August 05, 2007

Verbally Abusing Gay People Un-American

If that sounds a bit extreme, check out this excerpt from an op-ed in the Kansas City Star:

People who direct this word disparagingly at someone else do so because they feel superior to that person. Whether it comes from their sense of morality, masculinity or some other reason, those who call other people “fags” feel justified because they believe their rights outweigh those of their victims.

We weren’t causing a disturbance. We weren’t breaking any laws. We were simply waiting to cross a street. Still, this stranger felt it was OK to verbally abuse us.

This smug supremacy over other people’s rights is evident in more than just calling someone a name. It’s noticeable in ongoing efforts to prevent gender and sexual orientation from being added as covered categories in the federal hate-crimes law, in discussions over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt and raise children, in limiting marriage rights to only heterosexual couples, and in allowing workplaces to dismiss employees because of their sexual orientation.

When America allows someone’s personal beliefs to reign over another’s, we have handcuffed our nation’s ability to grant freedoms.

Instead, we’re limiting them. Whether it’s the freedom to walk a sidewalk without fear of ridicule or the freedom to have you and your partner’s love legally recognized, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that we as a nation must live up to the pledge to “promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” as written in our Constitution.

So the next time you consider the use of the three-letter f-word, remember that it’s more than just a word. It’s a reminder that some people think their rights cancel out someone else’s.

Thanks to PageOneQ for the tip.

1 comment:

  1. Good words. Thank you. You might want to check out
    about 80 Lutheran ministers coming out of the closet. It made me wonder about all the OTHER gay priests in the Episcopal Church beyond Gene Robinson.