Robert Gagnon tries to make me look bad—by again equating my 'practice' with incest
You might remember my post from last week, where I shared an email that Rob Gagnon, theologian and annual speaker at the National Organization For Marriage's "It Takes a Family" conference, sent to a list of social conservatives. In that email, Mr. Gagnon smeared me and did his usual schtick of making gay people seem perverted. And at at one point in his message, he definitely (by all accounts) stated that "homosexual practice" is worse than incest and seemingly (by my read) threw bestiality into the mix as well. Here is that email once again:
Well, Mr. Gagnon took great exception with my read. According to him, he was not equating homosexuality (or "homosexual practice," as he says) with bestiality, and was instead limiting his equation to only incest. So over the weekend, this NOM star speaker went after me yet again, firing off a series of emails that attempted to paint me, my reading comprehension, and motivations in an unfavorable light. But then, for some reasons that seem to me to be completely devoid of pragmatism, he closed out with repeated beliefs that "practices" like mine are on par with inter-familial sexual relations. That exchange, in full:
And that's where we left it. It was pretty clear to me that Mr. Gagnon was trying to rile me up, and I'm happy to say I didn't take the bait. Even though he seems convinced that I am out to get him as a person and am some sort of mean guy who attacks people for sport, G-A-Y readers (from all political perspectives) know that this is simply untrue. I focus on the words and work, mostly staying away from the personal motivations that bring the individual to his or her rhetoric and advocacy. I displayed Gagnon's initial email (and these subsequent emails), in full, because I want readers to see the full context, regardless of what leads Mr. Gagnon to say such things. Notice I never once called him a name in either this exchange or my initial post. It's not my style.
But I'll have to say, I so stand by my read of Gagnon's bestiality/incest/homosexual practice thing. In my interpretation, it sounds like he is saying "X is really bad," "Y is also bad," but "G-A-Y is even more severely bad than either X or Y." That is simply how the sentence is structured! Perhaps the problem is one of syntax and Mr. Gagnon really did intend to limit his comparison to only incest (I'm 100% open to that possibility), but I still say that the sentence reads the way that I say it does. That is my personal interpretation. Surely a theologian knows a thing or two about personal interpretation.
But again, I printed the full emails, so people can have their own interpretations. It's actually a little weird that he talks about what I did and did not "cite," considering I put every last word of it out there for all to see. And I put it out there because I want people to see it! I want people to know that he compares "practices" like mine to brother-sister sex, if not man-horse coitus. This star NOM speaker might think I am the one painting a flattering portrait for myself, but, just as with his initial email, I have a different read on the whole thing.
*Oh, and Mr. Gagnon, if you see this and want to respond further, please do so in the comments on this post. Thanks!
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