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Misusing the B-Word

Michael Gryboski
By Michael Gryboski
Posted on May 27,2010
Filed Under News , Community, Local Politics , Politics,

ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- Some say we are in an epic fight for equality. In tune with the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, these days many are fighting the b-word: bigotry.

During the current session of the Virginia General Assembly, Delegate David Englin introduced a bill to combat discrimination in the Commonwealth. It failed in committee.

In late 2008 the Human Rights Campaign vocally opposed a decision of president-elect Barack Obama, in order to fight bigotry. Obama still went through with his choice.

Two San Francisco colleges, City College of San Francisco and New College of California, implemented policies in 2005 to advance the fight against bigotry.  

What were the bigoted manifestations these people fought against? For Englin it was overturning the voter-approved marriage amendment, for the HRC it was protesting Obama’s decision to have Rick Warren give the invocation prayer at the 2009 Inauguration, and for the two colleges it was establishing gender neutral bathrooms.

This is what bigotry has come to mean in modern American politics.

These claims of bigotry on the part of homosexual advocacy organizations and anti-”gender binary” groups have ranged from oversimplification to outright falsehood.

Here’s one example: the NOH8 Campaign. Created in response to the success of Proposition 8 in California, its trademark is to have photos of people with duct-taped mouths in protest.

Says their website, “Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with ‘NOH8’ painted on one cheek in protest.”

This is ridiculous. There were large protests across California in response to the results of that referendum and to this day court’s are stuffed with gay marriage advocates going at length to argue their cause.

So where’s the silence, where’s the censorship?

Here’s another: the claim that gay marriage is a fundamental human right and all those who oppose it are supporting bigotry. This is professed by many political figures.

However a burden of proof remains. No state constitution has ever said gay marriage is a right, neither does the Constitution, amendments included.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights does state a right to marry. But Article 16 invokes the gender binary by saying “men and women” of legal age can get married.

Further, though clause one of Article 16 states marriage should be “without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion”, “sexual orientation” is nowhere to be found. Not even the U.N.’s Declaration says it’s a right.

If all these people who desire to fight bigotry are hard pressed to find examples, they should look introspectively.  

Few people in America could see themselves supporting the expulsion of student organizations from college campuses, the removal of the time-honored school spirit titles of homecoming king and queen, evicting philanthropic organizations like the Boy Scouts of America from their headquarters, the censorship of campus newspapers, intimidation of religious minorities over the actions of their members, or the denial of allowing a population to hold a referendum on a major issue.

Yet these and other acts have been done by individuals for the sake of homosexual advocacy. The examples are numerous and only increasing.

At the University of California Hastings College of the Law, an organization known as the Christian Legal Society is being expelled over its position on homosexuality.

Those who are attempting kick the organization off campus claim this is a war against discrimination, but the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) notes a problem with this rationale:

“CLS accepts gays into its organization. However, whether one agrees with it or not, the group has made the value judgment that homosexual acts are immoral, and it thus accepts as voting members only those gays who share its views.”

Erica Goldberg of FIRE draws a political comparison: “prohibiting a group of College Democrats from excluding those who identify as Republicans would burden the group's ability to make its own political judgments and then organize with others who share those views.”

A similar situation exists for the Boy Scouts of America. Homosexuals can and do serve in the BSA; the policy is against being openly homosexual.

Still, even with a 2000 Supreme Court decision stating BSA had a right to choose its membership over moral issues, the BSA was evicted from their Philadelphia building.

When the DC City Council decided to recognize same-sex marriages, many especially in the African-American community demanded that the matter be made into a referendum.

This demand was denied, because the DC Council reasoned that people demanding the right to vote was in violation of DC’s Human Rights Act.

Homosexual advocates who are quick to label anything bigotry not only hesitate to denounce these acts as bigotry, they celebrate them as triumphs of tolerance.

Many of them look adoringly at Canada with its bill C-250, which made it a criminal act to publicly criticize homosexuality on nonreligious grounds.

During the controversy over the bill, it wasn’t a rightwing evangelical preacher who said, "You people are sick. God should strike you dead." It was homosexual Senator Laurier Lapierre responding to Christian protestors.  

While throwing the b-word around homosexual advocacy organizations not only inflict malicious harm to their opponents, but also to their friends.

By saying everything against them is hate, homosexual and gender identity advocates are devaluing actual incidents of hatred against sexual minorities.

Should mainstream society begin to hold gay rights organizations to stricter standards, its possible genuine claims of bigotry will be ignored alongside the politically loaded claims of bigotry.

Alas, odds are good no homosexual advocacy organization will heed this warning. After all, they are the next civil rights movement, they can do no wrong. There are no legitimate reasons to support traditional marriage, Rick Warren, the Boy Scouts, or even gender-specific bathrooms.

Brian Flanagan, member of the 1960s leftwing terrorist organization the Weathermen, recently expressed regret for his past actions. When interviewed for a documentary, Flanagan said, ''When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some pretty horrific things.''

Many intellectual, religious, and political groups have learned this lesson the hard way.

It’s a lesson that, from what I can tell, nearly the entire homosexual advocacy movement, from the nationwide Human Rights Campaign and NOH8 to local incarnations like Equality Virginia and GMU’s Pride Alliance, have yet to learn.

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