This is in response to the article that ran under Mr. Elfers opinion, and the follow ups that appeared in the Reporter.
My main question to Mr. Eflers is related to why he felt strongly enough about the flower case to submit and post on that particular subject.
We adults have an important responsibility in this community to make sure our neighbors, ALL of our neighbors feel safe.
We live in a small town. It did not sound like Mr. Elfers is aware of the day to day concerns of our LGBT citizens.
Anyone can utilize Google on the increasing levels of harassment, assault, and suicide rates of this particular minority group.
In the LGBT population, more than 75 percent of people in a community setting reported suffering verbal harassment while one-in-seven reported physical attacks. Last year alone saw the highest number of hate crimes increase by 27 percent.
When called out for inconsistencies and untruths, Mr. Elfers’ response was to double down on his opinion by telling a sensationalized story. It never directly addressed the points laid out by the State Attorney General’s statement.
How does this behavior help unite a community? Like it or not, there are all kinds of people living here, and every single one is welcome. There’s room for all kinds of people. Maple Valley, Covington and Black Diamond are some of the best places to raise families, live, and enjoy what Washington has to offer.
How does this particular case affect Mr. Elfers’ personally?
I know how such sensationalized story telling affects young LGBT lives who are reading or perhaps may sit in Mr. Elfers’ classroom one day: It can not only ruin their self esteem, it can end some of their lives. It is not helpful to be so reckless with issues that can severely affect other people.
For many LGBT people, the bias is everywhere and lasts their lifetime: at home, school, work and in the community.
Eighty five percent of young LGBT people are verbally bullied during the course of a school year. This harassment can often turn violent with 40 percent reporting physical bullying, and 19 percent being physically assaulted at school. These experiences over time can be so intense that 30 percent of children miss school and go on to create an almost six fold increased risk for suicide attempts. Supportive educators can be a lifeline.
Again, how does this case/issue affect him enough to share his personal opinion about what he thinks could happen with the case? Not once, but twice. Who benefits from sharing such an opinion? Does Mr. Elfers take into consideration how his opinion topics affect the people who live around him?
I’d like to understand why one would invest time writing and posting an opinion on that topic in a public forum. It can just as easily be shared in the comments section somewhere people are looking for discussion.
Not to be terribly negative, he did write a beautiful story. However, it’s core points were lies. It’s disappointing he could not even address one piece of false information that was laid out so clearly. Where is the discussion? The overall message received from Mr. Elfers’ opinion says to everyone reading, minors included, is that it is OK to exclude a minority group.
P.S. God loves everyone, not just a select few of you. It is highly doubtful that Jesus would have excluded anyone from his circle. (If that’s your thing.)