Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Is Treatment of the LGBTQ Community a Test of a Nation's Stability and Civility?

Russian paratroopers -- who would be right at home in a gay pride
parade in the 90s, don't you think? -- accost a gay activist.

I caught this Slate article that tests LGBTQ levels of tolerance and acceptance against a country's location within the European Union versus Eastern European countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain and finds that -- with the exception of Croatia, a current EU member -- life is rough for the LGBTQ community within the Russian orbit.

It's a fascinating comparison: A nation's stability and civility may correlate with its inclusiveness of the LGBTQ community, most especially in Europe. This makes me want to learn more about progress in Latin America -- countries I identify as within the U.S.-European sphere -- as well as to investigate the situation in Africa and Asia.

But as we get further into the 2016 presidential campaign, I see another test: where presidential candidates fall within the LGBTQ acceptance quotient. What's the marker? Are you closer to Putin in your approach to LGBTQ issues, or are you closer to, for instance, Obama or Biden?

With headlines like "Scott Walker Backs Constitutional Amendment Allowing States To Ban Same-Sex Marriage," Walker -- who many point to as approaching frontrunner status -- might want to start worrying about comparisons to Vladimir.

I see another headline: "In GOP Race, Who Most Resembles Putin on Gay Issues?" In a test of civility and inclusiveness, Scott Walker -- and the rest of the GOP clown car -- might be flunking the Putin test. Ouch.

Scott Walker making headlines in Iowa: Who's your daddy, Walker? Putin?

As we get closer to the Republican National Convention, will we see the hard right -- Putin's people? -- close around an anti-LGBTQ candidate, or will we see the GOP go soft on same-sex, as Carly Fiorina (!) and Jeb Bush seem to have?

I've been having fun with this, but it's a very serious question and a very telling decision a nation -- or a culture -- has to make.

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