By Tim Peacock
Apparently we LGBT civil rights activists can pack it up and go home. According to Breitbart's Ben Shapiro, anti-gay discrimination isn't a problem in America. Speaking to Fusion TV's Jorge Ramos on Monday, Shapiro made the argument that gay and lesbian people are no more discriminated against than any other group. He said in part:
"I would say there is a vastly minute amount of discrimination against gays in this country. The FBI statistics show there are about the same number of attacks on Jews in this country as there are homosexuals. This is not a country that discriminates against Jews and homosexuals. When we do find somebody who discriminates against homosexuals, they should be called out by every person of good-hearted intent as they are in the United States 2014. This is not 1952."
Perhaps someone should tell Shapiro that multiple states (as well as the U.S. House) have pending legislation specifically drafted to discriminate against LGBT couples. Or that LGBT couples still cannot legally/civilly marry in 33 states. Or that you can legally be fired for being gay in 29 states. There's also that part where LGBT people still have to fight for even the most basic of amenities such as housing, public accommodation in private market operated businesses, and health care access (particularly when visiting a loved one of the same sex in a hospital - which we've written about frequently here in case you haven't been paying attention). Perhaps Shapiro could explain why all of those things make LGBT discrimination so "minute."
Media Matters' Luke Brinker additionally added in breaking down Shapiro's ridiculous statements:
"And gay people continue to be one of the groups most targeted by hate-motivated violence in America. Even locales seen as bastions of acceptance aren't free of danger. Anti-LGBT hate crimes skyrocketed in New York City in 2013, prompting renewed focus on the need to combat anti-LGBT harassment and violence.
Alas, Shapiro's employer prefers to cheer on - rather than call out - purveyors of anti-LGBT hate and discrimination. Shapiro has joined Breitbart colleague Austin Ruse in promoting Matthew Shepard Trutherism; while Shapiro appeared uninterested in the facts surrounding Shepard's murder, he saw the publication of a shoddily reported book claiming it wasn't a hate crime as a convenient means of undermining the LGBT movement's "broader agenda." Meanwhile, Breitbart has applauded Russia's draconian crackdown on LGBT people, praising President Vladimir Putin for supporting "traditional values" and calling far-right organizations that support the country's anti-gay "propaganda" law 'human rights groups.'"
Feel free to (politely) let Ben Shapiro know how you feel about his statements by sending him a message on Twitter. Especially if you've experienced or witnessed any form of LGBT-discrimination. Only by talking with and educating those who espouse such inaccurate, backward opinions can we begin to eradicate ignorance - particularly as it relates to LGBT equality.
Video of Shapiro's statements courtesy of Truth Revolt: