Monday, August 12, 2013

Today in Definitely-Not-Bigotry

[Content note: anti-gay violence]
"For any but the most rabidly liberal, the decision of Russian lawmakers is about as sensible as it gets."  
-Sylvia Thompson, a self-described "black conservative whose aim is to counter the liberal spin on issues pertaining to race and culture," in an article praising Russia's anti-gay laws
The Russian law she is referencing punishes "propaganda of homosexualism among minors," and its text in English can be read here. As you can see, the law itself is incredibly vague, but its Explanatory Note speaks of "protecting children from the effects of homosexuality propaganda."

This tactic, of course, is one that anti-equality advocates in the US have long engaged in, from Anita Bryant to the National Organization for Marriage's ridiculous and infamous "Gathering Storm" ad during the original Prop 8 campaign. The Russian law takes this tactic a step further, by just outright imposing a punishment on pro-gay speech. And, notorious American anti-gay advocate, and Holocaust revisionist, Scott Lively has taken some of the credit for this law being passed in Russia.

Interesting to note about Sylvia Thompson's quote, though, is the way she implicitly characterizes moderates and conservatives. To her, it is only the most "rabidly liberal" person who would oppose this anti-gay infringement on free speech. To her, it seems a given that moderates and conservatives would applaud the law and find it sensible, perhaps even worthy of emulating here in the US.

It's interesting because supposedly it's the Mean Homosexualists who are hell-bent on unfairly calling equality opponents bigots and haters. Yet, if we accept that supporters of this law are supporting a bigoted law, a proposition I certainly accept, then Thompson is basically admitting that people who hold bigoted opinions about gay people are, actually, quite numerous. That is, the people who think homosexuality and gay people are a threat to children, and who want us to basically shut up and go away, are all but a handful of liberal extremists.

Last year, Moscow banned also gay pride parades for the next 100 years. I'm sure that's a move some (many?) moderates and conservatives would applaud as well.

Also doing their part to, ahem, "protect the children" is a group of violent, anti-gay bigots who are alleged to post fake ads on dating sites to lure gay teens to them so they can then torture the teens. The group then proudly posts pictures of them on social networking sites posing with their victims.

I'm *sure* that sort of anti-gay violence all happens in a vacuum, though.

Perhaps the biggest failing of anti-gay movements in the US is the nearly complete failures of all of those purportedly So Nice and Civil "marriage defenders" and traditionalists to condemn the rhetoric of their more overtly anti-gay peers and to condemn horrendous laws that their peers applaud.

When people who dedicate their livelihoods and blog presences to opposing the gay agenda, whilst protesting too much that they aren't bigots, can't take a few minutes of their day to publicly and explicitly condemn Russia's law, or Uganda's Kill the Gays bill, I think it would be foolish to give such folks a "charitable" benefit of the doubt that they disagree with such laws.

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