I have read on Twitter comments by many who question why we have an annual gay pride month. This is a question deserving of an answer.
Who started the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month?
According to the Library of Congress website:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible.
The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Queer Pride Month.
Former Presidents Clinton and Obama issued proclamations related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month.
President Trump on May 31st, 2019 tweeted:
As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals….on the basis of their sexual orientation. My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!
What are gays supposed to be proud OF?
In a June 6, 2011 Scientific American article titled “Why I’m Not Proud of Being Gay” Jessie Bering wonders, “I’m particularly interested in knowing what it is, exactly, that I’m supposed to be proud of.”
What is pride? Bering used the below Oxford English Dictionary definitions:
pride n. A high, esp. an excessively high, opinion of one’s own worth or importance which gives rise to a feeling or attitude of superiority over others; inordinate self-esteem.
pride , n. Arrogant, haughty, or overbearing behaviour, demeanour, or treatment of others, esp. as exhibiting an inordinately high opinion of oneself.
In fact, a team of University of British Columbia psychologists led by Jessica Tracy would note that the foregoing definitions of pride are actually referring to a particularly ancient, evolutionarily derived subtype, which they refer to as hubristic pride. Tracy and her colleagues have argued that hubristic pride evolved to promote and sustain dominance, with the emotional engines of conceit and arrogance motivating individuals to scale the social hierarchy, which translates to genetic fitness. Laboratory participants induced to feel hubristic pride display increased aggression, hostility, and manipulation—all tactics of a tooth-and-nail pathway to social dominance that is based primarily on fear rather than respect. It’s not terribly surprising, in this light, that individuals who are more prone to exhibiting hubristic pride tend also to be more disagreeable, neurotic, narcissistic, are less conscientious and have a history of poor relationships and mental health problems. [Emphasis added]
Is the LGBTQ community suffering from hubristic pride?
Bering believes not when he wrote:
After all, these are people that have been “culturally victimized” by an overwhelmingly oppressive heterosexist society, one that has systematically devalued and derided them as deviants for as long as they can remember. Developing in such a society is emotionally crippling and poisonous to one’s self-esteem; it’s not exactly a recipe for creating hubris and an inflated ego.
Bering offhandedly dismisses the beliefs of the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism (Genesis 19:1-7), Christianity (Romans 1:24-28) and Islam (Al-Mustadrak 2/375), concerning sodomy and pride. IslamWeb.net notes this about pride and arrogance:
Pride and Arrogance:Allah, Almighty, Says (what means): “I will turn away from My Ayaat (verses of the Quran) those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons signs, revelations, etc.), they will not believe in them…” [Quran; 7:146] and (what means) “… truly He likes not the proud.” [Quran; 16:23]
“These definitions clearly sit astride religious notions of pride being one of the Seven Deadly Sins . To many Christians, pride is the worst sin of all because placing oneself above others conflicts with spiritual egalitarianism. From a scientific perspective, at least, we can safely dismiss the God-hewn conjectures of pride being essentially evil, since there is no evil in essence, and there almost certainly is no God .
Are there objective moral values?
In an article published by BeThinking.org titled “Can Moral Objectivism Do Without God?” Peter S. Williams notes:
The most discussed moral argument for God’s existence is currently the argument concerning the ontological basis for objective moral values:
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist
2. Objective moral values do exist
3. Therefore, God exists.
[ … ]
Francis J. Beckwith observes how “our experience indicates that moral obligation … is deeply connected to our obligations toward other persons.” I have moral obligations, but since I can’t be obligated by anything non-personal (e.g. the evolutionary history of my species), I must be obligated by something personal. Since there are objective moral obligations that transcend all finite persons (or groups thereof), there must therefore be a transcendent personal reality to whom we are most fundamentally obligated.
Laws are based upon objective moral values such as: murder is morally wrong and therefore must be punished. So too are the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. Each leads to breaking the moral values (laws) created by mankind over the millennia to prevent immoral values from becoming cultural norms.
Billions of people have faith and believe there is a monotheistic God. Jews, Christians and Muslims alike hold this faith and belief.
That virus, commonly known as HIV, is the defining pandemic of our time. More than 35 million people have been killed by the virus to date.
Seeing what is happening today there are new questions that the LGBTQ community must answer.
- Are gays proud of what they have done to the Catholic Church?
- Are gays proud of what they have done to the Boy Scouts?
- Are gays proud of what they have done to a baker who didn’t bake them a wedding cake?
- Are gays proud of the annual march in Boston dressed in revealing clothing and performing sexual acts in public, in front of children?
Given what has happened since 1969, the question: What are gays proud of?, is still relevant.
The LGBTQ community must regain its objective moral obligations to society.