tale: Why Bolton Matters
Thomas Knapp
Afghanistan Bounties: Pot, Meet Kettle (and Turn Off the Stove!)
Charles Reitz
Anti-Racist Engagement in the Kansas Free State Struggle, 1854-64: Horace Greeley, German 48-ers, and the Civil War Journalism of Karl Marx, 1861-62
Howard Lisnoff
A Student Murdered in Cold Blood and a Kids’ Bike Ride Through Queens, New York
David Swanson
Hey Congress, Move the Money
Aparna Karthikeyan
Memories of Pox, Plague, and Pandemics in Tamil Nadu
John Kendall Hawkins
Democracy Chasers in a Badly Injured Nation
Binoy Kampmark
Wasteful, Secret and Vicious: the Absurd Prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Norman Solomon
Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee Could Defy “the Madness of Militarism” as Co-Chairs of the Democratic Convention’s Biggest Delegation
Jon Hochschartner
Imagining a Vegan Superman
Arianna Amehae
ESPN to Follow “Somebody’s Daughter” in Bringing International Attention to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Tragedy
CounterPunch News Service
An Osprey Forest in Humboldt County is Being Defended by Treesiters
June 29, 2020
Patrick Cockburn
The Blundering British Political Class has Shown the Same Incompetence in Both Fighting Wars and Coronavirus
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Heat Overwhelms Green Infighting Issues
Kathy Kelly
Battleground States
Eileen Appelbaum
The Pandemic Shows the Importance of Funding Early Childcare and Education Infrastructure
Gregory Elich
Will South Korea’s Moon Defy Trump and Improve Relations with North Korea?
Dean Baker
On the Recession, Stimulus and Economic Recovery
Sam Pizzigati
Defund the CEOs
Mitchel Cohen
Bolton and the Pandemic
Paul A. Passavant
Protest and the Post-Legitimation State
Ralph Nader
Congress Must Hold President Trump Accountable!
George Wuerthner
Missouri River Breaks: How BLM Neglect Threatens a Wild and Scenic River and National Monument
John Feffer
The De-Trumpification of America