By Bjorn Watland
The end of June marks the start of our attendance at GLBT Pride Festivals around the state. First, we attend the Twin Cities Pride Festival and Parade, then Rochester, LaCrosse, Duluth, and Mankato. Some atheists are puzzled. Of all the summer festivals, why do we go to so many GBLT Pride Festivals? Our attendance at GLBT Fesivals has become a tradition, largely due to the efforts of founding member August Berkshire. We continue this tradition for several reasons.
First, GLBT Pride events have been very welcoming. If people, no matter their sexual orientation, are gathered together to support an oppressed minority, I think that people are more aware of how to treat everyone fairly. There are also plenty of GLBT atheists out there who are so exicted to see our organization supporting their rights, both as an atheist and as a GLBT person.
Second, I think that the GLBT community and the atheist community have similarities. We are both hated by different religious groups. We both seek respect and understanding. We both can have difficulty with family who don’t agree with our identies. We seek social justice and advocate for the rights of a minority. Members of the GLBT community are also strong supporters of the separation of church and state and we can use all of the allies we can in that fight.
Lastly, GLBT Festivals are inexpensive to attend and a great way to put our money where our mouth is with regard to supporting equality for all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation.
I thank you for supporting Minnesota Atheists and our effort to educate the public about atheism.