Letter: Bennett’s claim is not legitimate

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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Our state representative, Peggy Bennett, twisted logic in equating her desire to reinstate legal religious discrimination against LGBTQ people with the anti-slavery cause and MLK’s fight for civil rights.

Abolitionists and Martin Luther King Jr. worked to break down oppressive systems and expand human rights. Peggy Bennett seeks to reestablish the status quo and protect discrimination against a marginalized group.

Yes, people in “select southern churches” believed that white supremacy was God’s intended power structure. Bennett attempts to draw a line that racial discrimination — as opposed to LGBTQ discrimination — should be illegal, yet white supremacy was among “sincerely held religious beliefs” too, just like the anti-LGBTQ discrimination she is defending now.

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Discrimination against LGBTQ people is rooted in the “sincerely held religious belief” that women should be subservient to men, and that men should have headship over women. LGBTQ people do not fit this rigid hierarchy, and that is why many religious institutions treat them as an existential threat.

Civil rights, gay rights and trans rights are all human rights. Rep. Bennett’s claim to be an heir to the causes of abolition and civil rights with her anti-LGBTQ stance is not legitimate.

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson
Albert Lea