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Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Gay Civil Rights Movement Isn't About Sex!

Marshall: “Frankly, you can’t equate being Black with being Gay. Moreover you CANNOT equate the Black Civil Rights movement with this so called, "Gay Civil Rights" movement.

Its [sic] really really insulting to us Black Americans.

I don't care if you want to have sex with a man if you are a man. I don't care if you want to have sex with a... woman if you are a woman, but don't politicize how you enjoy to have sex.”

When I accepted a friend request on facebook from the husband of one of my sister’s oldest friends, the above diatribe was certainly not something I expected or wanted to see.   I immediately hid all news posts from the author so that I wouldn’t have to be subjected to such hatred again.  But I didn’t remove him as a friend or respond. 

I have friends and family on facebook who do not know I am gay and I wasn’t ready to put my head above the parapet.  In addition, some of my friends on facebook are gay, and by responding to this I would be allowing this nonsense to appear in their news streams.  So I did nothing. 

After a restless night during which my mind kept returning to facebook & Marshall, I realised that doing nothing was not acceptable, so I logged back in and responded as follows:

Marshall, it is very early in our short facebook friendship for this sort of disappointment.  Too many of my friends are gay for me to have this sort of thing appear in my news stream again.  And quite frankly, I don’t want it there!

While it is really wonderful that you don’t care if a man wants to have sex with a man or a woman wants to have sex with a woman, the gay rights movement is not about sex.  And it is “really really insulting” to gay people that you have reduced it to this.

Civil rights are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment and not to be discriminated against.  In the same way that you do not wish to be discriminated against for being born black, a gay person does not want to be discriminated against because they were born gay.  And before you interject, homosexuality is not a choice as you suggest.

Throughout history, gay people have been discriminated against and persecuted simply because of who they are.   They have been beaten, killed, abused (physically & emotionally), ostracised by their families & friends…why would anyone choose that?

You might argue that while you can’t hide the colour of your skin, a gay person can “hide” the fact that they are gay.  But why should they have to?  All they want is the same rights that you have – to live an open and honest life without fear, to fall in love and get married, raise a family and know that if anything was to happen to them, their family would be taken care of.  Is that too much to ask?

“Freedom, respect, dignity and economic and social equality” are what African Americans fought for – why would you want to deny these to anyone else?

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