Today I'll be finishing up the series started here and here. In them, I was going through a Facebook discussion I had in which two opponents argued that discrimination against gays should be okay. I identified the seven main points that they made, and in this entry I will be discussing the final two.
6) You must respect me despite the fact that I just called you an abomination who is guilty-by-association of child molestation. "We don't have the luxury of hoping the altemative [sic] lifestyle person is one of the good ones," writes one opponent.
I responded: "would you be offended if i implied that you were guilty-by-demographic of the abuse of children? or if legal measures were taken to discriminate against you on the basis of being a straight, older middle-aged man (by your picture)?
i imagine you would be, but that's EXACTLY what you're doing. i work in orphanages and actually know children who have been abused, sold into prostitution, or kidnapped and tortured. all, without exception, by straights, almost all of whom were male, and most of whom were middle-aged. in fact, the vast majority of ALL such crimes are committed by straight* men.
every abused child i know (and there is quite a list) has been abused by people-like-you (straight), not people-like-them. stop martyring children to justify your homophobia. it's factually wrong and morally disgusting."
To which he replied: "I love how you want "equal" rights yet seem more than willing to attack me personally for disagreeing with you. I guess perhaps you then are a heterophobe. If you want respect you first have to give it, obviously you have not learned that yet."
You see how it works? He claims the right to discriminate against every gay and transgendered person out there because of the danger that they represent of molesting children. But if you point out obvious facts--every abused child I know was abused by a straight person--and ask him how he would feel if someone treated him the same way, then you're gay yourself, guilty of personally attacking him, and undeserving of any respect because you have shown him none.
Now, I won't stoop to the level of explaining his insinuation that I am a homosexual in the light of his marked tendency to projection ("We aren't like you so in your mind it makes us evil" says the person who thinks gays are evil). Nor will I relate it to 'protesting too much' as one of the main causes of homophobia.
But I am thinking it.
When you feel that it is your right to discriminate against others, then of course you're going to feel that stopping discrimination is trampling on your rights. If your self-respect requires you to consider yourself better than others, then of course you are going to view their claim to equality as disrespecting you.
7) My right not to see you trumps your right to exist. I mention this last not because I need to refute it--indeed, anyone who actually thinks this is immune to argument--but because I want to point it out. "someone going off on how 'different' people are an abomination doesn't have the space to complain," I told one opponent. he replied:
"When those expressions have a negative impact on my family I have the right. You don't like it you have the right to disagree with me but not to force me into something detrimental to my family. Doesn't mean I don't want to stop you from being you just that I don't want that in my inner circle."
This was in a conversation in which both he and the other chap had argued that children seeing gays is detrimental: the man who wrote that had praised the entry in which my other opponent said, "I don't think it decent to put a gay male in charge of a young classroom when his lifestyle is not shielded from the children."
They're hiding behind their children again, but there it is: gays, if you go out in public, you better act straight.
My right not to see you trumps your right to exist.
*I may have been reaching on my definition of 'straight', as many pedophiles aren't straight or gay. But the sentence is true if you read 'non-gay' instead. I also may have been reaching on calling him straight.