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Brandon's Big Gay Blog

Trib Letters Section: Invasion of the Anti-gays

by Brandon Burt
Posted // 2011-07-15 -

It's hard to figure why some people just, out of the blue, suddenly decide to proclaim their fervent distaste for homosexuals.

How does this work? You wake up one morning and realize, Yes! Today's the day I'm going to let all my relatives, neighbors and co-workers know exactly how I feel about those gays! Or maybe you're sitting around the house thinking, Damn, I'm bored. Why isn't there ever anything to do around here? when suddenly it occurs to you that, Hey! Maybe it would be fun to publicly vilify homos!

Possibly, gay-bashing is a fad that comes and goes, like mini-skirts. Sometimes, it seems that weeks can drift by without people freaking out about the gays in The Salt Lake Tribune's Public Forum.

Those are good times, but it seems they may be coming to an end (again). This week, the anti-gay pot was stirred by a couple randomly homophobic declarations in the Trib's letters section.

In "God and America," Melanie Clark of Salt Lake City had this to say:

"With religion on the decline and immorality now government-sanctioned, including abortion and gay marriage, I doubt America can continue to be great."

There are so many complicated political, economic and historic factors contributing to America's decline, who can keep track of them all? It's easier just to scapegoat the gays for invoking God's wrath. Still, we don't really appreciate having our families lumped in with abortion as examples of government-sanctioned "immorality."

Then, Stephanie Christian of West Point chimed in to say that her "Views of gay marriage" should be exempt from criticism:

"So for those who don’t believe that a child benefits from having both a mother and a father, I say it is your right to feel that way. However, there are those of us who think different, and we have a right to do so without being criticized for it."

Anybody who reads the paper knows that any benefit a child derives from having a mother and a father depends largely on the mother and the father. By and large, moms and dads are great -- but unfortunately, there are plenty of parents of both sexes who should never be allowed anywhere near a child.

Still, I wholeheartedly support every human's right to "think different." And, by the same token, the rest of us have the right to disagree.

As the tables turn, and more and more Americans come to accept LGBT equality, those who cling to anti-gay views are getting a taste of what it's like to defend an unpopular opinion. It is an uncomfortable spot to be in -- as those of us who, for decades, have been fighting for equality well know.

But, no matter who you are -- even if you feel sad and hopeless to be on the losing side, and even if you really, really believe that you're right -- once you spout your views, you've opened the floodgates to those who disagree. That's what public discourse is all about: Nobody's exempt from criticism.

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