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Letters: July Fourth, Interdependence Day

On this country’s high holy day of patriotism, when we idealize our nation’s unity, I can’t help but reflect on two past city council meetings regarding raising of the Pride flag — certainly not our finest moments.

Ironically, they proved to be a “coming out” for Christian Nationalism. The malice, vitriol, feigned pronouncements of Christian love and sanctimonious rebuking of the gay community were simply un-American. The constant refrain of “I don’t care what they do in the bedroom…” (as if that’s all gays do 24/7) fit squarely with the not-so-subtle undertones that embracing LGBTQ+ is part of a broader conspiracy to destroy our beloved country.

Those self-righteous naysayers, clutching their Bible, draped in the flag and extolling ahistorical nostalgia misunderstand that our nation was founded by men seeking to establish a nonsectarian sovereign state on stolen land and chattel slavery. Paraphrasing Frederick Douglas, the freedom, justice, equality and prosperity bequeath by our forefathers were never meant for all of us. Persecution of gays did not begin with the 1969 Stonewall uprising. As soon as Pilgrims and Puritans landed on American soil, they started passing anti-sodomy laws. In the ’80s, citing it as a “gay disease” incurring God’s wrath, this nation sat idly by as the HIV epidemic raged throughout the decade. Between the 1993 policy of “Don’t ask don’t tell,” until the 2011 ban on discrimination against gays in the military, 29,000 men and women were dishonorably discharged. It’s not an accident that LGBTQ+ are nine times more likely to be victims of hate crimes than non-LGBTQ+. The DOJ just this March reported that hate crime has increased by 11.6 percent percent. These are facts, not opinions.


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