Comparative Analysis: A Religious Oppression Perception Affecting LGBT Community
Your task is to present a proposal on comparative analysis of cross-cultural conflicts considering the topic of your choice.
Comparative Analysis- A Proposal
Religious antagonism has played a crucial and inevitable role in giving rise to cross-cultural conflict. It is considered that religion is one of the most powerful and perennial elements of cultural values and norms because it deeply implicates itself in the existential factors of human life. According to Liboro (2015), certain religious authoritative bodies still considers that the LGBT community has a negative impact on the society as a whole. They tend to discourage the community by socially excluding them and instating discriminating laws which restricts them in conducting same-sex practices. This is the primary source of cross-cultural conflicts that arise out of religious antagonism that tends to negatively affect the LGBT community (Alagözlü, 2017). In an Australian survey conducted in 2006, has stated that the LGBT community in the country has no religious affiliations as compared to the general population of Australia (Kane, 2013). It should be noted that the opposition to same-sex marriage and promoting boycotts by several corporations regarding the LGBT community was prevalent in The United States of America for a significant period of time.
As per the views of LeBaron & Pillay (2006), over the years, the LGBT community has made significant political gains and social acceptance around the world which includes the legalisation of same-sex marriage. However, the religious oppression against this community still persists in certain parts of the world, wherein the anti-LGBT community has succeeded in getting an upper hand in getting the community exempted from certain religious endeavours because the compliance with such laws supporting the community is against their moral believes and religious code of conduct. As per Thompson (2015), such a mindset gives rise to cross-cultural conflicts regarding religious antagonism that is still persistent and witnessed on several occasions in various parts of the world. Moreover, several Governments have only recently understood that freedom of religion and right to non-discrimination are important human rights that should be protected especially for the minority communities such as the LGBT community (Avruch, 2013).
According to Smith & Graves (2020), a striking instance of social discrimination pertaining to the LGBT community was the case when in 2012, a Colorado based baker had refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple’s reception stating religious reasons. The couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig had complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) which ruled in favour of the couple and against the baker, Phillip. However, the case was taken to the Supreme Court of the US which stated legal rights of Phillip by which he was protected to express freely justifying his rejection. It was stated by the functioning judge of the Supreme Court that CCRC had shown resentment to the religious perceptions of Phillip and it was not a correct judgement to ordering him to an anti-discriminating training. According to him, the LGBT community should be protected by laws and civil rights however, if there is objection to a same-sex marriage from the viewpoint of religious beliefs then it is an instance of protected form of individual expression (Smith & Graves, 2020).
A similar case happened the following year in Oregon when Rachel Bowman-Cryer had visited Sweet Cakes to order a wedding cake for Rachel’s upcoming wedding. When the Kleins, the owners of the bakery, asked the name of the bride and groom, the client informed that there would be two brides. Upon receiving this information, the baker denied the client stating that his religion prohibited him to undertake such a violation since he believed that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. The lesbian couple filed a complaint with the administrative agency of Oregon that safeguards them from discrimination. The Kleins argued that the newly legalised same-sex marriage should not cause any significant hindrance to the individual traditional beliefs of people regarding this issue. A generalised judgement was passed on this matter by the Bureau of Labour and Industries that religious antagonism should not be the cause of cross-cultural conflicts ("The Washington Post", 2020). Hence, businesses should provide equal services to every client barring discrimination in the field of gender, religion, race and sexual orientation (Bauman, 2009).
As per the views Goldberg (2009), for an evaluation and critical analysis of the above cases, I have administered the Goldberg’s Worldwide Profiles which gives a comprehensive situational analysis. According to this framework, individuals have certain pre-conceived notions which determines them to decide what is good, bad, important or irrelevant about the perceptions that are already created (Goldberg, 2009). Such mindset is attributable to social psychology regarding cross-cultural norms and cognitive frames that are prevailing in the society regarding this matter. This proposition can be applied to the above scenarios by stating that both the bakers who refused to provide a wedding cake for same-sex marriages on the grounds of religious beliefs. Such a mindset of the bakers to reject business from gay couples on the grounds of religious beliefs and refusing to serve the LGBT community shows their pre-conceived notions regarding the social norms.
I have also observed that this framework is also applicable in analysing the cross-cultural conflict that arises due to religious antagonism in these situations. There can be two classic responses to such situations one of which is exhibiting neutrality and the other is exhibit personal biases in achieving a judgement over the situation. In the above cross-cultural conflicts, it has been termed that the legal authoritative bodies have shown biased judgements in certain cases. This is apparent from the unreasonable fine of ?135,000 imposed on the Kleins of Sweet Cakes. From this framework, a worldview analysis can be obtained regarding certain valuable questions such as what is important or valuable to a person’s beliefs, the ethics and morality of a person and the speaker’s perception of the truth and its validity (Matveevskaya & Pogodin, 2017). In this case, what was valuable to the bakers were their religious beliefs which prevented them from accepting the LGBT community and same-sex marriages. According to them, such an act is prohibited by their religion which is considered as a social unconventional. It also threatened the moral code of conduct of the bakers who refused to provide wedding cakes to the same-sex couples. This is because protecting their religious beliefs and outlook was important to them and they considered such a perspective as true knowledge which was worth safeguarding.
Continuing the cross-cultural conflict comparison, the Hofstede’s Model is similar to Goldberg’s Worldwide Profiles. The Hofstede Model of cultural Dimensions have six elements which are individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, uncertainty avoidance index, long term versus short term orientation, indulgence versus restraint (Ramírez, 2018). Upon analysing the above situation, the applicable comparative element from the model is the first dimension of individualism and collectivism. Cross-cultural conflicts can arise due to interdependent or independent viewpoints that give rise to individualism or collectivism. I have analysed that collectivistic culture encourage individuals to develop interdependent perspectives. On the contrary, the individualistic perspective enables individuals to form independent opinions regarding cross-cultural aspects (Curl, Lareau & Wu, 2018). In the given instances, the bakers had formed individual opinions of their own which was respected by the Supreme Court of the US in the first case. I have noted that a collectivism perception is an ethical tendency as opposed to the individualistic view which is formed from individual opinions.
Personally, I support the individualistic perception as it gives a prominence to the though process of an individual regarding cross-cultural conflicts or barriers that may arise while working within an organisation (Benenson & Wrangham, 2016). However, I have evaluated that it is important to follow the collectivism approach while working in a professional group within an organisation which enables an individual to consider the relationships of the other individuals in the group (Obinna & Farkas, 2011). This will help in the mitigation of any underlying cross-cultural barriers and help in providing a mature perspective in dealing with certain situations. It is further suggested that while working in an organisation exhibiting collectivism views that interactions and communication should be transparent. According to Nadal & Mendoza (2014), this will enable the organisational group in smooth functioning overcome significant cross-cultural barriers. I have noticed that I have a tendency to interact informally with people within an organisation which should be corrected irrespective of the organisational culture and structure.
According to Lennon-Dearing & Delavega (2015), in Australia, formal communication is highly encouraged which should be exhibited while dealing within a professional organisation to mitigate cross-cultural barriers and develop potential perceptions of opinions that are not neutral but provide subtle yet strong opinions regarding the cross-cultural aspects that can arise within an organisation. Religious antagonism is a serious cause according to me which has led to the cross-cultural conflicts within organisations (Thompson, 2015). I have observed that it is required to change the perception of the individuals and enable them to adopt a more open mindset towards accepting the LGBT community and accepting them in every social endeavour rather than abandoning them on grounds of religious oppression.
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