The biggest personal problem that have with religious views on LGBTQ people is when it interferes with me doing my job in healthcare.
In Florida, one hospital bed in six (and some estimates claim one hospital bed in four) is in a religious hospital, and this creates no end of problems. Part of why I stopped working in EMS was because of religious issues with homosexuality.
As an example: I was a field training officer, which meant that I proctored new paramedics on the road before cutting them loose to work. Our medical director taught at a local university, which meant that we sometimes got osteopath students and nursing students whom were taking elective courses in emergency medicine.
One day, I had an RN assigned to me who was working on an advance-practice nurse practitioner credential. He had seven years worth of experience working in a pediatric intensive care unit, and he was phenomenal. Even though he was the student, I learned more from him than he did from me, and all the ER doctors knew him personally and were on a first name basis with him.
Well . . . I get a call for a very, very sick kid who was being treated for a form of pediatric leukemia with aggressive chemotherapy, and this kid was having a diabetic emergency at the same time.
My gut instinct (which I know is unscientifc, but I listen to it anyway) told me I was missing something, so I put my student in charge and delegated myself as his resource person.
He performed magnificently, and saved this kid’s life by working aggressively and quickly with a skill that bordered on the supernatural.
Here’s where I get to the point: He was very effeminate in a way that would cause most people to assume that he’s gay within ten seconds of meeting him (and yes . . . he’s gayer than Liberace, Paul Lynde, and Ru Paul combined).
The parents were deeply religious, and were incensed that I exposed their son to “homosexualist influences” during a “delicate stage in his masculine development,” so–if their son turns gay–it will be my fault. “Nobody is ever born gay, because God doesn’t make mistakes,” which is why gay people have to recruit.
And–since gay people are almost all pedophiles–“how would you feel if someone had a child molestor handling your sick kid?”
They drafted a letter of complaint, and had their whole congregation and pastor sign off on it, and sent copies to their Congressman, the Division of EMS Licensure, and–of course–my employer. The congregation contacted the local hospital (run by a Baptist organization), and the hospital threatened to pull their transportation contracts if the situation wasn’t fixed.
Part of the reasoning behind the disciplinary process that I was suspended for was because if I wouldn’t force a blood transfusion on a Jehova’s Witness, then why would I have a gay man take care of a child from a religious family? The ends don’t justify the means. I was referred to this book:
I will confess that I created a part of this problem, as I got tunnel vision. The kid was on death’s doorstep, and it never occurred to me to use anything less than every resource at my disposal . . . which included my gay student.