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08/08/2006

Wherein we address an obscure opinion piece as if it's actually news

by Jeremy Hooper

In an opinion piece posted today on the Christian Civic League of Maine's online Record newsletter, Maine resident John Frary wonders why and how society's views on homosexuality have changed in the past fifty years. In honor of Mr. Frary's gay-unfriendlly analysis, we would just like to remind him and everyone of other social events and ideas of 1956 that are widely considered wrong today:

-On January 30 of that year, Martin Luther King Jr.'s house was bombed.

-On March 12, 96 U.S. Congressmen signed the Southern Manifesto, a protest against the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, which had desegregated public education.

-During a concert on April 10, singer Nat King Cole was beaten by a white supremacist group.

-Life magazine published a story in 1956 saying that female ambition caused mental illness in women and homosexuality in boys.

Clearly the gays weren't the only ones struggling for peace and acceptance in that mid-twentieth century day. And while the crux of Mr. Frary's argument relies on an assertion that it's political bias and not changing social norms, growing acceptance and empirical data that has led to a growth in gay acceptance, we know that any protestations we make against his charges will fall on deaf ears. Instead, we think an easy refutation is to simply show how history is filled with biased missteps, the likes of which are slowly corrected over time. We are a progressive people by nature, taking on new ideas as we go through this journey. Any people who have demonstrated a valid, non-destructive, deserving role in society have always eventually won their struggle to achieve social parity. We got "here from there" because we wised up and realized that "there" had some flaws. This time will be no different.

How Did They Get Here From There? [The Record]

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