SMC Pride Week hosts panel on LGBTQ issues
Samantha Castaneda | Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The Saint Mary’s group Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) hosted a panel of professors to address LGBTQ current event policies and social justice issues as part of Pride Week on Tuesday in the College’s Student Center.
Professor of history Patrick Pierce, professor of religious studies Stacy Davis and professor of psychology Catherine Pittman, discussed the difficulties the LGBTQ community may face and how there may be a variety of interpretations of issues and policies.
Davis began the panel by presenting how some areas of the Bible are viewed based on the way individuals view the LGBTQ community.
“There is no concept in the ancient world of sexual orientation,” Davis said.
Davis interpreted different areas of biblical texts which are used to shape an opinion on sexual orientation, stating that the culmination of views is often “more based on tradition, not scripture.”
Pierce then addressed how geographic religious views and generational gap differences can have an impact on policies of the LGBTQ community.
Pierce noted how states have a variety of religious make-ups, including Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, and because of this, there are restrictive policies that are shaped around strict moral beliefs.
“Legislatures at the state level are disproportionally white and … much more likely to be [composed of] males, which means that it is difficult to make the [LGBTQ] policies push forward,” Pierce said.
Pierce finished by presenting how different tools, such as emotional responses, frame the LGBTQ issues by using symbols the community identifies with.
“That matter of framing is really crucial, because if you can get control over the frame by which the issue is discussed, you can control the outcome,” Pierce said.
Pittman concluded the presentation by pointing out the difficulties and circumstances of coming out for members of the LGBTQ community.
Pittman explained how family could be a major influence on one’s decision to reveal their sexuality, as some families may struggle accepting transgender issues.