Jeremy Hooper points out something that I’d somehow missed while discussing the religious right’s claim to being the true heirs of Martin Luther King. He quotes a Tweet sent out by Bryan Fischer recently that said, “When it comes to the loss of civil rights, Christian is the new black.” He replies:
Isn’t the religious right always claiming that gay is “chosen” and therefore cannot be analogous to race?…
With the far-right anti-LGBT crowd, the victim meme trumps all. “You’re hijacking the civil rights movement!” they scream at anyone who dare note the obvious overlap between two minority populations’ respective (but also shared) struggles for freedom. However, when that same sort of “hijacking” serves the false narrative of persecution that has become the anti-LGBT crowd’s daily bread and not-as-slick-as-they-think butter, what was once a militant takeover of a past struggle becomes a fair rhetorical tool. Funny how that works (but not funny “ha ha”).
It’s the same inconsistency they show when discussing anti-discrimination law. We can’t prohibit discrimination against gay people because that’s a choice, unlike race. But religion is also a choice and we forbid discrimination on that basis. If they really believed their argument, they’d be trying to have religion removed as a protected category in our anti-discrimination laws. But they aren’t. Because they don’t really believe their argument, they’re just engaged in special pleading.