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05/07/2010

Live and let L.I.V.E. (Lectures Interest Vested Evangelicals)

by Jeremy Hooper

So the social conservatives think (or at least say) that marriage equality is going to destroy the institution. Okay, fine. Wrong. But fine. Because at least we do all, undeniably, exist within the collective marriage culture.

Parents work to stop pro-equality curriculum in public schools? Okay, there's at least something there to get. Because while they're wrong about the effects, at least they are right about their kids also being a part of the public school day.

But sometimes, one has to wonder why they care so damn much about something that could not have less repercussions on their lives. And in considering these kinds of situations, it's when you really start to see how their agenda is truly one that will not be appeased until the total elimination of LGBT rights is achieved.

Consider the following. In a new blog post for the American Family Association, conservative Christian writer Mike Adams is all kinds of fed up about an event that will take place on the campus of The University of North Carolina Greensboro. Here's a snip:

I don’t get angry very often. But I’m angry right now. On May 10th, I’m moving to Manitou Springs, Colorado, to teach all summer at Summit Ministries. I’m living in a cabin at the base of Pikes Peak, teaching a whopping two hours per week, and starting work on my third book. But, obviously, that’s not why I’m angry. I’m angry because I will be missing a very important event on May 22nd at UNC – Gomorrah, which was previously known as UNC- Greensboro, and is also sometimes referred to as UNC Gonorrhea.

The UNCG Speech and Hearing Clinics – and this is not a joke - will host the Transgender Communication and Wellness Conference, an event for healthcare professionals and transgender individuals, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, May 22, in Elliott University Center.
Dude Talks Like a Lady [AFA]

Okay, so the conference in question? It takes place on a Saturday, is supported by grants and registration fees, is completely voluntary for all who attend, and is totally in line with what this or any speech and hearing center does. One doesn't have to have any interest in, or even agreement with, this kind of conference to support it. America's colleges are overflowing with beer and North Face parkas meetings and conferences that pertain to this idea or that faith or this cause or that artistic endeavor. One picks the events they like and stays away from the ones they don't. At least most people do.

But the LGBT-hostile social conservatives, in general, are far less willing to live in this kind of a world. Every event, every meeting, every anything, whether they were 201005071517invited or not, becomes an opportunity for them to butt in and offer unsolicited opinions. Even when it's event like this transgender effort, meant solely for health and speech (and training for students in the respective programs), not political activism. All too often, these "pro-family" folks act as if their face will be slapped simply with the knowledge that something with which they personally do not agree is happening within the same oxygen-filled orb that they inhabit. It's simply galling!

And then of course if they were to have any kind of event for their LGBT cause, it would revolve around attacking us. So essentially in the anti-LGBT social conservatives marketplace of ideas: Any LGBT event that exists, regardless of care or concern for the religious right's advocacy or even existence, is seen by so many of them as an attempt to condemn, and any counter event they might hold is an opportunity to condemn even further. And yet we LGBT equality activists are the militants? We are the aggressives? We are the ones who they call intolerant? Right.

What we are is paying attention. Anyone who is paying attention to this religious right-declared "culture war" understands that there is only one side working for peace. The LGBT population's foes not offering a treaty: Their terms demand a full retreat.

**FOR MORE ON THIS CONFERENCE: Transgender Communication and Wellness Conference May 22 [UNCG]

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