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EDITORIAL: A thank you to the out and proud


LGBTQ culture at CMU makes for a more vibrant community


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At Central Michigan University, respect is one of the many keys to our collective success.

Respecting people from all occupations, religions, nationalities, sexual preference and gender is what makes campus life at CMU a vibrant experience.

In this edition of Central Michigan Life, we celebrate the university's LGBTQ community. Their culture is our culture.

October is LGBTQ History Month. It’s a time to reflect on the struggles of the gay, lesbian, trans and bisexual people who have fought for acceptance and equal rights.

Today, we say thank you.

Thank you for coming out and sharing your experiences. You are a beacon of hope for those who might be confused, stuck or frightened to show their friends, families and coworkers who they are.

To those still in the closet -- your sexuality is valid. You’re important members of the LGBTQ community.

We also recognize people with different gender classifications – Americans who have earned the right in this country to call themselves whatever they please.

He, she, they – each person deserves the dignity to live and work and love without scorn or reprisal. It is a central principle of our society, hinging on the doctrines of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of legal marriage for LGBTQ people. It was a landmark for all of us living in a civil society.

Still, there are some factions who wish to reverse the advances of LGBTQ activists working toward a better way of life.

Some states have passed or attempted to pass religious freedom laws that specifically target LGBTQ consumers. They permit businesses with religious objections to being gay, lesbian or trans to block LGBTQ folk from access to basic goods and services.

Bathroom laws targeting trans people in various stages of transitioning do the same.

They conjure up the specter of discrimination laws in the Jim Crow-era south, when black men and women endured beatings and dog bites for sitting at a lunch counter.

We must never allow our country to scroll backwards into the darkest chapters of American history. We call on every state – including Michigan – to halt further attempts at passing new versions of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or the North Carolina Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.

These laws are not just anti-LGBTQ – they are anti-American. 

Most importantly, they prevent LGBTQ citizens from contributing their talents and ingenuity at a time when we need them most.

Placing limits on people different than ourselves runs counter to the tenets of our hard-fought democracy.

No matter what you choose to call yourself. No matter who you choose to love. Our Founding Fathers built America for all those who love freedom.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, that includes you, too.

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About Ben Solis

Ben Solis is the Managing Editor of Central Michigan Life. He has served as a city and university ...

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