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Governments worldwide turn backs on LGBTQ communities

by Nicholas Mazur - Copy Desk Chief
Tue, Oct 10th 2017 08:00 pm
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People in the LGBTQ community never have it easy. If it’s one step forward for us, then it's two steps back five minutes later. Two recent events in the world have taken the LGBTQ community back those two steps.

Firstly, the United Nations passed a resolution condemning the use of the death penalty as punishment for being caught having sex with someone the same gender as you. According to CNN, the United States recently voted against this resolution, joining 12 other countries, several of which still use the death penalty against those in the LGBTQ community.

Secondly, according to BBC, after a concert in Egypt in which gay pride flags were raised in honor of the lead singer, Mashrou' Leila, who is openly gay, the Egyptian government began cracking down on its citizens, arresting 22 men and one woman thus far for further displays of gay pride.

Well doesn’t that just put a damper on your day? I can’t say that this shatters my trust in America, or the world. You can’t lose what you never had. However, I did discover that no matter how low the government sinks, it can always sink a little lower. All it had to do was agree that killing gay people is bad. Really? The government couldn’t even manage that? It wasn’t as if the U.N. was proposing that we divert all resources to hunting down and stringing up all the homophobes in the world. Lord knows that would put more than a fair share of targets on American backs. The idea was simply for the U.N. to come together and say, ‘killing gay people is wrong.’

So here we are, telling the world that we stand with the countries who outright hate gay people and want to see them suffer and die. What does that say to the world about us as a nation? What does it say to our citizens? Well, the answer is simple. It says you can opt out of being better, it says that gay people and their fate are not something that need to be taken seriously. The Trump administration has refused to state precisely why it made this decision. So unless by some series of absolutely outrageous circumstances it was for national security reasons, the government is reluctant because, what? They don’t want to face up to their decision for embarrassment? For fear that admitting they didn’t want to stand with the LGBTQ community will lower approval ratings? Well if gay people’s lives matter so little to them, then why should the approval rating they give the matter anymore? Where is the accountability for this? Where are the people who have to answer for this decision? How can they just sit there, make decisions at the U.N., and then shirk all responsibility for it? This sort of stance is bound to have impact in some regard. The world is not a vacuum, and decisions like this one can affect change for the better or the worse.

All of this is going on of course, while Egypt cracks down on the LGBTQ community. Someone raises a pride flag at a concert and 32 men get arrested. It seems cruelly ironic that this has happened so close to this U.N. resolution. Is it not clear on its own? If not, these recent events in Egypt should be proof enough that we need to put a stop to this. I guess asking for the U.S. to condemn unnecessary arrests is sort of a fool’s game. Certainly the U.S. and its decision did not cause this, but it is a convenient illustration of the kind of attitude the U.S. is helping to perpetuate. Perhaps not actively, but the decision to not sign the resolution is still choosing a side, and it is still making a difference, for the worse, this time.

So what are we left with at the end of this? A nation that won’t stand with the people who need it desperately, and another nation who is exemplifying exactly why we need to stand with LGBTQ people. This should not be some terrible conundrum. This shouldn’t be some gigantic moral debate. The answer is quite simple: help gay people. Don’t kill them for being gay and don’t say that it’s okay for other countries to do it. If the government can find no other reason to do so, then it should at least remember that history does not favor those who restrict rights, particularly when it is the right to live.

 

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