You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Daniel Pillai’s He/She Project Growing up in a traditional south Asian community in Canada, Daniel Pillai didn’t quite fit in. “There was an inherent non-acceptance to who I was and how I acted,” he says. “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” Pillai spent his childhood in what he calls a “conservative atmosphere,” surrounded by […]
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LGBT Activists Battling Climate Change
Climate change may not be the first issue you think of when it comes to LGBT activism, but a growing segment of the LGBT community thinks it should be. In the past few years, several groups have emerged to focusing on the intersections between climate change and the LGBT community: in regions where climate change is expected to have the most dire impact, groups like Queers for Climate Change and LGBTI pour le Climat are exploring how environmental devastation will affect the rights and security of the LGBT community while establishing strategies to raise public awareness of the consequences of climate change, both within the LGBT community and beyond.
LGBT Activists Influencing Policy
Borrowing from the success of LGBT activists who took the fight to smaller groups and organizations when seeking federal attention proved futile, these groups have already begun to shift public perception and identify opportunities to tackle climate change, whether that means convincing universities to divest from fossil fuels or raising important questions at global events like the climate summit in Paris. Through these victories, activist groups are successfully shaping conversations around climate change to include the LGBT community and increasing public awareness of the connections between climate and global human rights.
LGBT Perceptions on Climate Change
The LGBT community has shown itself to be more engaged with climate change than most of the populace, with a majority responding that they were concerned about the future of the environment in a Harris Interactive poll. This same poll indicated that only a third of heterosexuals are similarly concerned. Each year, more and more members of the LGBT community describe themselves as “environmentally conscious,” and more than a third labeled themselves “environmentalists.” The survey also revealed that:
- Voting – Nearly half (45%) of LGBT Americans considered climate change and environmental issues when voting for elected officials.
- Purchasing – 48 percent of the LGBT community talked about the importance of environmental impact when it comes to their buying habits.
- Working – For a quarter of LGBT survey respondents, environmental concerns influenced their decisions when choosing a company to work for.
The LGBT community has become more and more concerned with environmental issues in the past decade, even as a American skepticism over climate change has increased. Considering that so many people are still in denial about the scientific studies of climate change and the environment, the growth of environmentalist LGBT groups underscores the importance of LGBT voices and perspectives in the ongoing debate.
The Environmental Crisis as a Human Rights Issue
For many members of the LGBT community, climate change isn’t just linked to health and the future of the planet: it’s a human rights issue, especially in areas where the LGBT community is already oppressed and disenfranchised. Some LGBT activists have compared the government’s inaction on climate change to the failure to deal with the AIDS crisis, while others have linked climate instability to the rise of regimes that oppress the LGBT community. By viewing climate change not just as an environmental issue, LGBT activist groups have already begun to shift the narrative when it comes to discussing and debating the crisis, utilizing a number of strategies to reach wider audiences:
- Global Demonstrations – Many pro-environmental LGBT groups participate in demonstrations against climate change, such as 2014’s People’s Climate March and the citywide “It’s a Kind of Magic” events occurring in Paris during 2015’s climate summit.
- Unique Strategies – One strategy that gained significant media attention was Queers for the Climate’s “Save the Straights,” a tongue-in-cheek campaign billed as the “LGBT community saving the heterosexuals from themselves and their CO2-emitting ways.”
- Affected Refugees – A growing number of groups have prioritized supporting political asylum for LGBT refugees fleeing areas affected by climate change, especially since these areas tend to have strict laws targeting LGBT citizens.
Many of the successes of LGBT pioneers came from showing the public that LGBT rights are human rights, and climate activists within the LGBT community are beginning to take a similar approach. While success is not going to happen overnight–another lesson from the continuing struggle for LGBT equality–years of incremental progress will soon yield results. Have you been involved in environmental activism? Share your story in the comment area below. …Be sure to sign up for our newsletter too! 🙂