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What atheists can learn from the gay rights movement

By Herb Silverman

April 3, 2013

I’m not gay. But I am jealous. How did homosexuality shift in public opinion from less respectable than atheism to more? And what can the atheist movement learn from the LGBT movement?

The psychiatric community considered homosexuality a mental disorder until 1974, and it wasn’t until 2003 that the U. S. Supreme Court declared sodomy laws (same-sex sexual activity) unconstitutional. When the public is polled about a willingness to vote for a well-qualified person for president who happens to be gay or atheist, gays are now ranked ahead of atheists.

The most obvious and effective lesson atheists are learning from gays (including all LGBTs) is to come out of the closet. Attitudes toward gays changed rapidly when people learned that their friends, neighbors, and even family members were gay. Attitudes about atheists are slowly changing as atheists are slowly coming out.

Read the rest if this Washington Post On Faith article here.

Herb SilvermanHerb Silverman is founder and President Emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America, AHA board member, and author of Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt.