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01/29/2014

A look at the the signs from Utah's anti-gay, pro-discrimination, wrong-side-of-history rally

by Jeremy Hooper

At last night's anti-gay, pro-discrimination, wrong-side-of-history, gay-parents-are-like-slave-owners rally in Salt Lake City, Utah, three signs stood out to me. This one was probably the most prevalent:

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 At 1.37.37 Pm

It is a meaningless sign. Their intent, obviously, is to suggest that procreative heterosexuality is the only thing that qualifies as acceptable biology. That is just plain wrong. The spectrum of biology is quite open to people and other animals who have sex with members of the same gender. This is not open for debate or discussion. Gay people have gay sex because gay sex is a biological possibility that's pleasurable, bond-forming, and loving; gay people parlay these sexual bonds into committed relationships for many of the same reasons that heterosexuals do.

And yes, to cast out a sizable portion of the population simply because your own sexual orientation is geared elsewhere (or is suppressed) actually kind of is bigotry (plus or minus the "kind of").

Here's the second one that caught my eye:

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 At 1.37.54 Pm

Again, no. At least not for everyone.

I've shared it on here before (and of course in my book) but I'll share it again: I'm someone who has had physical relations with women. I gave heterosexuality the old high school/early college try. It didn't work. Opposites did not ever attract me, and my attempt to force the issue out of social pressure was laughably misguided. I have not spent one day of my life being physically attract to the opposite sex in "that way."

If opposites attract for you, that is great. You are in the majority. But no matter how bold the lettering, stiff the poster board, or "properly" gendered the marker colors, it doesn't change the truth of our world. And again, if you are working to force a false truth just so it fits into the narrow purview that you and your personally held faith will allow, then that is, in fact, a form of bigotry. To be clear, that doesn't mean you are a "bigot"—you could just be wrong or duped or young. But your actions are, in fact, hostile regardless of your motivation.

And then there's this final one, of which I only have two partially obstructed photos. Hopefully you can make out what it says:

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 At 8.14.03 Am
Screen Shot 2014-01-29 At 1.37.18 Pm

If you can't read it, it says "We are the 66%" This is a reference to the percentage of Utah voters who passed that state's marriage amendment a full ten years ago.

Now, for one, it is sure that these numbers have very much changed during this past decade of monumental gains. If these folks are holding on to a 2004 number, then they are only setting themselves up for future heartbreak. Not as bad of heartbreak as they are trying to impose on our relationships, mind you. But political heartbreak can still hurt.

But besides just the historic gains of the past decade, where do they get off thinking that being in a majority makes them right? I've already acknowledged that heterosexuals are in the majority. I would also acknowledge that it would still be hard to pass marriage equality at either the polls or the legislature in this particularly red state. So what? Neither of those two truths change one thing about marriage equality, its constitutionality, or its inevitability. By acting all high and mighty because they are in the supposed 66%, these demonstrators are really saying, "You can't have your rights because we outnumber you." That's called bullying.

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