Monday, April 27, 2015

The Myth That Gay Marriage Opponents Being Bullied

With the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral argument tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the same sex marriage case appeal from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, hate groups and "family values" organizations - the two are sadly usually synonymous - are going into over drive trying to spread the myth that Christians are being persecuted and/or bullied into silence.  The meme is, pardon my French, a crock of shit, but then, most of what comes out of the mouths of the "godly folk" lacks any shred of truth and veracity.  If anyone has been bullying others, it is the Christofascists who have trampled on the rights of others for literally centuries. A piece at CNN looks at the myth and demolishes it and gets to the real point: other than religious based bigotry, there is NO justification for same sex marriage bans.  Here are excerpts:
The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on April 28 in cases that could legalize same-sex marriage across the country. 

Conspicuously, traditional powerhouse law firms have declined to argue in favor of same-sex marriage bans but have argued in favor of marriage equality. This dynamic is somewhat surprising, particularly given the high profile of these cases. . . . .  Some commentators have suggested the absence of such firms is because those opposed to same-sex marriage have been "bullied into silence" in fear of "retribution." 

Bullying is a powerful term that bears further exploration. Who really has been bullied? Indeed, it is a curious accusation. 

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community has long had various epithets hurled against its members. There are the well-known "f" and "d" words thrown at those perceived as gay or lesbian, respectively. And, of course, the line "that's so gay," which is meant to denigrate something or someone. 

But language is just the tip of the iceberg.   Last summer, the Texas Republican Party's platform endorsed "gay conversion therapy," a procedure viewed as harmful and useless by psychology experts. In the last six months, a pastor in Arizona published videos suggesting the way to deal with AIDS/HIV under the Bible is to kill gays and lesbians. A lawyer in California even offered a proposal that would legalize the killing of LGBT people. Specifically, it notes that because same-sex relationships are "a monstrous evil that Almighty God ... commands us to suppress," then anyone engaging in same-sex conduct shall "be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method." 

Let's not pretend that this rhetoric is harmless. Statistics show that LGBT people commit suicide at high rates. Transgender people are frequently victims of violence. 

[R]hetoric like this shows that LGBT opposition has not been silenced. This rhetoric itself is meant to silence. It is bullying.

If those opposed to same-sex marriage feel silenced, then that's on them. They should ask themselves why they feel silenced. If the silence is because of threats, then that is wrong. But, even then, the reaction is to speak up, as the LGBT community has done.

If, however, the silence is because the arguments against same-sex marriage have been vetted, but rejected, in the public square, then that's not bullying. Instead it reflects the fact that the nonreligious arguments against marriage equality have failed. 

The leading medical associations recognize that LGBT people are as healthy as straight people. Children of same-sex couples develop as well as those in straight families, except for the marginalization they feel because their families are currently treated unequally under the laws of many states.

The arguments against same-sex marriage ultimately reduce to moral and religiously based objections to homosexuality. The vocal support for LGBT rights is not an effort to silence opposition through bullying. Instead it is a recognition that such morality-based critiques should not be the basis for public policy. Indeed, such advocacy on behalf of certain Christian traditions risks impeding the religious freedoms of other Christian denominations and religions that are inclusive of LGBT people and same-sex marriage. 

The suggestion that opposition to same-sex marriage has been silenced due to bullying rings untrue. Instead, the opposition wants to speak without having to encounter a response.

The arguments against LGBT inclusion have been heard. Increasingly, they are being rejected through considered debate. That is not silencing, and it certainly is not bullying. 
More and more Americans are casting aside Bronze Age myths and accepting science and knowledge.  Those still clinging to them due to their own psychological hangups have no response other than to thump on their Bibles - something that does nothing to convince those who have moved on.  That's the real issue facing Christofascists, and they don't like to face that reality.

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