Challenging Alberta's Religious Privilege
lgbtq2sl+ rights are secular rights.
Even with the tremendous progress made toward equality for LGBTQ Albertans in recent years, there are still many who try to use religion to justify discrimination.
Employment and health care are two critical areas in which LGBTQ people regularly face discrimination in the name of religion.
*Please note, we are a brand new community and many of our supporting positions are yet to be completed and posted. Please be patient. Thank you :)
OUR COMMITMENT TO THE LGBTQ2S+ COMMUNITY
As a Secular Humanist Organization, we actively support the pursuit of equal rights for individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. All members of the LGBTQ2S+ community do not expect to be tolerated but embraced in the same way persons of a different race, color, age or gender would be, and be able to marry, adopt children and live free from intimidation, hate speech and violence.
We have supported moves to include gender identity and expression as a protected ground in federal and provincial human rights legislation and have spoken out against so-called “conversion therapy” and support efforts to ban the practice.
Our Executive Director Jonathan Parks, gave a live statement to the members of Calgary City Council on behalf of Secular Humanists of Calgary in support of a full ban on Conversion Therapy. Wednesday, May 14th, 2020 9:45pm
In the USA, the American Humanist Association has been involved in numerous court cases where the religious right sought to trample the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans. Taking another step, AHA’s leadership has proactively disclosed their third-person pronouns for several years. As they wrote:
"When someone is referred to by the wrong pronoun, it can make the person feel disrespected and alienated. Proactive pronoun disclosure is one way humanists can live the progressive, inclusive, and affirming values to which we aspire."
Such a position is entirely consistent with Humanist values.
From the Amsterdam Declaration,
"[Humanism] affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations."
or the American Humanists’ Humanist Manifesto III:
"We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity.
“Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity, and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others.”
– Amsterdam Declaration 2002
Over 2500 biologists, geneticists, psychologists, anthropologists, physicians, neuroscientists, social scientists, biochemists, mental health service providers and other scientists, including nine Nobel laureates, signed a statement in October 2018 that said:
“The relationship between sex chromosomes, genitalia, and gender identity is complex, and not fully understood. There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex. Furthermore, even if such tests existed, it would be unconscionable to use the pretext of science to enact policies that overrule the lived experience of people’s own gender identities.”
As Humanists in an evolving society, we recognize that defining gender along a strict binary is anti-scientific and no longer encompasses the diversity of expression and understanding of our society.
We as Humanists hold that society has a duty to provide basic, safe necessities that are equally inclusive and welcoming to all members of our community. Bathrooms that enforce outdated modalities can be a source of acute anxiety and place vulnerable, marginalized people in danger. Bathrooms located in public facilities and businesses should be designated as gender-neutral. Gender-neutral bathrooms provide safe, inclusive facilities for all.
“When someone is referred to by the wrong pronoun, it can make the person feel disrespected and alienated. Proactive pronoun disclosure is one way Humanists can live the progressive, inclusive, and affirming values to which we aspire.”
The use of gender-neutral and neo-pronouns is inclusive, respectful to those marginalized, and consistent with our philosophy of progressive community engagement. Leadership and volunteers are encouraged to disclose their third-person pronouns on the website, in their email signature, and when introducing themselves so that people who communicate with or talk about them can use pronouns that accurately describe them. This helps normalize the practice. We encourage people who engage with us to do the same.