While visiting my parents in Louisiana during winter break, I went to my parent’s church. Somewhat unexpectedly, the pastor began to talk about queer people.
She told us that in January there would be a conference held at the church challenging homophobia in Christian communities. She mentioned that the rally would take place the same weekend as a protest against a “horrible event” at Louisiana State University. I was shocked.
On Saturday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal hosted the American Family Association at a rally called “The Response.” The massive prayer rally was held at LSU’s football stadium. It’s been speculated that Jindal’s going to run for president. Photo ops with the AFA could be part of that effort.
But my pastor’s attitude gave me hope. I had ignorantly assumed that southern churches weren’t taking action on inclusivity for queer people, and I’d assumed that there weren’t mass progressive protests in Louisiana. I thought I was doing a good job of staying in touch with other southern activists, but I was wrong.
The AFA is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. The group, of course, denies this label. But they blame homosexuality for Adolf Hitler and hurricanes, so I’m going to go with the SPLC on this one. Jindal’s presence was a slap in the face to the intelligence of Louisiana voters.