Saturday, June 25, 2011

Double Standard re: Gay Rights Advocacy?

Before you read this post, take a look at this one by a blogger named Carla Rolfe. I saw it on twitter (where I'm @benfromcanada) and couldn't help but be moved to write this. (full post after the read more link) Essentially, what Ms. Rolfe is saying is that she is opposed to gay marriage, and in response to a "Born Gay" shirt, she made a "Created Straight" one, and was called mean names for it. She feels this is a sign of a double standard, and that she's not a hateful person.

Now I'd like to preface what I'm about to say by first introducing myself to Ms. Rolfe. Hi. I'm Ben. Aside from what you can judge by this weblog's title, (that I'm a rather nerdy, quite leftwing chap who does not believe in any god) I'd also like to tell you I'm heterosexual, and Canadian. Up here, we legalized gay marriage a few years back, and it hasn't been all that bad for us. Society's still functioning fine, more or less, and our standard of living is still a bit higher than yours, so sociologically, the evidence doesn't show gay marriage is all that bad. But this isn't about arguing the facts. This is about giving you some perspective as to why this perceived double standard exists.

Imagine that someone of African descent wore a "black pride" shirt, perhaps with this logo. Now, imagine someone of European descent wearing a "white pride" shirt. What, based on just the shirts, do you think of these people? Chances are, since "white pride" is linked to white supremacy, and "black pride" (as opposed to "black power") was used as a rallying cry by Dr. Martin Luther King, your gut reaction would be to feel negatively towards the "white pride" shirt, and probably neutral towards the other one. The core reason behind this isn't just the association with figures and organizations, though. It's an association with actions and intentions. White pride advocates are more likely to be violent than black pride advocates, and the intention of the former is supremacy and suppression of rights, whereas the latter wants equality, something guaranteed by your constitution. (Gay marriage should also be allowed by the same document, as Loving v. Virginia showed marriage to be a right, and all non-religious arguments against it are nullified by countries that have legalized it, thus failing the Lemon Test, thus making this idea contra to your First Amendment...but I digress.) This is directly comparable to your shirt against a "Born Gay" shirt.

You may be readying your Phelps defence, which you used in your blog post, but I'm ignoring those fools. The fact is, any unbiased observer would have a hard time seeing christians in general to not be hateful towards homosexuals. Firstly, there's no lack of condemnation for homosexuality from mainstream religious leaders like Rick Warren (pastor of the largest church in the world) Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell, Ted Haggard (even after being caught smoking meth with a gay male hooker) and many others. As showed above, the christians opposing gay marriage are denying gay people a basic civil right on unconstitutional grounds. And the only grounds for opposing gay marriage, if you're a christian, involves cherry picking of the highest order. The Five Books of the Law include laws such as "women who aren't engaged and get raped have to marry the rapist, and can't be divorced" (Deut 22:28-29), "sex before marriage AND adultery are punishable by death" (Deut 22:13-22) "don't wear different types of cloth or plant more than one type of seed" (Lev 19:19) "psychics must be executed, and it's their own fault" (Lev 20:27) "disabled people can't go to worship service (Lev 21:16-23) "don't interact with women who are on their period" (Lev 15:19-20) and many, many others.
By specifically picking out the one law about homosexuality (only in men, mind you, as Leviticus 20:13 doesn't mention lesbianism) and ignoring the vast amount of laws that are deemed either cruel or ridiculous by today's standards, it seems like you just have a thing for hating gay people. And make no mistake, Jesus didn't want you to not follow those other laws, either. The entire law is still in effect, according to Matthew 5:17-20. But, even if it isn't, all anti-gay passages aside from the ones in the Old Testament are weak, at best.

The final problem here is that your message is one that is, inherently, discriminatory and unfair, even ignoring how poorly gay youth are treated and how such a message can easily be seen as "rubbing salt in the wound", so to speak. You aren't just saying that gay sex is icky (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) but that people should be denied a basic civil right based on the type of relationship they're in. Make no mistake, marriage is more than just a piece of paper. It includes things like easier inheritance, hospital visitation rights, and a variety of tax breaks for married people are involved, amongst other things. And you're in favour of denying this. It is very hard to see someone who holds such a position, especially given that no one is harmed by homosexual relationships or marriage, as anything other than hateful or bigoted.

You seem like a decent enough person, Carla. You might not realize how your words and actions make you look like a hatemonger, but they definitely do. I hope that this post is elucidating in this respect.

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