Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lies and hatred are the tools of the desperate

There is no debate or dialogue over same-sex marriage. Its opponents’ totalitarian view of the world makes sure of that

As I’ve written before, ongoing efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan is a positive development, and one that points to the modernity of its people. But as seen elsewhere in societies that are moving in that direction, its opponents, aware that they don’t have a case, are resorting to the basest of means to defend their cause — an unholy mix of lies, pseudoscience, and outright hatred.

What always strikes me about the debate between supporters of same-sex marriage and its detractors is that there is no such thing as a debate. Instead, opponents come up with alarmist slogans, campaigns, and literature that are so outlandish as to make rational discussion all but impossible. How can one possibly counter the outlandish claims that allowing same-sex marriage will destroy society, spread AIDS, encourage rape, bestiality, promiscuity, confuse children about their sexuality, or lead nearly half of the population to be homosexual a few decades hence?

How does one reason with individuals who, confronted with scientific evidence demonstrating that homosexuality is genetically determined and not a mental disease, discard such information in the same fashion as creationists deny the very existence of evolution?

Above all, the opponents’ refusal to see reality for what it is — usually for religious reasons — repeatedly contradict the values that the scriptures seek to cultivate in them. On the one side we have a minority group of people (homosexuals) and their supporters, who seek to extend fundamental human rights to a larger group of people; or rather, this group seeks to end the ability of the majority to deny rights to which a minority are fully entitled (marriage). Theirs is a message of love, of equality, and non-denial. There is nobody in that camp who seeks to deny others rights that they already have, or to impose a way of life that does not fit them. Ultimately, their side of the argument simply seeks to expand the sphere of tolerance.

The other side (opponents) turns to hatred and adopts language that is often analogous to that used by the Nazis on the eve of World War II. Everything that has come of from that corner is negative, destructive, and divisive. For organizations that purportedly know about love (or “true love,” as they condescendingly refer to it) through their religion, their discourse is one of hatred and of close mindedness. It repeatedly (and conveniently) ignores the many positive stories, such as that of my family, that have surrounded the coming out of homosexuals, where the sky didn’t fall, the world didn’t end, children weren’t screwed up for life, and everybody involved in fact ended up happier, for all could finally live in truth.

And rather than tolerance, it seeks to impose a narrow understanding of love on every single member of society. Theirs is a totalitarian view, one that brooks no dissent, no argument, and which does not hesitate to use lies, fabrications, and what can only be called alarmist fantasy to scare everybody into submission.

This latter group will hold a street protest on Nov. 30. The colors of the rainbow were theme of the LGBT Pride parade last month, a symbol of acceptance and diversity. Given their hateful views, I can only think of one fitting outfit for those who will protest on Nov. 30 — brown shirts. (Photo by the author)

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