Gross Perspective: Legislative Hate-Crime

…to deny a gay couple the right to marry is to deny them the right to enjoy all of the fuller rights of freedom and security that heterosexual couple take entirely for granted.

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I have heard and read comments in which gays are accused of zealotry.  I have heard and read comparisons of the so-called gay movement to McCarthyism, and complaints by members of religious organizations that the gays’ beliefs are being shoved down their throats. The irony is not lost on me.

And I wonder how to approach this issue. Can I appeal to your good sense? Can I ask why you have such intense hatred? Do you, flag-waving patriot and upstanding citizen, understand what it means to be gay and to be attacked just for existing?

Some Numbers

In 2007, 9,006 hate-crime offenses were reported to the FBI. Of those offenses, nearly twenty percent were sexually oriented. Of the sexually oriented offenses commited, approximately 75% were motivated by anti-homosexual sentiments. I’ll do the math for you:

  • In 2007, 1,256 anti-gay crimes were committed.

Of those twelve-hundred specific incidents, the overwhelming majority were committed in homes, schools, and on the street. I think this hints that anti-gay hate crime is both authoritarian and mob-oriented.

Authoritarian Mob Rule

The promotion in California of Propositon 8 is example of an anonymous authoritarian mob attempting to exert pressure on a minority. Individuals in that mob have ignored the desires of a minority and have passed a law of prohibition regarding a practice they presume to be religious in nature. This authoritarian mob has expressed their collective belief that their moral values and traditions include invasive intolerance.

The Larger Perspective

The larger perspective recognizes that marriage is a convention, not a sacrament (except strictly within the confines of a religious club). Marriage is a practice which belongs to no one. The larger, inclusive perspective sees that the failure or success of a marriage depends entirely upon the couple and not the culture or legal framework; and it will acknowledge that the financial needs of individuals are intimately tied to their relationships with others. To put it briefly, to deny a gay couple the right to marry is to deny them the right to enjoy all of the fuller rights of freedom and security that heterosexual couple take entirely for granted.

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