I have chosen to look into the article “Doctor refuses treatment of same-sex couple’s baby”. In this article, due to a doctors religious beliefs, the doctor defers treatment of a baby that was born to a same-sex couple. It’s extremely difficult, especially in today’s North American society where everyone comes from different background and upbringings, to be “different” from what society has deemed normal. This family’s structure, two mothers and a child, is not what our heteronormative society is used to. The struggles this family faces in the doctor’s office are very specific though. They were struggling against religious beliefs. This situation brings to light the systemic issues of religion based sexism. Is it okay to be homophobic if your religion says you have to be? Is it okay to deny service to someone based on your religious views? I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs but as a service worker, I don’t think those views or beliefs should stop you from providing your service.
It can be said that oftentimes people will use their beliefs as a shield for their sexism. We see this specifically in this situation where the doctor says “After much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients” (http://ww.myfoxdetroit.com, 1). She doesn’t comment on the fact that she in inherently being homophobic because to her it isn’t her choice, her religion says she should be homophobic. This type of sexism is much different from any other that is simply developed through social constructions. By this I mean it isn’t something that you see as a child growing up and eventually just naturally come to terms with. This sexism is purposefully taught and engrained in people and is extremely harmful to our society. Everywhere that we see discrimination against any non-heterosexually oriented people, there will almost always be a religiously charged input as part of the mix.
This type of religious sexism, refusing to provide service based on sexuality, plays itself many times.
We can see in this video Chris Thompson address the situation of teen, Austin Wallis, being asked to leave his private, religious school if he is going to continue to be openly gay or “go back in the closet” if he would like to continuing attending school there. It is the religious thought process that to be queer is a choice that makes these issues arise so often. Thompson reads a quote from the school essentially outlining that due to the schools “Biblically bases and Christ-like lifestyle” if a student doesn’t uphold those characteristics, they are subject to expulsion. Because the school is private and receives no funding from the federal government they can actually do this lawfully. It’s disheartening and sad to know that this kind of thing is happening all over the world.
The argument about whether or not to be queer is a choice or not I feel is one that has been going on for ages. As someone who personally identifies as bisexual, I can’t remember a time when I suddenly decided I wanted to be queer. I am also someone who identifies as a Christian, making my religion and my sexuality a conflicting intersection. I have found that there are places in the Bible where it is arguable to say that because all sins are equal in Gods eyes that being queer is simply another one of millions of sins that religious people commit and it is not something to oppress others over. This is all personal opinion where research will go back and forth saying the Bible is for and then against being queer. This creates difficulty and confusion for religious people who look to be accepting but are extremely conflicted by the answers they get as religion and the Bible are often taught based on certain interpretations.
Based on everything I’ve looked into on this subject, it is a sad reality that people will be discriminated against and not receive service due to the fact that they, not by choice, happen to love someone that identifies as the same sex. I still personally believe that if another person’s sexual orientation does not directly affect you or the service you need to provide, you should not be stopped from providing said service. Religion, often interpreted in different ways, will always have an interpretation that prevents people from being fully accepting of the differences of human beings. I think it is only but a dream to one day have a completely accepting society.
- Staff, MyFOXDetroit.com. “Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby.”MyFOXDetroit.com 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/28142401/doctor-refuses-treatment-of-same-sex-couples-baby>.
- SupDaily06. “Gay Teen expelled for being Gay”. Youtube. Youtube, 16 February 2015. Web. 9 March 2015.