Ex-Gay Champions Homophobia
It is true that sometimes the gay community will make misplaced accusations of homophobia. Sometimes those who may not support full equality for gay people are not acting out of malice but are simply uninformed or conflicted or perhaps have not applied thought, logic, and consistency to an issue.
But there are also times when people behave in a hateful manner and act out of spite and malice. And this week some California Assemblymen demonstrated that attitude.
In response to a revision of a bill requiring pro-gay education in schools, on Monday the Democrats in the Assembly suspended the rules to bring a representation of successful gay people onto the floor to “benefit Republicans by showing them the strength of our diversity and the many accomplishments in a variety of disciplines”. Yes, I believe it was partisan and petty. And it was not necessarily homophobic of some Republicans to be annoyed at being so “benefited”.
However, regardless of the motivation of the presentation, the response of some legislators crossed the line. When the gay citizens were on the floor, these elected representatives of the people stormed off in protest. Not protest of the Democrats, or protesting the priorities, but protesting the presence of gay citizens. Because they were gay.
It is hard to see how this action can be described in any way that does not include homophobia.
It is unfathomable that this would have occurred with ANY other group of Californians, be they Moslems, Samoans, vegetarians, or bird fanciers. To display distain to any other segment of the populace would be political suicide. Most legislators, whether or not they are supportive of gay equality, consider all people to be their constituents regardless of their orientation.
Ex-gay gadfly James Hartline wrote an article praising two of the representatives who walked off the floor, Jay LaSuer and Dennis Mountjoy, for their “examples of godliness and faithfulness to the families of California”. Hartline quoted LaSuer as saying “Why is immorality in America being honored…?” and Mountjoy as saying “I find it puzzling that … behavior in the bedrooms was celebrated!”
Incidentally, the above mentioned bill was revised to simply state that orientation is added to the list of characteristics (race, religion, etc.) that schools cannot present in a pejorative manner. It passed with bi-partisan support. Reportedly, only LaSuer and Mountjoy voted against the non-disparagement bill.
Hartline is an extremist and his delight in the deliberate insult of Californians based solely on their sexual orientation may not be representative of all ex-gay attitudes. Not all ex-gay ministries would endorse the public humiliation of people simply because they are gay.
However, considering the increasingly political nature of Exodus and the inclination on the part of ex-gay ministries to exaggerate and misstate “the homosexual lifestyle”, I wonder whether they too will soon seek to exclude gay people from the definition of constituency and encourage incivility towards them.
I agree with you a thousand percent!
All this Christian love looks much too much like hate to me.
This just made me fall out!!!
Unbelievably, Runner has been one of the main promoters of Jessica’s Law, the initiative to protect children from child molesters. Unfortunately, she did not seem to have the same backbone as Assemblymen LaSuer and Mountjoy in protecting the children from sexualization in the classroom.
NO, James!!! That’s REAL concern for children in action!!!!
I can see why he’d have a hard time understanding THAT when he saw it!
I agree with almost everything you said. But I don’t see the problem with bringing in gay and lesbian people to show that these are the very people who the legislation is about. It is time that these legislators see that what they do actually affects real people. I don’t see that as being partisan or petty at all.
So it simply wasn’t enough for James Hartline to “stop” being gay; he now has to fight against the rest of us who have no problem with our sexual orientation?
Sorry, but for me this fits right in with my belief that the so-called “ex-gay” movement is just another way that the radical anti-gay groups seek to restrict our civil and human rights. Were these groups concerned only with helping those who seek them out then I’d have less hostility towards them.
Lance Bass was one of the reasons for the walkout.
However, I read an article recently by Rabbi Schmuely Boteach and how Lance Bass impressed the hell out of him.
At a humanitarian award function, Michael Jackson and Elie Wiesel were honored guests.
However, throngs of other celebrity attendees clamored to take autographs and photos with MJ while Mr. Wiesel and his wife were virtually ignored.
Lance Bass, however-had no interest in MJ, but asked the rabbi to introduce him to Mr. Wiesel.
Mr. Bass had read Wiesel’s book “Night” and felt it important to meet him
The rabbi obliged, and after short visit, Mr. Bass commented that meeting Mr. Wiesel was nearly THE most important thing in his life that ever happened.
Rabbi Boteach said that Bass’s recent coming out wasn’t something he wished to comment on. (The rabbi has recently been supportive of gay issues.)
But he thought that young Mr. Bass’s behavior and outreach spoke to deep and good values that others at the function would have been well to follow.
These legislator’s walkout, instead of reachout, is just another example of people who think they know everything there is to know about gay people already.
And missed a golden opportunity meant to help reduce exactly the behavior THEY displayed.
A person in leadership HAS AN OBLIGATION to fully expand their experience and social opportunity, as stated here, for ALL citizen voters.
I resent straight people who are detestibly ignorant, not only on issues regarding gay people as a whole, but of gay people as individuals.
I live here in Calif. too. I want to have the ability to live in a socially COOPERATIVE society that respects talent, intellectual and social exchange and openess.
Armenians, atheists, Jews, blacks, women and gay people are NOT a damn surprise!
What the HELL, there is NOTHING new under the sun.
And these rude legislators damn well better recognize their duty.
Well never get along, if they demonstrate that they can’t.