The main story on the CBS Sports website last Monday reported that five Tampa Bay Rays players chose not to wear LGBT+ logos on their uniforms.

The first thought was why anyone thought five baseball players wearing no political symbol could possibly make national news.

Apparently, the perceived significance came from a decision not to celebrate something (LGBT Pride Month) that some now expect everyone to celebrate; that having LGBT “pride”, or at least publicly reporting it, is now a requirement, even for the vast majority of the non-LGBT population.

We now seem to expect a step-by-step conformity when it comes to LGBT issues, in this case a superficial symbolism intended to announce to the world the holding of a certain enlightened attitude.

By choosing not to party in the approved manner, the five ballplayers therefore ran the risk of being perceived as hostile to the LGBT movement, even though they are not.

Thus, we are reminded that the purpose of virtue signaling in a waking age is not so much to convey what you really think, but to gain immunity from attack by removing suspicion that you might be thinking the wrong ones. things (unapproved).

Expressing feelings you don’t really share becomes imperative, suppressing those you often share just as much. It is no longer enough to accept members of the LGBT community in your daily life, you must now also wear a symbol to prove it, otherwise.

In a remarkably short period of time, we’ve gone from demands for tolerance and respect to demands for approval and now, finally, something akin to enforced celebration.

In this context, it’s not just dissent that makes you a potential target, but not giving your assent enthusiastically enough.

If “Heather has two moms” in school libraries not so long ago was considered objectionable, now it is those who oppose it who are.

In the late and utterly lamented Soviet Union, people protected themselves by hanging portraits of Marx and Lenin in their apartments, even though they despised anything about communism that had made their lives so miserable. In America, we write essays expressing our commitment to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” when applying for college jobs and put LGBT symbols on our baseball shirts in a similar effort to gain acceptance and avert suspicion, even if we roll our eyes while doing so. .

Finally, the additional thought occurs that the LGBT movement has become increasingly strained and prone to failure as more and more initials are added; that the “T” might at some point not too far off come into conflict with the “L”,”G, ” and B.”

The gay rights movement was successful and put America in a better place in the process because it borrowed the model of earlier civil and women’s rights movements, which were based on calls for justice, equality and equity and taught that discrimination on the basis of attribution (skin color and sex) was morally wrong.

Even though there were substantial differences between pigmentation on the one hand and sexual preference (and therefore preference-based behavior) on the other, it was still compelling enough to convince a majority of Americans that American homosexuals should enjoy the same rights as other Americans, including the right to marry.

It’s far from clear, however, that everyone who supports same-sex marriage also supports the right of biological men claiming to be women to hang out in women’s locker rooms and compete in sports with biological women. Or that anyone raising concerns about that last point is a bigot just for doing it.

Polls tell us that the same majorities that now support same-sex marriage also oppose the more extreme demands of the transgender movement, to the point that lumping everything together under the same LGBT+ moniker could lead to a loss of support outside the LGBT ranks and disagreements within them.

Indeed, the hunch is that much of the American population finds the idea of ​​celebrating guys who wear dresses even weirder than guys who wear dresses.

Americans, contrary to waking tales, are generally tolerant people who believe in live and let live.

But we also believe in minding our own business first, and we’re sick of being told we’re morally deficient if we don’t enthusiastically celebrate the sexual preferences of others.

One of the funniest criticisms of Tampa Bay baseball players’ decision not to wear LGBT logos was that it was divisive and undermined team unity, as if the earlier decision to a baseball team to express political sentiments that have nothing to do with baseball was not will not cause division and that the problem is not with those who made this decision, but with the few players who have refused to line up.

It’s not hard to understand that if you don’t want politics to divide your team, don’t inject politics into it.

Some of us were writing articles supporting same-sex marriage long before Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden quickly came to the idea and neither we nor anyone else need to wear a logo. to prove that we are not fanatics.

Freelance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, earned his doctorate. in political science from the University of Illinois.