Hypocrisy of "pro-lifers" who are anti-LGBTQ

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and a freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.    

The prefix “pro-“ means to support a cause. The noun “life” is defined as an organism composed of cells that can grow, learn and respond to stimuli preceding death. It stands to reason that a pro-lifer would be a radical proponent that from cell development until death—everyone—is supported. Everyone!

Many right-wing evangelicals and conservative Catholics boast of being pro-life. MAGA Republican die-hards fondly recall a January 2020 March for Life rally, where then President Donald Trump thanked participants for “making America the pro-family, pro-life nation.”

Simply stated, you cannot be pro-life unless you also support the 7.2 percent of babies who grow up to be LGBTQIA and—by the way—are living under the same canopy of heaven and with God’s divine grace.

LGBTQIA is an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic/agender. According to a Gallup poll published in February, about one out of every thirteen people you meet may identify as something other than heterosexual.

Some medical research indicates that 1.7 percent of human births are intersex (depending on how one defines that term), whereby characteristics "do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies." In many cases, intersex people cannot be classified as having female (XX chromosomes) or male (XY chromosomes). Affected people may not be aware of the intersex anatomy until puberty.

According to Gallup, the LGBTQIA population in the U.S. breaks down as follows: 20.8 percent of Gen Z (age 20-26), 10.5 percent of Millennials (age 27-42), 4.2 percent of Gen X (age 43-58), 2.6 percent of Baby Boomers (age 59-77) and 0.8 percent of Traditionalists (78 and older).

A 2022 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 79 percent of U.S. adults "favor laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing."

Deniers of the LGBTQIA population may not understand the repercussions of their “anti-“ stance (if they do know, shame on them). According to a 2022 survey by the Trevor Project, 45 percent of LGBTQ youth "seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth." In addition, 93 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth "said they've worried about transgender people being denied access to gender-affirming medical care due to state or local laws." (Iowa was among the Republican-controlled states that enacted such laws this year.)

Research conducted by Child Trends and published in 2021 revealed a statistically significant increase in mental health Crisis Text Lines when anti-LGBTQIA legislation bills are introduced. LGBTQIA teens are five times more likely to make an attempt on their life than their straight peers. After Trump sought to ban transgender people from serving in the military, suicide attempts by trans teens increased.

Negative actions and attitudes against LGBTQIA teenagers can have serious, life-altering consequences.

This data should be a wake-up call for self-styled pro-lifers, if they value life and want to prevent suicide and mental health issues.

In 2018, the Trump administration was working on a new interpretation of the federal policy known as Title IX, which "would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with.” Such a policy denies the existence of transgender and intersex people and contradicts the stance of mainstream medical organizations, and is a clear violation of human rights. Do pro-lifers value human rights?

Conservative organizations behind the anti-LGBTQIA legislation that’s been introduced in at least 42 states include the legal powerhouse Alliance Defending Freedom, the think tank Heritage Foundation, and the Christian nationalist (who despise all other religions and are anti-Semitic) lobby group Family Policy Alliance.

When the large majority who support equal rights witness evangelical parishioners and houses of worship tout anti-LGBTQIA beliefs, might this be one reason behind the decline of religious affiliation and church attendance?

Mayors, city council and school board members plus county, state and federal elected officials took an oath of office to represent all citizens. Those who are anti-LGBTQIA have betrayed the public’s trust and society’s soul. We the People—as per the Constitution—should do our utmost to rid prejudice-laden politicians from office, unless they can represent 100 percent of their constituents.

Self-styled "pro-life" people who are anti-LGBTQIA should seriously reflect on what South African President Nelson Mandela—who devoted his life to the service of humanity—once said: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

Top image: Photo by Progress Iowa, taken outside Iowa's state capitol at a March 5 rally in support of LGBTQ rights, published with permission.

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