As with other topics centered on social justice, the gay and lesbian community seems to be at odds with their heterosexual counterparts. As the press release for the poll points out, “in other national opinion polls, 6 out of 10 (60%) heterosexual adults who also have seen, read or heard about Arizona’s forthcoming statute say they support Arizona’s new immigration policies, with 41% saying they strongly support these changes.”But here's an interesting wrinkle:
According to a new national survey (PDF) released by Harris Interactive, “a clear majority of 63% of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) individuals oppose these policies, with 45% expressing strong opposition.”Notes Pastor Candace Chellew-Hodge, whose Grace United Church of Christ must be an oasis of sanity in South Carolina's toxic religious environment:
Why the difference? It’s the oppression, silly. As Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications (one of the co-sponsors of the poll) explained: “it’s not surprising that many LGBT individuals are opposed to many forms of statutory discrimination. As citizens and consumers, LGBT behaviors mirror these attitudes—tending to favor and choose destinations, products, and services, as well as making political choices that support equal and respectful treatment for all.”
Through a religious lens, I find this new survey even more interesting. The strongest support for this new law comes from Republican quarters, where the deeply religious, and mostly Christian, portion of the electorate reside. A Pew Research Center poll taken last month shows 82% of Republicans support the new immigration law.
In the gay and lesbian community, to be religious is to be a minority within a minority, so we can’t count religion—especially not Christianity—as one of the main influencing factors on the morality of gay and lesbian people. And yet, it is gays and lesbians who by and large have rejected religion, who are displaying some of the most Christian principles in this matter.
This community of outcasts understands, on a gut level, if not a religious level, that it is good, and just, and moral to welcome the stranger; to show hospitality, especially to the least of these.
Remind me again how people can’t be good without God?