The world is a quickly changing place. Think, even in just the last 50 years, the Civil Rights Act was passed, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the Berlin Wall came down and the World Wide Web was created. We are arguably a more connected, more compassionate and more educated people than we have ever been before.
Gone are the days when being gay or lesbian was known as a disease. Gone are the days when American men and women could not serve their country openly as lesbians and gays. And gone are the days when the majority of Americans did not support fairness and equality for LGBT people.
And now, in the year 2014, more and more people are finding themselves compelled to stand up and make their voices heard about their support of LGBT Americans. Here are six reasons why:
- Because they're people of faith. | Not all major religions fully accept LGBT people into the fold (although many do), and yet more and more of their congregants' attitudes about LGBT people are shifting. Many individuals outright believe that LGBT people are no different from them, and others who are less sure feel more comfortable treating everyone with kindness and respect, leaving the judgement of rightness or wrongness to their God. Either way, being an ally is not just for heathens any longer.
- Because they're straight. | Frankly, a person does not have to be LGBT to support LGBT equality. Nor does a person have to be great at math to realize that without straight allies, LGBT equality can't be realized. Straight people recognize and embrace that they too have the power to chip away at the injustice of discrimination.
- Because they're parents . | Nobody wants their child bullied or treated differently for any reason. And no parent should have to endure the tragedy of losing their child because he or she feels too alone and hopeless in the world.
- Because they're women and people of color. | As groups of people who continue to struggle for full equality, women and people of color can identify with the injustices LGBT people endure. Whether it's equal pay or marriage equality, it is unacceptable to discriminate against a person because of an innate quality.
- Because they're men. | In our country, men hold the majority of leadership roles in business, in government and in religion. And with that power comes responsibility -- responsibility to lead fairly and responsibility to represent these changing sentiments of the people they lead. Even polls in Utah, one of the most conservative states in the union, show that the majority of citizens support nondiscrimination in employment and housing. Utah!
- Because they're human . | Humans are wired to care for one another; it's how we've been able to progress as a society. And seeing value in diversity and celebrating difference is the only way for us to create a safer and more peaceful world. We can recognize genuine love when it exists between two people -- no matter their sex, and we can recognize needless prejudice and oppression -- no matter the excuse. We are human. Let us all treat each other that way.