Don’t make excuses for homophobia that you wouldn’t make for racism

A couple weeks ago, I came across this quote from National Organization for Marriage Against Certain People Getting Married head Maggie Gallagher:

The wall of hatred now directed at anyone who opposes gay marriage or traditional understandings of sex and gender is worth mentioning. Because it tells us what gay marriage is about. Not pluralism, not live-and-let-live, but establishing a new public morality which will not be optional. And because real people are being affected by this wall of hatred. And because hatred of one another is wrong, coming from any part of the political spectrum.

LOL. Replace “gay marriage” with “interracial marriage” and “sex and gender” and the stupidity becomes obvious. Yeah, there will be a new public morality according to which homophobia will not be acceptable, just as current public morality says racism is not acceptable. Deal with it.

In the US, thanks to the First Amendment, that public morality will be optional in the sense that no one will go to jail for rejecting it. The only sense that it won’t be option is that decent people will voluntarily choose not to associate with homophobes, just as decent people nowadays choose not to associate with racists. Boo hoo.

Similarly, there’s this from Bob Hyatt talking about his Bible-based opposition to gay marriage (HT: Unreasonable Faith):

Please stop labeling the other side of the argument as “hate speech” and bigotry. It’s not. It is a working out of deep convictions and a particular understanding of sexuality as a good gift from a good Creator, to be used within certain boundaries.

This is a total non-sequitor. There’s no contradiction between “a working out of deep convictions” and “bigotry.” Just imagine a Christian saying (and some did say things like this in the antebellum South, though not in quite this langauge):

I have a deep conviction in the authority of the Bible. And the Bible clearly approves of slavery, and in fact commands it in some cases (Exodus 22:3; Deuteronomy 20:10-11, 14). Furthermore, I belive, based on Genesis 9:25-27, that the descendants of Ham are to be the slaves of the descendants of Shem and Japheth, and after deep reflection I’ve concluded that Africans are the modern-day descendants of Ham. So please don’t call my support for enslaving Africans bigotry. It’s not. It is a working out of deep convictions.

  • Brownian

    The only sense that it won’t be option is that decent people will voluntarily choose not to associate with homophobes, just as decent people nowadays choose not to associate with racists. Boo hoo.

    Yeah, really. Bigots will be just as free to hate same sex marriage when it’s legal as they did when it was not.

    The difference is that nobody will be legally obligated to give a shit what they think.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    Bah. I clicked on that Joe My God link and there is so much to attack her for in her words – I really don’t know if she is truly incapable of understanding the sheer hypocrisy in her words. “[B]ecause real people are being affected by this wall of hatred…” Really? Does she think that when same-sex significant others are denied the benefits any opposite-sex couple enjoys?

    Anyway, there is so much to attack her for in her words, but the comments on that blog. Most of what I saw before I couldn’t stomach any more was attacking her appearance and other displays of outright misogyny (“spokes-whore” stood right out). Fuck them.

    • Brownian

      Ugh. Now I wish I hadn’t followed the link to see for myself.

    • tynk

      It’s not hypocrisy at all for her to say that. She does not think that we are real people. This is why we do not deserve to get married, to be accepted in society, or to be protected from hatred and bigotry.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/ Ophelia Benson

    Same goes for misogyny. Don’t make excuses for misogyny that you wouldn’t make for racism. And yet people still do; I see it a lot. (Really – actual, laborious arguing that “nigger” is totally different from “cunt.”)

    • John Horstman

      Huh, I generally see those arguing that they should be able to throw “cunt” around without censure also arguing they should be able to do the same with “nigger” (because free speech means that no one can ever criticize anything anyone else says, unless they’re criticizing people for criticizing what they say- whoops, paradox; okay, I’ve got it, free speech means I can say whatever I want without criticism or censure, while you other people need to STFU). I’m sure you see a lot more of this than I, however (running a blog as you do); the additional layer of cognitive dissonance implied by the inconsistent standards is even more depressing.

  • http://atheisticeberg.blogspot.com/ C Tran

    I’d like to point out that, despite Hyatt’s earnest but mistaken view on his own bigotry, the cited quote’s origin is a solid article for compromise, a compromise I’ve supported for a long time. From the article, it would appear that his primary hangup is the word “marriage.” If that’s the case, if he’s willing to live with that, then I think we should be too.

    • http://thouwinterwind.wordpress.com Winterwind

      I strongly disagree. Words have meaning, and symbols become particularly important when dealing with discrimination. To marry or wed means to join together. For society to deny that label to same sex unions suggests that love in same-sex couples is somehow different from love in opposite-sex couples.

      Of course I would welcome a “civil union” that granted full marriage rights. That would be a very important victory and it would materially improve people’s lives. But personally I would not be fully satisfied until the word “marriage” is granted. It’s an important gesture.

    • tynk

      No, just no. To allow them to say we do not deserve the same as they have, whether it is the rights or even just the title is to admit we are lesser people. That we are some how unworthy of being considered equals. This is just wrong and I will not accept there “equal but different” bullshit just say they can keep control over me.

    • KG

      “Separate but equal”, eh?

  • Buffy

    And because hatred of one another is wrong, coming from any part of the political spectrum.

    Maybe, then, they should stop promoting hatred and discrimination against LGBT people.

    Please stop labeling the other side of the argument as “hate speech” and bigotry. It’s not.

    Yes, it is.

  • Nele

    A typo: “non sequitur” – the 3rd person singular indicative present passive inflection of “sequi” ends with the suffix “-tur”.

    Nele

  • Yoritomo

    Talking about non-optional morality? The hypocrisy is strong with this one. She’s the one who wants to see her personal morality enshrined as law. I haven’t seen anybody advocate she should be forced to marry another woman.

  • mnb0

    Bob Hyatt is right.
    The other side of the argument is a working out of deep hateful bigot convictions and a particular hateful bigot understanding of sexuality as a good gift from a good Creator, based on a book that’s full of them.

    Lev. 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Confirmed in Romans 1:26-32.

    Personally I can’t stomach so much goodness from such a good Creator, so I prefer to remain an atheist.

  • http://www.grimm-dragonblaster.com Big Al

    It’s the usual “My religion trumps your morality/logic/laws”

    You can often see hyper-liberals tying themselves in absolute knots trying to square this circle.

    “It’s the law to wear a crash helmet on a motorbike. Too many people are killed by not wearing them, and the general public cannot be trusted to make an informed decision about it.”
    “I don’t like crash helmets”
    “Tough. Wear a helmet.”
    “I have a skin condition that means I shouldn’t wear a helmet.”
    “Then use the bus or a car.”
    “My new superbike has an integrated safety system that instantly envelops me from head to foot in a porous energy-absorbing foam if I’m in a crash.”
    “Well, we can’t change the law just for you and people like you who happen to have bought these new bikes. Wear a helmet.”
    “My Sikh religion says I need to wear a turban at all times.”
    “OK, we’ll change the law so Sikhs don’t have to wear the crash helmets that are so essential for the survival and wellbeing of other people who aren’t Sikhs.”

  • ‘Tis Himself

    Gallagher is upset because people are telling her she’s a bigot because she promotes bigotry. If she wants to shut down hate speech she needs to go first.

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