Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual Rights and Social Media Warfare
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (LGBT) rights represent another special interest that does not have one central leading organization but rather several national-level organizations and state and local level counterparts. Social media warfare has played a major role in overcoming the social customs that for so long supported the oppression of LGBT citizens in the United States and many other countries in the world. The struggle is not over as there are still many countries that oppress LGBT citizens.
The pathway to equal LGBT rights in the United States and most countries in the world has been long and laden with violence against LGBT people as well as institutionalized discrimination and oppression of LGBT citizens. The Supreme Court of the United States made major decisions in 2013 that furthered equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. In one case, the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996. At that time, some states recognized same-sex marriage, but others did not. Under DOMA, even if a same-sex couple was married in a state that allowed such unions, the couple could not receive federal marriage benefits, including tax benefits, or be recognized as married by the U.S. federal government. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA violated the Constitution because it denied equal protection under the law to same-sex couples. Since that landmark ruling, U.S. federal courts have overturned the remaining state laws prohibited same-sex marriage.
Accepting attitudes toward homosexuality and gender expression have grown slowly over decades. The police raid of the Stonewall Inn, in New York City in June of 1969 and the riots that followed were a turning point in the drive for LGBT rights. Hundreds of protesters rose up, inspiring activist groups to form. The Stonewall riots are commemorated with gay pride parades in many cities around the world in June of each year. Much has happened during the last decade to improve LGBT rights:
- ? Ending the “don’ t ask don’ t tell” policy toward LGBT members of the armed forces of the United States
- ? Improved hate crime prosecution and protection for all citizens in the United States
- ? Expanded healthcare access for LGBT citizens
- ? Ensuring equality for LGBT U.S. federal government employees and those who are employed by government contractors
- ? Efforts to prevent bullying of LGBT students
- ? Efforts to end workplace discrimination
However, getting this far in improving the legal rights and legal protections of LGBT citizens was not easy, and it is not yet over. Resistance to the expansion of LGBT rights came from two major sources. First, were the religious organizations; second were the plain, old, homophobic, fascist conservatives. Religious objections were based on an interpretation of the Christian Bible or similar doctrine of other religions. Religious objectors have stated that homosexuality is against their god, and they continue to condemn LGBT citizens. Religious objectors and homophobes have perpetuated many false stereotypes and lies about LGBT people.
Conservative politicians still promise their supporters that they will work to end equal marriage rights and other rights that the LGBT community has worked so hard to gain. Religious leaders have also not given up, and the still preach discrimination against and exclusion of LGBT citizens. Corporations on the other hand, are ready to leave this debate behind and move into the future because so many of their employees and customers are LGBT.
Churches, religious leaders, conservative politicians, homophobic people, and anti-human rights organizations have worked in concert for decades to battle expanded LGBT rights. Although they currently make less noise, they are fully prepared to resume the fight. Anti-LGBT forces and their ground troops have worked in unison, with a consistent message and consistent animosity toward LGBT people. Even though the Catholic Church was found to have numerous pedophiles in its ranks, much of the organization still denies LGBT rights and continues to discriminate. Anti-LGBT activists have used about every social media tactic they could muster to stop the advancement of LGBT rights:
- ? Self-validation, influencing aligned entities, and reinforcing alliance partners is the mainstay of conservative anti-LGBT special interest groups’ social media warfare tactics; they constantly reiterate their doctrine of homosexuality being against god.
- ? Recruitment and indoctrination are also tools used by the conservative, anti- LGBT special interest groups; they help to bring in people who are uncertain about what to believe about homosexuality.
- ? Persuasion and relationship building tactics have also aided conservative, anti-LGBT special interest groups, as they worked to get anti-LGBT legislation passed in Congress and at the state level. Much of the discriminatory legislation has been overturned.
- ? Deception, divisiveness, and confusion are favorite social media warfare tactics of conservative, anti-LGBT special interest groups; they have spread volumes of false and misleading information about LGBT people, which helped to create panic and confusion among the populace.
Pro-LGBT rhetoric can be found in many social media posts. These types of posts can be found in many places on the Internet. An informal survey of social media posts conducted on September 2, 2016, clearly shows that some attitudes have changed while others remain steadfastly the same. The essence of these social media posts is revealed in the following:
- ? Anti-LGBT pastor charged with child molestation, go figure!
- ? Don’t forget the U.S. has a presidential candidate running on an anti-LGBT platform
- ? Double murder is likely anti-LGBT hate crime in Missouri
- ? Let’s close anti-LGBT hate churches
- ? No points for those celebrating the civil rights movement while pushing anti-LGBT
- ? Time to stop legalizing Anti-LGBT discrimination