For some reason, some atheists write to me expecting that I will agree 100% with their atheism uber alles views, and that in particular, my knee will jerk and that I will oppose anything American Atheists tries to do. But that isn’t true! In the past, AA has pissed me off — especially in the David Silverman era — but there are other things where I see AA supporting a progressive agenda, and I support them totally.
By ensuring protections for LGBTQ people under national civil rights laws, the Equality Act would strengthen protections for everyone. For example, the bill expands the meaning of “public accommodations” to include retail stores; transportation services like airports, taxis, and bus stations; and service providers like accountants.
The Equality Act would also protect youth in child welfare services by preventing state-funded religious foster care and adoption agencies from discriminating against LGBTQ people. Currently, 11 states have laws on the books that allow discrimination in adoption and foster care on the basis of religion, and other states are considering this issue.
Stop more states from adopting discriminatory legislation in the name of religion! Support the Equality Act!
Well, yes, obviously. Supporting civil rights and strengthening protections for everyone is a good and righteous position for an atheist organization to take.
But would you believe I get email complaining about AA’s position?
The membership of AA is becoming increasingly
alarmed re Alison Gill’s role and activities in AA
which openly favor the LGBTQ cause.
We members feel this is a dereliction of duty
toward the Atheist cause, which, as a paid
employee of AA, Alison Gill is obligated to
support and promote solely and primarily.
Please note that this person does not speak for the “membership of AA”, or for even just the “AA Life Members”, as the letter is signed (I happen to be an AA Life Member), or particularly for me. Supporting the LGBTQ cause should be a natural for atheists, since this strengthens protections for everyone.
But that isn’t even the worst complaint.
What has the LGBT community done to support the rights of Atheists? Not a damn thing. When the Boy Scouts ended its ban on Gays but continued its ban on Atheists, did Gays stand behind Atheists and protest the continued bias against them by the BSA? No, of course not, although the LGBT people have demanded the support of Atheist and Humanist groups for their own narrow interests.
What the fuck…? Whatever happened to the golden rule, and doing things because they’re right, not because we expect immediate reciprocation? This is not a transaction. Civil rights are not something you fight for for one group, but not another.
I don’t even know why they’re complaining at me, I have zero influence with any atheist organization, and if I did, I’d be telling Alison Gill and American Atheists to keep it up and do more.