Monday, 17 February 2014

Homophobia

I've been meaning to write something like this for a while but just never really managed to find a focus for what I was trying to say. Homophobia is such a big topic that I didn't want it to just sound like rambling, but I think I may have finally actually managed to articulate what I've been trying to say.

There are a whole load of 'different types' of homophobia but most of them just involve people being morons for no good reason. One of the more common types is 'casual' homophobia, which TSN looked at in it's 'ReOrientation' three part feature. That said, some of the language in it isn't at all 'casual'. "I hate gay people" isn't casual at all, and it also looks at the myth that if you're gay you're not tough and masculine.


This, alongside The Wonder Years' lyric: "I'm not sad anymore, I'm just tired of this place. // The homophobic bullshit that's somehow okay // Just because you didn't mean it that way.", really does sum up how I feel about 'casual' homophobia. As said in the video, the way that 'gay' is thrown around would be completely inappropriate if it was said of any other group, so why are we okay with it being said about the gay community?

Then there's homophobia that's propagated by societies and cultures as being okay. I hereby direct you to Kansas House Bill 2543. Which stops people who hold a religious belief having to violate these beliefs by dealing with anything that contradicts their religion. Which, basically, could be anything but was written in response to the backlash of the perceived persecution of religious folk to do with homosexuality.

This bill gives security to any person or 'religious entity' from being able to do various things including not being required to:

(a) Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services; or provide employment or employment benefits, related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement

Over in the UK we had a similar incident when two gay men were turned away from a B&B on the grounds of the sexuality and it disagreed with the owner's religious beliefs. This was taken to the high court, who ruled in favour of the men. For some reason Kansas is going backward and would make this a perfectly okay thing to do. What struck me as incredible is that any person or 'religious entity' also doesn't have to:

(c) treat any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement as valid

So, if you don't want to, you don't have to treat anybody's marriage as valid if it contradicts your own religious beliefs? How utterly ridiculous. For a religion (let's not kid ourselves, this is to mostly protect those scared white Christians) that preaches a whole load of good things - love and tolerance - how has it been so distorted into this?

It's not completely out of the question that a police officer, nurse, or doctor could refuse to help somebody based on this, and that, quite frankly, is unacceptable. Unfortunately Kansas isn't the only state doing this. Arizona's SB 1062 is trying to do a very similar thing. America, what are you doing?

While everybody's eyes are on Russia and their anti-homosexuality laws America is doing something that really isn't so different. These laws effectively give the right to discriminate against those of a different religious belief to you - and those that don't live their life by your rules, and that's not okay in the 21st century. If you feel like trying to do something then you can start by signing the petition to repeal these laws. "Legalised segregation" probably isn't such a bad way to put it.

Speaking of Russia, the laws there are archaic and ridiculous. When you have 14 year old's being punished for 'gay propaganda' then there's something seriously wrong. The culture (Lord forgive me for referencing The Daily Mail) there is sickening and it's something that we need to stop. The only good thing to come out of this is the publicity and the reactions from countries that condemn it. From Canada and Norway there have been adverts, and the US sent openly gay delegates to Sochi.

In other news there were two big announcements in the past few days recently, Michael Sam - an award winning defensemen - came out just a few months before the NFL Draft. In what could be a turning point in American Football it's going to be the first time having an openly gay player in the league. Also Ellen Page made a speech announcing she was also gay, and the amount of 'we already knew' and the like was overwhelming. I'm not sure that's the right reaction to have, - it was definitely the one that faced Tom Daley - but as long as you understand the magnitude of somebody coming out, and the courage that takes I can somewhat understand it. Finally, slightly more under-the-radar, Casey Stoney, the captain of the England's women team, made the same announcement to the BBC last week, checking Reddit made me see that there's still quite a long way to go to - and why the feminist and gay-rights movements really aren't so far apart. Equal rights for all, please.

I'm not even going to focus on those who are too far gone for reason but I would really like casual homophobia to stop.

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