With the Winter Olympics a year away, there has been a lot of talk both in the media and among athletes about the new anti-gay laws that were recently passed in Russia. Just today the world’s best pole vaulter, a Russian, came out in support of those laws. Reading some of the comments on the variety of articles I read on the subject, I was struck at how strong the opinions were of Americans. Wait, no, I was not struck – disappointed may be a better word.
If it isn’t obvious from my past writings, I am a pretty Left leaning guy when it comes to social issues. I hope my Right leaning readers won’t leave me for expressing this (freedom to disagree IS one of the foundations of our country), but WTF guys???
So, two thing -
What is it about gay rights that scares the common sense out of the Right? Just because we grant gay people the same rights and privileges we take for granted does not mean, in the words of one very conservative reader, that the gay lifestyle is being pushed upon us.
I will give you a real life example:
- I am not gay.
- I have some gay friends.
- I married a woman.
- I did/do not feel any pressure to go find a man and explore what it means to be gay because…I am not gay.
See how easy and un-pressured that is?
It reminds me of the religious nuts out there who don’t want their flock to be exposed to other religions because those people might choose another religion…except NOT because you can choose your religion…you can’t choose your sexuality (straight, bi, gay or somewhere on the spectrum).
If your child or spouse or sibling or parent or friend comes out of the closet after being exposed to the gay community, those gay people didn’t make your child/spouse/sibling/parent/friend gay – at most that community gave your child/spouse/sibling/parent/friend the courage to stop living a lie; and isn’t that what we all want for our loved ones? Yes, I imagine being gay is probably more difficult than being straight in this country, but isn’t living a lie worse? Would you want your loved one to live a lie forever?
And let’s not bring religion into this (but Luau the Bible says…). There are a lot of things the Bible says and unless you are living strictly by its teachings, you really have no legs to stand on in a Civil Rights argument if you are going to use the Bible as Exhibit A. Not everyone follows the Bible. Would you want to have to follow the teachings of the Koran or the Torah or the Tao Te Ching? Although I disagree with many religions that are anti-gay, I would not presume to tell those religions what they should or should not believe.
So that whole “I don’t want that lifestyle pushed on me” leads me to wonder if there is an underlying insecurity about one’s personal sexuality.
Remember what happened in Germany about 75 years ago? Yeah, that. I am not a skilled enough writer to be able to put it any better than Martin Niemöller did in 1946:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Don’t we have the common sense to understand this and how it applies to what is going on today in Russia?
So I ask my friends on the Social Right once again, in the most respectful way…WTF???