• Jon B. Comstock

LGBTQ+ are equal in the eyes of ....


ACTION STEP: It’s good that the U.S. Supreme Court recently decided unequivocally that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965’s prohibition against “sex discrimination in employment” decisions applies with equal force to all of our neighbors – including those who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or whatever their sexual orientation or identification may be. Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia (decided June 15, 2020). Good – but not good enough. Let’s take active steps ourselves (including demanding the same from our elected representatives) to affirm the equality of all persons in all spheres of life.

My self-righteousness is not enough! My good intentions are wholly inadequate! I come from a large family (seven sisters and three brothers). We all feel fortunate that we were raised primarily by our Mother alone – who experienced her relationships with others outside our family as if they were a part of our family. We got the benefit of that genuine village upbringing you hear so much about (especially from the Catholic parishioners of St. Patrick’s Church). We knew that some folks get brought up in a toxic home environment that teaches “us” v. “them” (whether the division is race or any other factor). We did not. We don’t consider ourselves better than others because of that, just very fortunate.

When it comes to sex though, growing up, I never imagined there was anything other than boy/girl other than the occasional reference neighborhood kids would make of a kid walking alone as “queer”. Always used in the pejorative sense – like the “n” word. I have never used either.

Does that make be better than others? Something to be self-righteous about?

Somewhere in a great Book that many of us have read (at least parts of) there is a reference to God equating our self-proclaimed great acts and deeds of righteousness (like showing up in a protest or not using pejorative words) as nothing more than filthy rags in his eyes. That hurts! In truth, if truth is what we are looking for, we have to be right-thinking, yes. But that is easy. We can do that from the comfort of our homes as we educate ourselves and switch to the next movie (or informative documentary) we want to watch for the evening.

But so much more is demanded of us. Equality of all persons won’t happen as a natural development on its own. Crops grow because the famer heads to the seed store to buy and utilize the implements needed to foster and harvest a garden of produce. We have to leave the security and comfort of our homes and actively collaborate with others to achieve change.

TO DO: We need a “Commission of Equality” (or at least our individual consciences) whose task is to identify all policies, rules, laws and customs that systemically discriminate against others for any inappropriate status-based reasons and to dismantle them. And let’s not be afraid of the word “dismantle”. In matters of faith, many folks freely talk of “born again”; in business, CEO’s talk about “reinventing” their company. In social justice, let’s engage with dismantling systemic discrimination in all phases of our community experience. Filthy rags are inadequate!


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© Jon Comstock  for Arkansas 2020

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