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May 11th, 2008

Come…Let Us Reason Together…About Your Much Shorter Lifespan…

Homofacism:  The extremist demand of homosexuals that people stop telling lies about them.

Ryan Sorba, author of the forthcoming book "The Gay Gene Hoax", was brought to the Michigan State University by the campus Young Americans For Freedom group to tell the student body there that "The born gay hoax was invented in 1985 by pro-sodomy activists in effort to overturn anti-sodomy laws by way of minority status." The event was advertised by YAF with a flier called "Gays Spread AIDS".

During the course of his speech, in which Sorba falsely claimed among other things that Bruce Bagemihl’s Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity was not a "correct study" and had not been cited by other researchers, including Paul Vasey and Volker Sommer (Biological Exuberance was cited by Vasey and Sommer thirteen times), a group of gay folk got up and began chanting and banging pans to drown him out.  He eventually had to leave the stage.

Kyle Bristow, the chairman of the MSU chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom, said, "Sexual deviancy poses as a dire threat to our civilization; is an affront to God; corrupts culture with decadence; and is an attack on the institution of the family, which is the crux of our society." 

The kook pews naturally, are in an uproar, over this incident, and others where they claim gay folk are engaging in "homofacism".  Over at Pam’s House Blend, blogger Dagon says

They say the glbt progressives will not allow free discussion of homosexuality, especially by Christians.  They compare glbt techniques of silencing Christians to Hitler in the 1930’s.  I think the Freepers go overboard.  But there is no doubt that the Smith students and the Toledo University President are stifling Christian oppositional speech against homosexuality.

Just like we would stifle speech advocating slavery, anti-Semitism, or racism.  When Andy Humm, the host of Gay USA on Free Speech TV, found himself on a TV Talk Show opposite a reparative therapy counselor, he refused to speak with the counselor.  Instead he spent the entire time speaking with the host of the show.  He wanted to know how the host dared invite such an irresponsible person as the reparative therapist to the TV show.  Andy went on and on about how the therapist and others like him hurt so very many people … but he never engaged the therapist … he ignored him completely.

I think Andy’s tactic was brilliant.  I have to admit, I think those bloggers who criticized the Smith women were wrong.  The Smith lesbian were right on the money.  We do NOT need to invite crazy people to our campuses, churches, or civic centers.  The whole western world already knows that homosexuality is completely normal.  The jury is back, the verdict is in, the case is over.  Case closed.  Debate over.  

The wingnuts can argue among themselves.  They can hold the debate right along side an explanation of the world being only 6,000 years old and the earth being flat.  Have at it.

But over at the Independent [sic] Gay Forum, John Corvino would politely disagree

Increasingly, one finds people on both sides who object not merely to their opponents’ position but even to engaging that position. Why debate the obvious, they ask. Surely anyone who holds THAT position must be too stubborn, brainwashed or dumb to reason with.

The upshot is that supporters and opponents of gay rights are talking to each other less and less. This fact distresses me.

It distresses me for several reasons. First, it lulls gay-rights advocates into a complacency where we mistake others’ silence for acquiescence. Then we are shocked—shocked!—when, for example, an Oklahoma state representative says that gays pose a greater threat than terrorism—and her constituents rally around her. Think Sally Kern will have a hard time getting re-elected? Think again.

It distresses me, too, because dialogue works. Not always, and not easily, but it makes a difference. Indeed, ironically enough, healthy dialogue about our issues helped move many people from the “supportive – but – open – to – discussion” camp to the “so – supportive – I – can’t – believe – we’re – discussing – this” camp.

Corvino is right of course in the basic idea: dialogue works.  But was Sorba engaging in dialogue?

The born gay hoax was invented in 1985 by pro-sodomy activists in effort to overturn anti-sodomy laws by way of minority status.

If that amounts to dialogue, then I suppose so is a burning cross.

Yes…dialogue works.  Absolutely.  When it’s dialogue.  But dialogue has one inescapable prerequisite: good faith.  I have three conditions for dialogue with anyone on the other side of the gay rights issue.  I think they are reasonable ones.

  1. Stop lying.
  2. Stop lying.
  3. Stop lying.

When you have a talk with someone who angrily waves Paul Cameron’s junk science in your face, and you point out to them how Cameron’s facts cannot be trusted, and they concede the point and stop waving Cameron in your face, but then go on to angrily wave something else just as bogus in your face…yes, actually, you Are having a dialogue.  There is a willingness there to at least listen, even if it is a very slight one.  They really are engaging you…albeit between bouts of finger pointing at the perverted gay lifestyle.  But if that same person later goes on to wave Cameron in Someone Else’s face as though they’d never conceded the point at all when they were talking with you, there was no dialogue.  You need to see that for what it is.  There was no dialogue.  You may have thought there was, but there was no dialogue.  And there is no dialogue possible with that person because they are not and never were engaging you in good faith.  What was going on there is if Cameron doesn’t work on you, he can still work on someone else.  What was going on there is if they can’t make you hate yourself at least they can try to make other people hate you, and if enough people hate you then no matter how proud you are, you will still be afraid. 

That’s what’s going on behind the anti-gay mask of dialogue.  Not having an open and frank discussion of the issue, but hate mongering.  And you need to know the difference because when you sit down with hate mongers, people who have a history of falsifying the evidence, hiding the truth, ignoring the facts, you are elevating them by virtue of your own willingness to be persuaded.  You are granting them a status they have not earned, do not deserve, and in any case do not want apart from its usefulness as a tool in their Kulturkampf .  They are not interested in being persuaded.  They are not interested in listening to you.  That measuring gaze in their eyes as you tell them your story isn’t listening.  It’s calculating.  They are interested in only one thing: demonizing homosexuals.  The world must hate us, as much as they hate us.  That is all that matters to them.   And if they can get you to help them demonize you, so much the better.

This isn’t rocket science.   Starting in 2003, various anti-gay sources started peddling, as an argument against same sex marriage, a study by Dutch researchers led by Dr. Maria Xiradou which they claimed proved that not only were gay relationships very short lived, none that lasted longer then a few years were monogamous.  And indeed, none of the gay male relationships in that study were long lived, or monogamous.  But as Jim Burroway later found out by…well…actually reading the study…that would have been hardly surprising as it was intended to show how HIV infection was spreading through the young gay male population of Amsterdam and the researchers excluded older couples and monogamous couples from the study

When you see people doing that kind of thing it is telling you all you need to know about the possibility of dialogue with them.  You cannot sit down and have a dialogue with someone where you are trying your level best to understand their point of view and tell your own side of the story as simply and as honestly as you can and they are looking you right in the eye and lying through their teeth.  That is not a dialogue, and you are being used.  It is not that there is no point in sitting down with hate mongers.  It’s that sitting down with hate mongers makes them seem like something they are not, and that allows them to keep right on spreading their poison into the dialogue the rest of the human family needs to have. 

Earlier this year the Vermont legislature appointed an 11-member Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection to explore the idea of gay marriage and hear how Vermonters feel about it.  They conducted hearings all over the state, and something amazing happened.  The conversation was civil.  There was no cat-calling, no screaming and shouting, no personal attacks.  Why?  Because the anti-gay opposition boycotted the hearings.  They weren’t silenced.  They weren’t shouted down.  They weren’t censored.  They simply chose not to participate, claiming that the hearings were stacked against them.  But with the hate mongers out of it, the people were able to have what they weren’t supposed to have, what the hate mongers didn’t want them to have.  Dialogue.  See how that works?

Religion doesn’t matter.  Party doesn’t matter.  Education and culture do not matter.   Only one thing matters when it comes to dialogue and that is good faith.  Unless that one thing is present, there is no dialogue.  At best there is only flag waving.  At worst, all you are doing is helping hate mongers to destroy the possibility of dialogue.  Because, yes, dialogue works.  Dialogue brings people together.  Dialogue kills hate.  And that is why the hate mongers want to be wherever there is a chance of dialogue occurring. 

In this country even hate has a right to speak it’s mind.  And that’s well and good.  Better hate comes out into the open where it can be seen for what it is.  But that doesn’t mean we need to engage hate as though it is something it is not.  I am perfectly willing to have a dialogue.  I am all about dialogue.  But if you want to wave your hate flag you will have to do it all by yourself because I was not born into this world just to help the likes of you make people hate me.  Here are my conditions for having a dialogue about homosexuality:

  1. Stop lying.
  2. Stop lying.
  3. Stop lying.

 

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