Pride Month continues to fight persistent homophobia

Sarah Simon, Associate Views Editor

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This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

For the LGBT community, 2015 has been a revolutionary year. Barack Obama talked about transgender rights during January’s State of the Union. Oregon appointed a bisexual governor in February. An unprecedented Supreme Court decision late in June legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Caitlyn Jenner debuted her post-operation self on Vanity Fair in July. With all this progress, it is disappointing and disgraceful that government officials, most notably Kim Davis of Kentucky, have used their positions to antagonize LGBT persons and reject their lawful duty to protect the civil rights of the LGBT community.

As county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, Davis was appointed to her post. She was not an elected official, but she is still responsible, as a government agent, for representing her community.

Some members of her Rowan County community include same-sex couples. As of June, these same-sex couples are legally permitted to get married nationwide. Therefore, as county clerk, Davis must follow federal law. Using an argument of religious freedom to deny licenses is not acceptable. This type of freedom exists on an individual level and cannot be imposed by government. Separation of church and state doesn’t work that way. It’s atrocious that arguments in her favor are even being made. Davis is not doing her job, plain and simple.

This case is even more complex than it seems. Davis was brought into custody in September on charges of contempt of court. She was released five days later. Her office did not charge her with misconduct, despite the overwhelming evidence that she had not been conducting herself as she should have.

This month, Tulane is celebrating LGBT Pride Month. The Office of Multicultural Affairs is hosting multiple celebrations. Because same-sex marriage is generally more applicable to an older crowd than the undergraduate LGBT community at Tulane, Davis’ homophobic actions affect us in one way: Davis has made it clear that there are areas in this country where identifying as LGBT is still not okay.

Everyone deserves to have a place that feels like home. At Tulane, having events like LGBT Pride Month help combat bias and homophobia. It reminds students that this is their home and they are among a strong community. Though Pride Month is national, the national atmosphere has figures like Kim Davis threatening the liberty of the LGBT community. While homophobia does exist on campus, in general, Tulane is doing something right; it is time for the world to catch up.