By Eric Novak, Columnist

Just recently, I had the displeasure of reading an article about an Indiana school’s efforts to introduce a ban on LGBTQ students going to the school’s prom.
This absurd notion has been pushed forward by a group of Christian parents, preachers and teachers in the community. As usual, their reason for doing so is that the Bible has explicitly instructed them that the lifestyle of LGBTQ individuals is one to be condemned.
One special education teacher even went as far to say that homosexuals have “no purpose in life.” She was under the belief that they have a choice in their lifestyle and could simply “quit” being gay whenever they pleased.
Through this recent development and past opposition towards the LGBTQ crowd in society, I have come to the conclusion that the movement for equal rights among all sexual preferences is a contemporary civil rights movement.
Think about it – up until the mid-1900s, racism towards African Americans was widespread. After all of that violence, racism still exists everywhere, but it is not as out in the open. People aren’t allowed to make racial remarks on television, speeches and in other mediums or else they would likely get fired.
Back in the day, racist comments were made in everyday speech with a passing matter-of-factness that horrifies non-racist generations today.
My point is that this passing matter-of-fact tone is now employed by homophobic people.
They are allowed to say these hateful things out in the open, and it is not much different from the way we used to treat African Americans during the civil rights movement.
They attempt to justify these hateful feelings by referring to some twistedly misinterpreted Bible verse that somehow condemns LGBTQs simply because of their lifestyle.
The truth is that the Bible never condones any form of hatred, but like all well-meaning material, it can be misinterpreted.
Jim Davis, a local Christian in opposition to segregated proms, said it rather well: “Love them as a person. You don’t have to love what they do, because the gays may not love all the mistakes you make.”
Davis raises a good point. We don’t need to approve of the LGBTQ lifestyle. If you are that offended by a LGBTQ relationship, that is your prerogative, but it does not make it okay for you to try to take away the rights and liberties that these people have equal cause to enjoy.
Nobody said that we had to approve of what everybody does in their personal lives, but they are breaking no laws, nor are they doing anything morally or socially wrong.
To hate them and spread this message of hate, especially in a school, is wrong. It is simply an ignorant view on a group of people who have as much right to happiness as you or anyone else.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
As a society, we need to push back these blinds of ignorance that we have imposed upon ourselves and remember that everyone is truly created equal – no exceptions.