* those grey Nikes that Chris liked
* several umbrellas
* three bicycle lights
* my Buffalo gift card
* so many gloves
* my only pair of Ray Bans
* the black arrow bag that Jess made
* a few good friends
I’m sure you received an overwhelming amount of commentary following your recent post on the inevitable shift of the American public towards support for gay marriage. I usually have no interest in counterarguments for conservative musings on gay life (married or unmarried), but yours seemed so close to compassion that I ultimately felt repulsed in reading it. While you pretend to have the best interests of all in mind, your writing reveals the very bigotry you cleverly distance yourself from.
I’ve read your defenses of heterosexual marriage in the past, and they all imply a certain “natural” value of straight coupling over homosexual coupling, based on the teachings of your religion and your socialization in 20th century America. Regardless of this circular logic, I have no interest in debating the comparative value of gay vs. straight relationships. However, I do take offense to your presumption that discrimination isn’t really a big deal, and that the sincerely religious individuals who are worried about their own freedoms outweigh the bigoted violence of others.
Arguing for Arizona’s recently proposed discriminatory law by suggesting that such discrimination is already legal, and isn’t a problem (as you wrote, “mass discrimination isn’t exactly breaking out”) suggests you aren’t aware of what it feels like to be discriminated against. As a straight, white, American male, I’m fairly certain you have little experience of the pain of institutional discrimination, the kind you cannot even speak against it is so pervasive.
This is the kind of discrimination that LGBTQ people in rural Arizona (or rural California for that matter) feel every day. It’s the kind of discrimination you don’t see on T.V. or read about in national papers, because it doesn’t make headlines. It is the kind that gets people quietly fired from jobs, shunned by their families, or killed, at the hand of an angry bigot or by their own suicidal method.
If death is the only symptom of discrimination or “persecution” that you recognize, let me reiterate: This symptom of discrimination is very much alive, and gay people are killed for it daily both in the U.S. and abroad. Whether these murders come in the form of bullying-induced drug overdoses or mob beatings, they are hateful deaths at the hands of the very people you believe are being marginalized, those that want to steel themselves against government-enforced equality by claiming religious liberty.
To quote yourself: “You bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.”
I hope you think harder about the implications of your writing in the future, for regardless of your intent, you are encouraging people to hurt others.