If you don’t want to be called a bigot, then don’t be one.

The U.S.A. Today article entitled “Gay marriage? These voices say ‘No’ and explain why” is hateful. I have no sympathy for bigots who feel that it is “mean” when they are called bigots. If you don’t want to be called a bigot, then there’s an easy solution: don’t be one.

This is an ongoing trend on the religious right: the argument that supporting marriage equality is “bigotry against Christians”, and that somehow marriage equality advocates are being mean-spirited and “not inclusive” when they talk about the fact that they want loving gay couples to be recognized as couples by the state.

The argument can be summed up by the quote from Roman Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone provided in the U.S.A. Today article: “Those who believe what every human society since the beginning of the human race has believed about marriage, and is clearly the case from nature itself, will be regarded, and treated, as the next class of bigots,” he says. “That’s untrue, and it’s not kind, and it doesn’t seem to lead to a ‘live and let live’ pluralism.”

Not kind? Pluralism? What planet is this guy from?  Lest you get caught up in his sympathetic-sounding words, let’s remember what the topic at hand is: he wants to prevent other people from marrying each other, because it is against his own personal religious beliefs.

Let’s put that out there one more time.  He’s not having an argument about his own right to marry in his own way. He’s free to marry in a way that is consistent with his religious beliefs no matter what happens in the marriage equality argument.

Instead, he’s having an argument about his right to tell other people whom they cannot marry based on his own personal religious beliefs.

It’s like saying: “I’m on a diet, so you’re not allowed to have desert.”

I’d like to make one more thing clear about the type of argument that Archbishop Cordileone  is making.  He is conflating two things: having your own beliefs about what marriage means, and imposing those beliefs on others.  He very slyly, and very incorrectly, is wringing his hands and saying that he’s not a bigot just for believing that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

And I agree with him: he is NOT a bigot just for believing that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

But that’s not what all the fuss is about.

The problem is that he then takes an extra step, and says that he wants to put restrictions on who other people can marry, based on his own beliefs.

That’s the problem.  And that is bigoted.  In fact, that is the very definition of a bigoted act.

Hal Sparks was the guest host on the Stephenie Miller radio show last week, and a caller called in to the show was expressing exactly this same thought.  Hal Sparks does a great job explaining why marriage equality is NOT a form of “bigotry against Christians” but why trying to enforce “traditional marriage” IS a form of bigotry against gay people.

It’s just under 8 minutes long, which is a really long time in “internet world”, I know.  But it’s worth giving the whole thing a listen.

 

 

I wish everyone could have a chance to listen to this conversation.



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