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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Heterosexual Hate Crimes?

The "gay marriage debate" presses on, especially in Massachusetts. The state was the first to legalize gay marriages, and now the big hubbub is about state legislation that might ban gay marriage. But there's another side of things - one that you might not expect. With everyone paying attention to hate crimes against homosexuals who don't want to feel attacked or belittled or "made to feel uncomfortable", who's going to pay attention when stones are thrown in the opposite direction?

Don't heterosexuals have the right to not want to feel attacked or belittled or "made to feel uncomfortable"?

Since it's hard for many people to see heterosexuality as "under attack" (verbally, if not otherwise), I'll make reference to an article that caught my attention. It appears that the homosexual community has started slinging hateful terms at heterosexuals, including the popular term "breeder". For all of the plethora of hateful terms used to refer to homosexuals, it seems natural that terms would arise to insult and berate the originators. And white racial slurs now exist for just about every race under the sun, so will slurs against sexualities.

"Breeders", the new slur against heterosexuals (and possibly any couple/person with a child) should be treated just as severely as any other hateful word thrown about, shouldn't it? Shouldn't a homosexual verbally attacking a heterosexual be just as offensive as the other way around?

But it doesn't stop there. In Massachusetts, a gay man confronted a woman because she was circulating (and had signed) a petition to ban same-sex marriage in the state. The altercation lasted less than a minute, and the man later admitted regret that he "exploded" about the incident, but he could still be charged with disorderly conduct. The incident itself has sparked some debate (more than usual, I suppose) about what constitutes a "hate incident".

People siding with the gay man say that the woman committed a "hate incident" merely by SIGNING the petition. The Anti-Defamation League "considers the distribution and circulation of hate propaganda and information a hate incident when the action seeks to make a group of people feel uncomfortable". And yet there's a group of Catholics in the area who argue that by that logic, that is what's happening to THEM - being made to feel uncomfortable due to the approval of the same-sex marriages (and homosexuality in general) based on their faith and its disapproval of it all.

So what will come of this? Frankly, it seems we are at an impasse based on the terminology everyone is using. Since when did "feeling comfortable" become a right? Since when did being made to feel uncomfortable mean that liberties have been attacked and the incident is hateful? Well if that's how we're going to play the game, then I want to sue the article itself, because I feel uncomfortable with the whole gay marriage debate in general - and printing articles about the gay marriage debate would be considered "the distribution and circulation of hate propaganda and information", wouldn't it?

We all need to relax and be adults. It is NOT our right to feel comfortable. Anyone who's flown on an airplane certainly knows that. Skins need to be thickened, opinions need to be handled with a little more tact and diplomacy, and we need to stop hating as much as we currently do (and accuse others of doing). I'll leave the last thought to a quote in the article made by Provincetown, Massachusetts board of selectmen chairwoman Cheryl Andrews:

"I don’t know anyone who hates heterosexuals. We wouldn’t be here without them."


AaronBSam's Blog
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