We accept you as long as you don’t exist

The EU claims its openness towards the LGBTQ+ community with 16 countries out of 27 legalizing same-sex marriage, all while offering support towards queer people. Yet, this idea is a mere façade for the actual harsh reality. Be it surprise to some or normality to others, there are still countries within the EU to whom the notion of LGBTQ+ is still foreign. Poland shows itself as a great example, disregarding most rights affiliated to queer people. Why?The Polish society tends to hold conservative views concerning LGBT rights. A majority of the Polish population is affiliated with the Catholic Church, and as such, public perception of acceptance of the LBGT community is strongly influenced by Catholic moral doctrines. As a result, same-sex marriage is banned. Still, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The real ordeal begins with the violation of basic human rights. Did you know that in Europe, gender identity is only legal in 39 states out of 51? It may seem like a lot, but once you get down to thinking about what that means, you realize that you could have been one of those people who can’t legally identify as themselves because their nation won’t allow it. Also, not all LGBT members are allowed to serve in the military, which to put it in theory means that they care less about your abilities as a person, but rather about your sexual orientation and gender identity. Not to mention, only 44 countries protect against discrimination, which means you could have again been unlucky to find yourself in danger of being a hate-crime victim while your murdered would not be getting the proper punishment. To add to the never-ending list, same-sex parents adoption is illegal in 29 states. Again, instead of the emphasis being placed on finding new homes for orphan children, where they can have a safe and ensured development, the issue is whether or not they will have two mothers or two fathers as parents. This goes to show just how close-minded people are and the distorted values they uphold.

Circling back to what I have previously said, both the Catholic and Orthodox churches play a key role in this continuous discrimination. Starting with the worse, the Orthodox Christian religion disregards the existence of the LGBT completely. On one hand, this was quite expected since sex is only allowed for the sole purpose of reproduction. With a mentality like this, strongly grounding the freedom of an individual, it only further explains why people hate what is different from them. So given that there is no expectation from this religion, the reality does not sweep one off their feet. On the other hand, the Catholic church shows potential, with Pope Francis stating that "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family", "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered", "They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it”. This is a start to maybe forging a road to acceptance, but let’s not forget that the Pope is for gay civil unions, but against same-sex marriage or gay men joining the clergy. It’s like saying we’re okay with queer people, as long as they don’t get married and destroy the sanctity of marriage, which "according to the plan of God" is between a man and a woman. All this was a result of people bashing the church for not supporting the LGBT and them finally giving it the "love and support" it deserves. In actuality, the truth is rather sad. Most queer haters are influenced by church and their close-minded upbringing, which are two aspects one can hardly grow out of since it is a way of life. Nevertheless, there is no excuse for the outrageous ways in which these people discriminate and treat others. Why do some people feel the need to "protect God’s wishes" by threatening strangers who do not affect their lives and who are just being themselves? This is the very core problem of discrimination. The fact that some feel entitled to express their opinions about others’ private lives and their way of being has created a majority that now dictates the ways of life for a minority. There is nothing fair about the situation, but also nothing to be done since this majority is also backed up by the church. It’s quite ironic how taking out this major factor, people wouldn’t be the same way. Let’s take an example where someone who is homophobic will hate on the LGBT people and then proceed to wear clothes from say some designer brands, who were created by gay people. Yet, once they find out, those clothes suddenly become wrong to wear and the person regrets buying them, forgetting the fact that they gladly spent that money before they knew. This accentuates the way people are brainwashed to have certain fixes on a topic, without actually having a solid reason, other than religion or the way they were brought up.

All in all, the truth is that we can never fully eliminate discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community since the major factors in the discussion will never change, religion being one of them. Gay people have always faced empty promises and false claims not only from the church but also from governments regarding their rights. Teaching acceptance and preaching it is one of the starting points, as well as becoming allies to those who don’t have a loud enough voice. This will soon turn the minority into a majority who will finally get the rights they deserve.

articol scris de Taisia Pleși