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04/28/2014

Well of course it isn't hard for you, straight man, to take emotion out of your marriage discrimination

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 At 10.42.05 AmIn an interview with KSL-TV, a for-profit broadcast arm of the Mormon church, Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson shares all of his same talking points for why he should get to impose his Catholic view of marriage onto civil policy. So boring. I'm not going to rehash resistance to a rehearsed monologue again, especially one lazy enough to recite Maggie Gallagher's "two halves of humanity" schtick.

I will, however, talk about this:

KSL: Is it hard to take the emotion out of this debate?

Anderson: I don’t think it’s hard. I think that to a certain extent, too many people on both sides of this issue have engaged in empty sloganeering, and they’ll call people names and they’ll bring more heat than light to this issue. So I just think it’s important to actually think critically about what marriage is, why marriage matters, why redefining marriage is a bad idea, and then engage on that level.

FULL: Anderson Interview [KSL via (also Mormon-run) Deseret News]

Well no, of course Ryan wouldn't think it's hard. He has nothing to lose here. Even once his movement runs out of all options (which they will, and soon), he will still retain every last right that he has today. He has no reason to be emotional about it because he doesn't have a spouse, a kid, or state/federal rights and protections attached to this debate. I do.

And "empty sloganeering"? Give me a break right now! On our side, we are simply saying that we, your fellow American taxpayers, have lives, loves, and families that deserve full and equal protection under civil law. That is the core. Sure, people say all kinds of things within that spectrum, but the practical goal remains the same.

On their side, however, there is only sloganeering. Again, Ryan and his fellows have nothing to lose—not really. The only reason why there is a fight is because they chose to fight this; the only reason why there is a "culture war" is because they declared one. And even though people like Ryan pretend like the more overheated members of his movement don't exist, the fact is that his side is teeming with rabidly hostile voices—and some of them extremely prominent and politically connected, like Tony Perkins—who sustain the fight. Even those on my side who use a tone that I personally find unproductive or even out of line are generally reacting to the words and deeds that have been used to denigrate LGBT people. His movement is filled with grown adults who wake up, get out of bed, and go to work in large part so they can fight LGBT people for political access, profit, or simply extra-curricular thrills. There is a chasm of difference between the "heat" of the pro- and anti-equality viewpoints!

Look, If Ryan Anderson were honest, he would admit, as he has in the past, that he fully subscribes to the Catholic belief that people are not to "act on" what they regard as our "same-sex attractions." That's the truth here. He doesn't even believe we have a sexual orientation anywhere on par with heterosexuality, so he doesn't want society embracing any sort of view that might give LGBT people a leg up. He thinks "redefining marriage" is a bad idea because he believes that our easy and natural inclusion into the world's mix is itself a redefinition of what God wants. He is the one being disingenuous here when he acts like he wants more critical thinking. Without his Catholic view on "same-sex attractions," he would likely be using his talents to combat actual social ills. Let's talk about that.

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