As we celebrate the last day of LGBT History Month, I am reflecting on the victory of the Death of DOMA, the tepid Supreme Court Decision regarding Prop 8, and the work yet to be done towards full equality for the LGBT community. The striking down of DOMA does not mean that LGBT folk are no longer targeted or marginalized. Of course, the marginalization is even worse for people of color who are also LGBT.
Sadly, when I shared my Death of DOMA article on a social work social media page, most of the comments I received were from “Christian” social workers that were defending DOMA and acting as if they were victims because they were afraid to come out as Christians. Really? REALLY? When was the last time a bunch of folk committed suicide because they are Christians? When was the last time in the United States people were denied housing, health care, employment because they are Christian? I candidly was ashamed of my colleagues in the field of social work and I fully understand why people outside of the dominant culture would not trust us!
We still have a long way to go regarding equity and equality for the LGBT community. Regardless of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, in most states in the south it is still illegal to be gay and in most states in the south it is completely legal to deny employment, healthcare, housing because of being LGBT, not to mention the many states that have constitutional amendments banning marriage equality, including South Carolina. You remember South Carolina, the state where they just re-elected Mark Sanford after he spend tax payer money abandoning his job to take his now famous “Appalachian Trail” hike.
While we have so much work to do, I do want to close with a very sweet celebration of LGBT History. For me, it was absolutely profound to learn that Dumbledore, the Headmaster at Hogwarts, was gay. What a lovely message for J.K. Rowling to send to young people, that LGBT folk can be wonderful caretakers of children and role models of integrity.