Bil Browning

Do You Feel Sorry for These Victims?

Filed By Bil Browning | September 13, 2013 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: anti-gay discrimination, Catholic university, Christian bigotry, Christian college, religious animus

question mark keyboard keyAny time an LGBT person is fired, refused accommodations, or told they're not welcome in certain places because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, it is discrimination. That's a given.

But I have a hard time feeling sorry for some of them. Let's take two recent examples of clear cut discrimination:

A gay student at a conservative Christian college created a series of YouTube videos "talking about my story and explaining what it was like growing up as a gay Christian in the conservative South." He was promptly fired from his campus job and lost his financial aid. He transferred to another school with a more welcoming environment.

In today's news we learned about a Catholic high school teacher fired from her job after she announced to a room full of coworkers that she is a lesbian. "I didn't know what that would mean, but frankly I was hoping someone in a position of power at the school would show up and say, 'This really sucks, but we love you,'" she told the local news. The same school forced their president into resigning after finding out he is in a same-sex relationship.

Both of these schools have made it clear that they disapprove of LGBT people and, as religious institutions, they have the right to discriminate based off their religious beliefs. We can argue that such an exemption is wrong until we're blue in the face, but that's not going to change the current law and with all of the religious exemptions written into any pro-LGBT legislation, it's not about to change any time soon.

So should we feel sorry for these victims? After all, they made the choice to attend or work at those schools and there are plenty of other options. If they decide to put themselves in that position, is it reasonable to say, "This was poor decision making on your part. You could reasonably assume this would happen."?

Editors' Note: This post has been edited to add "because of their sexual orientation or gender identity" to the first sentence. While that was intended, it wasn't spelled out.

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