Mar 28, 2010

facebook and teh ghey

I've just been embroiled in one of those marvelous Facebook comment wars: the sort that starts out by liking a friend's link to a petition to end workplace discrimination against gays and transsexuals and winds up as a thirty-comment train wreck covering such diverse topics as whether or not the Texas school board really cut Thomas Jefferson from their curricula and whether or not discrimination against gays is okay to protect our children.

The main objections to the original link (which advocated doing away with discrimination against gays and transsexuals) were:
  1. That if the petition were realized, then it would require us to hire wacked out cross-dressers in it for the lifestyle to take care of our children, and that discrimination against all gays and transsexuals was justified to prevent that result.
  2. Gays are attracted to same-sex children.
  3. Children might ask questions about gays.
  4. America is a Christian nation so Christian rules ought to apply.
  5. The Bible says homosexuality is wrong.
  6. You must respect me despite the fact that I just called you an abomination who is guilty-by-association of child molestation.
  7. My right not to see you trumps your right to exist.

I'll be going through these slowly over the next couple of days, and hopefully doing a better job--or at least a more systematic one--than I did in the heat of the moment.

In regards to 1), I believe that there has been a certain confusion regarding the difference between not hiring someone due to discrimination and not hiring someone because they aren't qualified. "Currently a person with historically bad credit or a criminal record of theft would not be offered a job as a company's Controller [sic] or CFO; that is discrimination," wrote my opposite.

Of course, it's not. It's basic good sense not to hire someone who isn't qualified for the job; it's discrimination when you determine that people are unqualified based on the larger group to which they belong, especially if membership in said group is involuntary. For a teacher to flaunt their sexuality in the classroom is unacceptable, whether straight or gay. Anyone who did so would be unqualified for the position. But to deny such work to all gays and all transgendered persons due to the hypothetical sins of an imagined few is discrimination. There's just no other word for it.

2) The truth of the matter is that gays aren't attracted to same-sex children any more than heterosexual adults are attracted to opposite-sex children. Another study of all the children "referred to a subspecialty clinic for the evaluation of suspected child sexual abuse" at a regional children's hospital concluded that "In [the 269 legitimate cases with an adult offender], two offenders were identified as being gay or lesbian." Less than 1%, fudging between 0% and 3.1% with the margin of error. Research mentioned here concluded: "we never found that androphilic (i.e., a preference for male adults) men had any greater relative erotic interest in children than did their gynephilic (i.e., a preference for female adults) peers." Homosexuality is a sexual attraction for adults of your own gender. Pedophilia is quite distinct, and is a sexual attraction for children on the basis of age, usually without regard to gender.

3) You laugh, but they said it: "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. ... Why should a straight kindergartner have to come home to ask questions about their gay teacher?" Well, why should a white student have to come home and ask questions about their black teacher? Why should a hermaphrodite have to come home and ask questions about his straight teacher? Why should a Muslim student have to ask questions about his Christian teacher? Why, indeed, should we have to tolerate or look at anyone who is different from us? (This also relates to 7 and I'll deal with it more in depth there.) Because we are all different from someone, and the sooner that we learn about those differences and learn to respect them, the better. Any kindergarten student sufficiently astute to notice that his teacher was gay is probably sufficiently astute to be okay with that.

In the meantime, this is growing rather long, so I think that I will close and deal with the last four in the next entry.

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