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10/12/2010

The only thing Dov Hikind's Westboro aggression does for LGBT rights: It temporarily stops him from comparing gays to incest

by Jeremy Hooper

Dear New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind: Before you start physically shoving the notoriously anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-[insert most anything] protestors from Westboro Baptist Church...


(H/t: Joe.My.God)

...why don't you first take a look in the mirror and ask what you yourself are doing to make the world more discriminatory:

"If you say that gay marriage is kosher, why not respect the wishes of any two consenting adults who fall in love, wish to marry and start a family: brother and sister, father and daughter, mother and son, etc. Incest or other deviant behavior is becoming a legal reality for the future. As my colleague Assemblyman Brodsky said in his address on the issue of gay marriage: If it makes people happy, and it doesn’t hurt anyone else why should we oppose it? And in that same line of thinking, why should we refer to other such relationships, incestuous though they may be, as disgusting? And that is why, in fact, I am considering introducing legislation to decriminalize incest.
...
If we authorize gay marriage in the state of New York, those who want to live and love incestuously will be five steps closer to achieving their goals, as well
."

-Hikind in a letter to the New York Observer

Because while Westboro is a sideshow with signs, you, Mr. Hikind, are a political figure with a platform and a vote. A political figure who has likened relationships like that of New York's City Council speaker to those that might potentially exist between an incestuous brother and sister. A political figure who once opposed a sexual orientation non-discrimination bill by saying "I have no intention of supporting that bill, unless someone changes the laws of the Torah." A political figure whose outrage would be better spent targeting actual civil bias than it is targeting Shirley Phelps-Roper.

The thing is: Westboro actually manages to help America's tolerance level by exposing just how vicious intolerance sometimes gets. Cheap political attacks against same-sex marriage and non-discrimination bills do the exact opposite, fostering casual biases through more subtly coded phrases and more publicly palatable ideas. It's easy to understand why the former unleashes rage; though it's the latter that's forcing gay people to pause their daily lives and fight for fundamental decency.

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