June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and Christian nationalist groups are already gearing up for it with hate-mongering and whining.
First out of the box is the American Family Association (AFA), a Mississippi-based band of theocrats whose front group One Million Moms is clutching pearls over a new LGBTQ-themed set of Legos.
“It’s apparent that even toy manufacturers are attempting to indoctrinate children by exposing them to the LGBTQ lifestyle,” carped Monica Cole, director of One Million Moms. “Why can’t LEGO let kids be kids instead of glamorizing a sinful lifestyle? LEGO is confusing our innocent children by attempting to normalize this lifestyle choice, which is not only irresponsible but also dangerous to the well-being of our children. Toy manufacturers need to remain neutral and should avoid aiming to please a small percentage of customers while pushing away conservative customers.”
Let’s unpack this a bit. Cole, One Million Moms and AFA love to claim that they just want companies like LEGO to be “neutral” on questions related to LGBTQ rights. Of course, their own language is anything but. They accuse LGBTQ people of seeking to “normalize” their “lifestyle,” which Cole calls “sinful” and even “dangerous.” This is the same plain, old-fashioned hate we’ve been hearing from these groups for decades. They’re only asking for neutrality because they know they can’t get hostility.
Secondly, when it comes to human rights, people having basic dignity and folks being able to live their lives as who they are, neutrality is not the appropriate stance. To be silent while someone else’s rights are being violated, to remain neutral while others are being treated like second-class citizens, is to be complicit. More and more companies are realizing that. (And, of course, they know there’s money to be made in marketing to the LGBTQ community and that being anti-LGBTQ is bad for the bottom line.)
Furthermore, LEGO isn’t even marketing this product toward kids. The box of the “Everyone Is Awesome” set says it’s recommended for 18+. But even if the company were, no one would have to buy these bricks. It’s amusing to see AFA, which worships the free market in so many other contexts, ignore consumer choices here and cry for cancel culture.
What’s really bothering AFA and One Million Moms (a group, by the way, that has only about 100,000 followers on Facebook and a mere 4,155 on Twitter) is that they’ve lost this particular culture war. A poll released by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) earlier this year found support for LGBTQ rights hitting an all-time high.
Furthermore, PRRI reported, extreme anti-LGBTQ views are embraced by a shrinking percentage of the population.
“A slim minority of Americans (7%) hold consistently unfavorable views toward LBGTQ policies, including opposition to same-sex marriage and non-discrimination laws and support for allowing businesses to refuse to serve gay and lesbian people if it is against their religious beliefs,” PRRI noted. “These Americans are older, more likely to be Republican and hold favorable views of former president Donald Trump, and much more likely to be white and white Christian than the general American population and those who are in favor of pro-LGBTQ policies.”
I’m sure it’s difficult for AFA and its much fewer than one million moms to see Americans reject the hate they proffer – but attacking a box of colorful plastic bricks isn’t going to ease their pain.
P.S. Whatever you do, don’t tell One Million Moms about this new cereal!