Crimes Of Conscience
Posted by Jessica MacGilvray on Jun 5, 2011 - 8:59:49 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C.—A recent report by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) concluded that the incidence of hate crimes against LGBT people around the world is increasing, and governments need to do much more to eliminate discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Flag. Photo by Jocelyn Holt
Homosexuality remains a criminal offense in more than 70 countries despite the fact that homosexuality and transgenderism have been present in all societies throughout human history.
In a recent address, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said, "Homophobia and transphobia are no different to sexism, misogyny, racism or xenophobia. But whereas these last forms of prejudice are universally condemned by governments, homophobia and transphobia are too often overlooked. History shows us the terrible human price of discrimination and prejudice. No one is entitled to treat a group of people as less valuable, less deserving or less worthy of respect. Each and every one of us is entitled to the same rights, to the same respect and ethical treatment, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity.”
There are several factors that are contributing to this horrible statistic. One of them is that as the global economy worsens, especially for the poor and undereducated, the membership of fundamentalist religions increases. This happens because the poor and undereducated masses believe they are powerless and that religion promises an answer to the world’s problems. They believe that this is a way they can look forward to peace and prosperity, in the next life at least, if not in this one.
However, peace and prosperity come with a price in this life, which is the adherence to a rigid code of beliefs that is not connected to reason or evidence. For such people, homosexuals are an abomination, and not because of anything they think, say or do but because they exist.
Fairy tales are spoken in whispers about the crimes homosexuals commit against the innocent. Campaigns are launched against the danger these people pose to the good people of the community. And because homosexuals and transgendered people are “sinners,” they must be punished.
It doesn’t matter whether it is homosexuals, blacks, transfolk, Jews, witches, communists or infidels. It is amazing how all these people are portrayed as villains for committing the same heinous types of “crimes” and presenting the same danger—they simply exist. The fact is that these special crimes are pure speculative fantasy, but a fantasy with a purpose. The purpose is to dislodge the blame from those who are truly responsible for the horrible conditions in which most people live, and place it on people who are easily identified and who are largely defenseless.
Another aspect of this tragedy is the fact that worsening economic conditions increase the competition for scarce resources. Labeling people as enemies is an excellent way to eliminate them as competitors. This is a less important factor in LGBT prejudice because LGBT people represent such a small segment of the population and often represent some of the most economically disadvantaged people in the community. However, it often becomes a factor in taking down high-profile members of the community who have attained a level of economic prosperity to which many others aspire.
The worst part of this whole tragic farce is that the perpetrators of discrimination and merchants of prejudice promote their deeds as acts of conscience. These are highly moralistic crusades you can recognize easily. This kind of witch hunt is always against somebody. It is a sad comment on modern American society that so much fear and hatred can hide behind so few ideals.
As a nation, as a civilization and as a world, we need to recognize that people have certain inalienable rights and that among these rights are:
- The right to be different
- The right to self-determination
- The right to a sexual orientation
- The right to a gender identification
- The right to freedom of religion (including no religion)
- The right to freedom of thought and expression
As long as these rights are denied to some, they are imaginary.