We’re all gay now.

The New York Times is reporting this morning that nine young men in the Bronx have been accused of systematically kidnapping and torturing gay men and teens.   Seven of the alleged perpetrators have already been arrested.

This account of the crime makes tough reading. Skip over it if necessary, but anyone engaged in the debate over equal rights for gays and lesbians in our society should confront it squarely.

The attackers forced the man to strip to his underwear and tied him to a chair, the police said. One of the teenage victims was still there, and the “Goonies” ordered him to attack the man.

The teenager hit him in the face and burned him with a cigarette on his nipple and penis as the others jeered and shouted gay slurs, the police said.

Then the attackers whipped the man with a chain and sodomized him with a small baseball bat.

First, the usual caveats:  the alleged criminals in this case haven’ t been convicted; they are innocent until proven guilty.

But without naming names, we can still use this horrific act of terrorism to illustrate what lies at the heart of the debate over gay equality.

Being gay isn’t a Vince Vaughn movie.  Being gay isn’t about an agenda or a conspiracy.  Being gay isn’t about voting Republican or Democratic.

Being gay isn’t a discussion of biology.  Being gay isn’t something that makes you squeamish.  Being gay isn’t an act of rebellion or an affront to your values.

Being gay is one normal way of being human in a free society.

Let me say it again:  Your gay neighbors are normal human beings, trying to live their lives in a free society.  And you know what?  They’re afraid.

They’re not frightened of some abstract theological argument.  This isn’t a Sunday morning political talk show kind of thing.

No, they’re afraid that one of the most powerful politicians in the US still wants to ban them from work places because of their sexuality.

They’re afraid because it’s still acceptable to use “gay” as a derogatory term — signifying weakness, falseness – long after “nigger” has been rightly banned from our lexicon.

They’re afraid because they could be attacked and killed by young men who have been taught by their society that homosexuals are, in a word, filth.

Gays are human.  They’re normal.  And they’re afraid with good reason.

More than a decade has passed since two young men in Wyoming kidnapped Matthew Shephard because he was gay.  They tortured him, bound him to a fence on a backroad, and left him to die.

So it’s long past time to stop using homosexuality as a culture-war wedge issue.

We must stop wasting time trying to find complex and increasingly threadbare arguments to explain why the religious views of one sect or another should outweigh our society’s most sacred principles.

What are those principles?  All men are created equal.  We hold this truth to be self-evident, don’t we?  We are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.

Among these the first is life.  The second is liberty.  The last is the pursuit of happiness.

To accomplish this we must insure that teenage gays and lesbians aren’t driven to suicide by hazing and isolation.

Gay families must be treated equally under the law — not “separate and sort of equal” — and that means they must be allowed to marry and allowed to adopt children.

It’s time for men and women who are gay to serve openly in our military, just as we once made the decision to allow men of color and then women to serve in the military.

Does wanting this equality for all our people sound like a “gay agenda?”  Fine, I guess that makes me gay.

All Americans who want safety and freedom and tolerance and decency between neighbors, we’re all gay now.

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88 Responses to “We’re all gay now.”

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  1. Bret4207 says:

    The only thing holding all you want back is simple words Brian. Civil unions are fine.

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  2. JDM says:

    It would be cruel to tell a person with a strong and harmful drug addiction that they are “ok” and that we want to make a place for them in society without trying to help them with their affliction.

    So it is with this issue.

    Being gay is no different than any other issue of the fallen condition of mankind. They are just as “bad” as any straight person, and at the same time just as “good”. In other words, this is no different on the scale of fallen-ness.

    That being said, it would be cruel for us to say that they are “ok” and to make a place for them in society in this condition, just as would be with the first example I gave.

    There is harm to the individual in being gay. It is damaging. It is wrong to accept that as “good” when it is “bad”.

    I am not saying this in a judgmental way. You can look at many areas of my life as “bad” and in need of redemption.

    Woe to me if I start dismissing my faults as “ok”, though.

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  3. unreligious says:

    If Civil Unions are fine then why did Hawaii’s governor veto them because they were too similar to marriage? No Brent you do not understand what this column is about. It’s about people who do not want to afford Gay people equal justice under the law or even the dignity to exist. Not sure if you are one of the latter but you are certainly one of the former.

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  4. unreligious says:

    Sorry JDM but the only harm in being Gay is from bigots like you. Your whole post is nothing but a judgement against Gay people despite your claiming it is not. Gay people are not “fallen” nor do they have an “affliction” or “condition” nor is it a “fault”. No matter what people like you feel being Gay is O.K. and they are not in need of “redemption”. What is cruel is people like you who post evil things about them, while posing as a voice of reason.

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  5. Bret4207 says:

    Brian, I forgot this earlier, your remark about ensuring teenage gays and lesbians aren’t hazed- our schools won’t even make sure our fat kids and geeks aren’t hazed, why should gays get special protections? No one deserves to be abused really, no matter what their sexual preference or appearance. You went through it, I went through it, the teachers never stopped any of it then and I doubt they do now. What do you propose? More special laws (Hate Crimes) to coddle one group above others? The whole concept of a Hate Crime is ridiculous. One kid beats up another because he’s hitting on his girl. Another guys does equal damage because he is or isn’t gay. One charge is a Violation, the other is a Felony! Mind you if a gay beats up a straight or a black beats up a white no hate crime exists, even if the antagonist admits it was due to race or preference. It’s stupid.

    Sorry, I just get irritated over this whole concept of special treatment.

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  6. Pete Klein says:

    I agree with Bret on the special treatment issue. A crime is a crime is a crime.
    As far as the whole GLBT thing goes, I think the problem for some of the so called straights is a lingering fear that they might be GLBT. You never hear anyone accusing someone of being, God forbid, straight. And while we are at it, isn’t it interesting how many men/boys while proudly list how many girls/woman they have had sex with while at the same time they will call a girl/woman a whore if she cats around like a man/boy.
    We are very strange creatures in deed.

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  7. Brian Mann says:

    You guys are working too hard to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. This idea of ‘special treatment’ is just ridiculous.

    Gay kids are being victimized; far too many are committing suicide. They need help. The proper moral response here isn’t complicated.

    We should help them. We should make sure that no one lives in fear.

    And suggesting that gay people are akin to drug addicts is, bluntly, ludicrous.

    It’s as ludicrous and hateful as when bigots used to say that black people were “oversexed” or had “low morals.”

    It’s as ludicrous and hateful as when bigots used to say that women were less intelligent and the “weaker sex.”

    It’s as ludicrous and hateful as when bigots used to claim that Jews were greedy and conniving.

    It’s as ludicrous and hateful as when bigots used to argue that Italians were ruled by their passions, not by their intellects.

    It’s as ludicrous and hateful as when bigots used to argue that Native Americans were “savages” and “redskins.”

    It’s as ludicrous and hateful as when bigots used to argue that Mormons were members of a sinister cult.

    You want to be part of that club? Fine.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  8. Myown says:

    Well said Brian. I agree 100% with your comments.

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  9. JDM says:

    Obviously, name calling doesn’t scare me, and that’s about some of you have to support your position.

    Brian: your examples can be divided into two groups. 1) things we are born with (being black or white, for example) and behavioral (everything from being gay to choosing to be Mormon).

    It is wrong to discriminate against the former. A society can place a judgment on behavioral matters.

    I think society has (or is in the process of) placing the wrong judgment on this issue.

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  10. JDM says:

    correction on my first sentence above “that’s about ALL some of you”

    Also, it’s revealing about freely you think calling someone a “bigot” can win your argument.

    Here is the wikipedia definition of bigot:

    A bigot (in modern usage) is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own.

    I am freely discussing my opinion here.

    You are apparently intolerant of any opinions other than your own. That makes you a ?????

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  11. Brian Mann says:

    JDM -

    You suggest that you are a victim of marginalization and reverse-bigotry because I condemn your description of of gay women and women as being morally akin to drug abusers.

    Fair enough. We can agree to disagree about whose behavior here is bigoted.

    But surely by any reasonable measure, your vicitimization pales when compared to the gay teen who commits suicide because he’s being hazed relentlessly at school, or the gay man left to die bound to a fence after being pistol whipped so severely that his brain stem is shattered, or the gay couple who can’t walk home arm in arm without fearing brutal reprisal, or the gay soldier who can’t serve his country openly without her career being wrecked, or the gay couple who can’t marry even though their church or synagogue sanctions their marriage.

    Right?

    Brian, NCPR

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  12. hermit thrush says:

    dear jdm,

    well, i for one am proud to say i’m bigoted against your strain of bigotry.

    have you ever talked to gay people? a single one? do you have any idea how absurd, obnoxious, repulsive and hurtful it is to claim that being gay is as much a person’s choice as something like their religion?

    personally, i happen to be attracted to the opposite sex. but it’s not a “choice” i made, it’s just how i’m wired. and guess what, gay people work the same way too!

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  13. JDM says:

    Brian:

    My victimization isn’t the point.

    It is wrong to do harm to someone who is gay because they are gay. It is wrong to harm someone who is white, because they are white, etc.

    I am not against gays for being gay. I am of the opinion that being gay is against nature and, out of compassion, should be corrected.

    That is my opinion. If anyone has a different opinion, please be tolerant of mine, as I am of yours.

    The one who is not tolerant can deservedly be called a bigot.

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  14. hermit thrush says:

    There is harm to the individual in being gay. It is damaging. It is wrong to accept that as “good” when it is “bad”…. Woe to me if I start dismissing my faults as “ok”, though.

    honestly, what a disgusting load of crap. there’s nothing wrong with being gay whatsoever, just as there’s nothing wrong with being straight. there’s no harm at all in being gay. there’s no harm caused to other people in being gay.

    there is, on the other hand, great harm caused by the kind of prejudice advanced by jdm.

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  15. hermit thrush says:

    That is my opinion. If anyone has a different opinion, please be tolerant of mine, as I am of yours.

    nope. homophobia is to be tolerated as much as racism is to be. which is, not at all.

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  16. Brian Mann says:

    JDM –

    In human history, when one group of people wants to “correct” another group of people the outcomes are usually pretty bleak.

    But go ahead and follow that thought through to its logical end:

    Should gay people be sent to special government schools? Should they be given drugs to correct their behavior?

    Perhaps surgery?

    Gay rehab centers?

    -Brian, NCPR

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  17. JDM,

    Imagine for a moment that you are someone else. A teenager, growing up in, just for maximum impact, the Bible Belt of the United States. You have a relatively normal, happy childhood. Your parents are great, they love you and they take care of you. You go to church and you listen and you believe, and you LOVE going to church and listening and believing. And then one day, you hit puberty. You get awkward and gawky, you get pimples, you start to grow hair in weird places. And you start to get these feelings that you’ve never had before and that you don’t understand. Okay, it sucks, but everyone around you seems to be going through it. And your parents still love you, and they still take care of you, and you still go to church and sit and listen and believe. And it’s fine.

    But then, imagine you realize that the feelings you get are directed toward people of your same sex more often than they are directed toward people of the opposite sex. You don’t exactly know when you first started this, but it’s there. And suddenly you’re terrified. Because you’ve grown up hearing about how gay people are sinful, about how gay people are unnatural. You’ve read stories in the news about gay people getting attacked, and heard it called “God’s punishment” for what they chose to be. But you didn’t choose this! You never made a decision to look at people of your same sex and be attracted to some of them. You just hit puberty and started having sexual urges just like everyone else.

    Now, you’re afraid to tell your parents. You’re afraid to tell your friends. You’re afraid someone will know it, just by looking at you, or guess because you don’t talk about your dating interests like your friends do. You’re sure God knows and has turned His back on you because of what you are. But you didn’t choose this!

    Of course, your response, JDM, would be “of course you chose this. This is a choice like any other.” But let me ask you what someone else has already said: Did you choose to be straight? Or did you ride the crazy puberty train like everyone else and end up with sexual feelings that you couldn’t explain and didn’t understand? Now let me ask you this: Why would ANYONE choose to be gay? Knowing the stress, the pain, the alienation, the isolation, the hatred, and the very real threat of bodily harm or even death you could face just for following those urges you got with your pimples and body hair…would you choose to be gay?

    The truth is, sexual orientation and urges aren’t gotten by sitting down at a table in a sterile room, reviewing your options carefully, and picking something out. If that were the case, I doubt very many people would choose to be gay, in light of the crap they’d have to go through for it, any more than people in the 1950s would have chosen to be black…or even, any more than people before maybe 1990 would have chosen to be female.

    I think what a lot of people who make this argument don’t want to come out and say is “Okay, you didn’t choose it, it came to you unexpectedly and naturally the same way heterosexuality comes to heterosexuals. But we’ve decided that heterosexuality is “straightness,” aka “rightness.” So what we want you to do is suppress and deny these feelings and subscribe to “straightness” instead.”

    Gee, no wonder you try to insist that homosexuality is a choice. Otherwise, a lot of awkward questions about WHY straight is better than gay come up, don’t they?

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  18. Pete Klein says:

    The against nature defense just doesn’t work because it is impossible to ever do anything against nature and survive. Example: try jumping off the Empire State Building and contemplate your chances of surviving as you fall to your death.
    Now if you use a parachute and it opens in time, you might survive. But in this case you would be using one law of nature to balance a second law of nature.
    People who use “against nature” to argue against this that or the other thing tend to be selective. Example: what about a heart transplant? Sounds pretty unnatural to me.

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  19. hermit thrush says:

    even more to the point, pete, maybe jdm should try googling “homosexualitiy in nature.” then he would learn that the natural world is chock full of homosexuality. and how can nature be against itself?

    of course, i think the real point is that jdm doesn’t really mean this “against nature” stuff — it’s just a fig leaf meant to give the flimsiest cover to his bigotry.

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  20. JDM says:

    Being gay produces its own ill effects.

    Brian: the underlying problem is such as is common to the fallen state of man in every ill-fated behavior.

    It has been my observation that rehab-type solutions work to cover the symptoms, but never get at the root cause.

    That is why we need to be saved. That is why a savior came to earth.

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  21. hermit thrush says:

    and what exactly are those ill effects, jdm? what makes homosexuality an ill-fated behavior? it surely can’t be just that it’s “against nature,” as as we’ve just discussed homosexuality is very prevalent in the natural world.

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  22. JDM says:

    hermit: I disagree with your opinion, but you are welcome to think what you will.

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  23. hermit thrush says:

    well what it is, jdm? what’s the basis for your homophobia? it would be great if you could explain yourself for once.

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  24. Bret4207 says:

    Brian, re your 10:22 post- all sorts of kids are being victimized, committing suicide, etc. Why do we need special protections for one group when the problem is a cultural issue that is happily breeding in our schools. No one deserves to be the brunt of a cultures bigotry, and there’s no difference if you’re a fat kid, a homely kid, a shy introvert, a dirt poor kid in a wealthy area or a kid who has decided s/he’s gay. This is a larger problem than gay/straight.

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  25. Bret4207 says:

    HT, with all due respect, could you provide some proof that homosexuality is “natural”? It makes no sense that it would be “natural” since procreation doesn’t take place. Evolution would dictate homosexual partnerships would fade out over time.

    OTH, I suppose you could mean dominance based homosexuality which I see from time to time among farm animals.

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  26. JDM says:

    hermit:

    Can you please enter into this discussion without descending into name-calling?

    I am not afraid of gay people which is what your name-calling is supposed to imply.

    I clearly stated that I think this kind of behavior is against nature. I also clearly stated that I do not dislike gays for being gay.

    It seems that you are insecure about your position, and you feel the need to call people with opinions other than yours by condescending names.

    Please stop it.

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  27. PNElba says:

    Evolution would also dictate that sickle cell anemia fade out over time – but it hasn’t. Same sex behavior in nature is an adaptation that can have advantages. Over 450 examples of “homosexuality” in nature, easy enough to find if you are interested. But then again, ideology trumps rationality these days – especially when it comes to science.

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  28. hermit thrush says:

    bret,

    from wikipedia:

    An estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are homosexual and they steal nests, or form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs, driving away the female after she lays the eggs. [34][35] More of their cygnets survive to adulthood than those of different-sex pairs, possibly due to their superior ability to defend large portions of land. The same reasoning has been applied to male flamingo pairs raising chicks.

    and:

    Mallards form male-female pairs only until the female lays eggs, at which time the male leaves the female. Mallards have rates of male-male sexual activity that are unusually high for birds, in some cases, as high as 19% of all pairs in a population.

    and:

    In early February 2004 the New York Times reported that a male pair of chinstrap penguins in the Central Park Zoo in New York City had successfully hatched and fostered a female chick from a fertile egg they had been given to incubate.[7] Other penguins in New York zoos have also been reported to have formed same-sex pairs.

    and the article goes on and on. so yes, homosexuality is very prevalent in nature, which makes it tautologically “natural.”

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  29. hermit thrush says:

    jdm,

    if someone were to come on this site and start spewing racist propaganda, then the correct response to that is (at a minimum) to call it out as racist, clearly and strongly.

    if someone were to come here and start spewing anti-christian propaganda, then the correct response to that is to call it out as bigotry, clearly and strongly.

    and yes, when you come here and spread noxious homophobic propaganda, then the correct response is to call you out as a homophobe! clearly and strongly!

    so please stop whining about being called out for what you are. you’re a homophobe. homophobia means an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality — and bingo, that’s you!

    i don’t call you a homophobe to imply you’re afraid of gay people or as a form of name-calling. you’re a homophobe because of your aversion to homosexuality — because you think it’s akin to drug addiction, is damaging, has ill effects, is bad. that’s all it takes. that’s what the word means.

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  30. hermit thrush says:

    and about this “against nature” claptrap — well, how can you be serious? not to be a broken record, but homosexuality is very prevalent in the natural world, so tautologically homosexuality can’t be against nature. what on earth do you mean by that? anything at all?

    you keep hiding behind these outrageous claims that homosexuality is against nature or is damaging or produces ill effects without explaining yourself at all.

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  31. Pete Klein says:

    Bret,
    Many use the argument that basically says the natural purpose of sex is procreation. The problem comes in when we admit why most sexual activity, straight or gay, takes place. I would offer that humans engage in sex for the pleasure of it in almost all cases, straight or gay, married or not married.
    If the only time we engaged in sex was for the purpose of getting a woman pregnant, I doubt there would be very much sex going on.
    To use a somewhat related example. I doubt there are very many people who eat food with the hope of becoming fat.

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  32. BRFVolpe says:

    There are more suicides amongst male homosexuals between 15 and 25, than any other group. That’s hardly a problem that doesn’t exist. Loss of a life at one’s own hands is a problem. Doing what we can to save these young lives is the right thing to do.

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  33. JDM says:

    hermit:

    I disagree with your opinion, and you’re welcome to your opinion.

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  34. JDM says:

    A bigot (in modern usage) is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own.

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  35. hermit thrush says:

    come on jdm, what specifically do you disagree with?

    what ill effects does homosexuality have? how is it ill-fated? please stop hiding.

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  36. Wally says:

    The irony of JDM’s posts is that his sentiments and exact views were held not so long ago about another minority – left handers.

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  37. sealevel says:

    JDM:
    If you’re going to use this tragic event to spew your “Christian value” rationalization of right and wrong, then please do us a favor and leave nature out of your argument. Survival of the Fittest and a “Savior coming back down to earth” should never be paired. You’re trying to coat your bigotry with layers of religious value speak and it just isn’t working.

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  38. Wally says:

    JDM, a bigot is indeed a prejudiced person, but not one who is intolerant of “opinions differing from their own.” E.g., a “bigot” against blacks or hispanics likely can care less of the blacks’/hispanics’ opinions…the bigot just doesn’t like them simply because of who they are (i.e., black/hispanic).

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  39. lovegod says:

    Thank you Brian for this piece. The times are changing. It feels good after 30 years as an openly gay adult to finally hear discussions that emphasize our humanity and citizenship. I’m still not used to hearing of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” applied to us.

    When those murders and tortures against gay individuals occur, all gays feel threatened, and some are pulled deeper into the closet, even after feeling a ray of hope. Isn’t that the intended effect?

    When I hear of the suicide rate among gay teens being about the same as it was 20 years ago, if not a bit worse, I have to wonder whether the increased openness and visibility of gay adults has helped or hurt the young ones more.

    When my partner of 9 years asked me if I’m willing to get married when it is legal, I had to reply: don’t you think you should come out of the closet to your family first?

    Change is slow and not always consistent. In some ways we are so liberated, and in others we are still far behind.

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  40. lovegod says:

    Ha, I didn’t mean that my partner asked me if I’m “willing to get married” – that sounds like a concession! I meant “asked if I want to”. A minor point, but telling in how subdued we become as a result of lowering our expectations.

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  41. JDM, you are sick! And you are on the wrong side of this argument. The only possible defense of your attitude lies in quoting the bible selectively. The problem with that is that this is NOT a theocracy – it is a constitutional republic. You may believe what you like, but you may NOT impose your beliefs on others. That is what is meant by “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, including you – but when anyone expresses the view that their opinion is the only RIGHT one, and all others are wrong or evil, that person needs to be stifled in order to keep the peace in this country. You are vastly outnumbered.

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  42. That’s what I’d like to know as well. Multiple times, JDM, you have been asked to articulate some specific examples of negative effects of homosexuality, and each time you have deflected or changed the subject instead of providing a straight answer. This leads me to believe that you don’t actually know what you’re talking about. So please, if you do, provide some specific examples of how homosexuality negatively impacts individuals who are homosexual.

    Just to be fair, here are some negative effects of homophobia:

    1. perpetuates misunderstanding and falsification of information about sexual orientation
    2. legitimizes and institutionalizes violence and hostility against GLBT individuals
    3. fosters shame and isolation in individuals who identify as something other than straight and cisgendered, leading to depression and sometimes also suicide

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  43. Edward Davis says:

    I do not understand why we are sitting here arguing the same old arguments that have been going on for ages. We don’t care about whether or not you find homosexuality in nature. Guess what? As humans, we are part of nature, therefore you find homosexuality in nature. This isn’t rocket science here, it’s common sense.

    Why are we arguing God’s moral law? Have you banned McDonalds for selling cheeseburgers yet, or Red Lobster for selling crabs? No, those businesses have a right to exist, even though they go against Jewish law. And for the Christians out there who claim “oh, we don’t follow that since Christ”, guess what? there’s still Jewish people in America. I don’t see them trying to take away your right to happy meal.

    Perhaps they should, so that you can see what it’s like to have your rights restricted based on someone else’s religious view point.

    In America, your religion does not get to dictate my rights.
    In America, marriage is considered a “fundamental right” Zablocki v Redhail (1978).

    It is so fundamental in fact that, even if you are an inmate on death row because you murdered 100 people and molested 200 children and have no hopes of ever getting out of jail, you are still granted the right to get married.

    But I, a law abiding, tax paying, ex soldier and proud American can not engage in my American dream of marrying the person that I love and with that gaining those 1,300 protections and benefits that you all get automagically when you go to a court house and pay $75.00 and kiss each other.

    Why is this so difficult for you people to understand? We don’t have civil unions, we have marriage. There’s no need to make a separate thing for us.

    You talk about us wanting special rights?
    When women gained the right to vote, did it all the sudden become a special right for women? Did it change the meaning of voting?

    When blacks gained the right to sit at the same table with whites at a restaurant did they suddenly get a special right? Did it change the meaning of eating out?

    The answer in both cases is a resounding, “no”.

    To sum it all up for you, I am an American too, I deserve to be treated as such!

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  44. Edward Davis says:

    Bret4207 says:
    “It makes no sense that it would be “natural” since procreation doesn’t take place. Evolution would dictate homosexual partnerships would fade out over time.”

    Apparently, you’re not thinking about this critically. Homosexual is not a species. Straight parents produce homosexual offspring. I know, this is a difficult concept for you to grasp.

    I just don’t understand your lack of critical thinking skills with this. Evolution would dictate that mules would die out since, you know, they can’t reproduce either (according to your hypothesis). But, since mules are produced by the mating of a donkey and a horse, there will continue to be mules so long as donkeys and horses exist and so long as they reproduce.

    And also, since priests can’t have sex, therefore can’t reproduce, how come priests aren’t going extinct?

    Homosexual offspring will be produced so long as male and female mate and create an offspring who happens to be born homosexual.

    Homosexuality has no more to do with evolution than whether or not someone becomes a priest.

    Evolution isn’t sentient, it doesn’t logically create things to suite the environment.

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  45. JDM says:

    hermit: you have demonstrated that you are not really tolerant of my opinion.

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  46. JDM says:

    Brian Mann:

    You started floating the big?t word as well, as did others.

    Don’t you see it isn’t what someone thinks that makes them a bigot?

    Everyone has an opinion that differs from others.

    It’s how they present their idea in the arena of ideas that makes them a bigot. If they listen to you, and still hold their opinion, you have what is called “a difference of opinion”.

    If you have an opinion, and everyone who disagrees with you is a bigot, then you’d better take a good look in the mirror.

    It seems to be the liberal-leaning stream of thought to attach labels to a particular opinion, and attempt to remove from the arena of ideas a thought, instead of winning the argument through the perponderance of the ideas presented.

    Racist, bigot, homophobe, et al. are labels that merely say, “I can’t win this argument, so go away”.

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  47. Lily says:

    Brian:
    This piece is powerful and deeply moving. Some of your best work and I hope it gets national exposure. Thank you. In my 50+ years I’ve seen that our society has, on the one hand, become more tolerant and inclusive of our gay and lesbian neighbors, co-workers, and family members. However, that has also lead to some horrific backlash perpetrated by the worst of society. The good news is that the crimes will be prosecuted – in the open – in the press and in the courts.

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  48. Bret4207 says:

    Wikipedia, I should have known.

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  49. Bret4207 says:

    Okay, let me put it this way. I’ve looked at Wikipedia and what I see is a difference of opinion. Some of the studies I see there interpret 2 males hatching an egg as homosexual activity. I had 2 makes dogs that were inseparable. until a female went in heat. So were those dogs gay or straight? According to some of the studies they’d be gay. Whitetail bucks sometimes group up, till the rut. I’ve had bull calves you’d swear we’re gay the way they suck on each other, but it’s not homosexuality, it’s suckling on the only convenient object around.

    I maintain aberrant behavior in simply not natural in the sense that such animals would not continue on. The only other explanation is that it’s a mutated gene of some sort that crops up occasionally. That would fit the sickle cell anemia paradigm too. So I suppose in that sense it’s “natural”. I still see no reason that it requires special laws to protect one group above another. That goes against the idea of equal protection, one group cannot be more equal than another.

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  50. anon says:

    Yes, indeed, let’s talk about equal rights and equal treatment.

    Here’s a tragedy that started with a 30 year old pedophile sodomizing a young teenage boy. Had this sexual predator molested a young girl child instead, half the folks in this country would have cheered the beating he got.

    As it is, this baby raper is being made out to be some kind of hero, and it’s a safe bet no charges will ever be filed against this lowlife scum. I don’t know about anyone else but, I for one, don’t want sexual predators and child molestors stalking children in my neighborhood. I especially don’t want sexual predators in my neighborhood that are apparently above the law as a result of some kind of outrageous, pseudo politically correct, double standard. I’m very much in favor of equal rights and equal treatment under the law. I’m very much against special privileges for scumbags.

    One of my parents’ favorite sayings was, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”. I don’t dispute that what this gang did was despicable. It was. However, I find it outrageous that everyone is side stepping the fact that if this homosexual predator hadn’t been stalking children around the neighborhood, it never would have happened in the first place.

    By all means, let’s have some equal treatment here and put this child molestor behind bars where he belongs, right along side the rest of the street scum involved in this incident.

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