Looking Ahead: What’s Next For Our Work

by Timothy DuWhite

In the coming year, we expect to see more than 100 anti-LGBTQ religious refusal laws proposed across the country. These laws come in many forms, but they all have the same goal—to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against and harm others.

The good news is we’re a community committed to opposing such harmful laws!

The Religious Right has successfully framed the conversation around anti-LGBTQ religious refusal laws to erase the very real discrimination LGBTQ people face, and instead claim that they are the ones facing discrimination.

That’s right—they have effectively claimed that they are facing discrimination based on their religious beliefs. And they will continue working to convince legislators and voters that not being allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ people and many other marginalized groups is somehow discriminatory.

As LGBTQ people of faith and allies, it is our responsibility to reframe the conversation.

We have to talk about LGBTQ people who face real discrimination who will be further harmed by these laws. We must be ready to articulate how these laws could change our lives, and how our faith tells us that these laws are wrong.

This is our task in the coming year—we must be clear that we are LGBTQ-affirming people of faith, and our faith calls us to love and respect one another.

Sometimes it can feel hard to be in touch with our own experiences of discrimination.
We talk ourselves out of seeing and validating our own experiences as discrimination because they are not as blatant as being fired from your job.

But it is likely that all of us who hold marginalized identities experience discrimination on a day-to-day basis, like being passed over when you need help in a store while the salesperson proactively helps all of the other customers.

Some of us may also experience the very blatant forms of discrimination like losing your job because you are gay or transgender. Articulating these experiences and how they make us feel will prepare us to share about the potential impact of anti-LGBTQ religious refusal laws on our daily lives.

Join us in this work by considering what discrimination looks like in our world today! 

And then head to our Facebook page to join the conversation: “When did you first notice or experience discrimination?