The American Grandpa had a great week and a half! I spent two consecutive Fridays with my grandchildren. One, prepping my garden spot and the other having a birthday party. I was able to relax on the weekends and had a productive week in between. The only bad part was when the manager at Taco Time refused to accept my digital coupon.
During that time another great thing happened!
Some great comments on my article Is There a LGBTQ Crisis? sent me on a detour. You see, I’d intended to move directly on with my series of articles on the Equality Act, but these comments got me thinking.
Why were they great?
For one thing, while they represented two very different and heartfelt points of view, they were extremely civil.
One reader provided a link to a piece of research from 2019, which he hoped would help answer my call for evidence to support the Equality Act. He also questioned the need for empirical data in the face of the damage he has seen discrimination cause in the lives of friends and family.
The other voiced sympathy for the challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals, but pointed out the reality of research – that it is not easy to extrapolate clear cause and effect from data. He suggested that it may take years to understand what is really going on.
So, I took the detour.
I so appreciated the feedback that I took a week to read the article and consider it carefully and open-mindedly. That is why I am just now posting an article. I wanted to really decide how the findings fit in to my argument and how it affected my opinion.
What started this whole series on the Equality Act was my frustration with what has become business as usual in American politics and in my former party of choice. That “business as usual” is the exact opposite of what happened here.
“Business as usual” is dogmatic, polarized, knee-jerk political rhetoric. What happened here was two educated and concerned men reading what I thought and sharing their opinions with me and I, trying to respond gratefully and learn something.
Of course, the temptation for this layman is to critique the research and opine on what it means. I will not, because you can read it and decide for yourselves.
But I will say that it made a good case that LGBTQ individuals perceive a strong degree of discrimination and that even that perceived discrimination can genuinely be harmful. I now have a greater depth of feeling for the plight of those whose sexual preference and gender identity do not fall within norm.
On the road again
In Is There a LBGTQ Crisis I concluded that “proponents of the [Equality Act] have failed to provide evidence of ‘persistent, widespread and pervasive discrimination’ [and that] without such evidence, reasonable people should seriously question the need for such massive federal intervention.” I still believe that the jury is out on how “widespread and persistent” the discrimination is and whether what is happening constitutes a crisis worthy of the Equality Act.
However, this detour has brought me to better understand the genuine harm that can come from even perceived discrimination and that, at least as a society, we can and should do something about it.
I thank these good men for helping me take that journey. Maybe your next comment will be my next serendipitous adventure.
Next: What can we do to help. (I’ll try not to get distracted.)