Guys… honestly I had to have a good laugh at this one, a real good laugh. You know the kind of laugh I mean, where you can spot the ironic double standard that appears to be completely lost on the author who presents herself as tolerant and probably believes that she is… and yet she isn’t. Let’s get stuck in and you’ll see what I mean.
People disagree. Each of us is different, and therefore we hold a lot of different views about many things. It is the nature of being one of these flesh bags with a brain we call humans. Because we have the good fortune to live in Australia, you are generally allowed to hold these differing opinions safely, even if they happen to suck. For example, it is legal to claim that pineapple on pizza is good, when it is actually very bad.
I don’t like pineapple on pizza either, and I think this is one of the few things we are actually going to agree on.
However, having bad opinions doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be some consequences. Nobody is suggesting you should be put in jail for your wrong opinion that Leann Rimes’ version of How Do I Live is better than Tricia Yearwood’s version, but it doesn’t mean you should get off scot-free.
Why ever not? If somebody elses view is stupid, people are going to recognize it as such and have a bloody good laugh, no need for the pitchforks.
This is especially true with sentiments that actually matter, and ones that may in fact do damage. In the previous example, if you (wrongly) think Leanne Rimes’ version of the song is better, the only impact that is going to have is to slightly hurt the feelings of Tricia Yearwood and me. Not a big deal.
Views are just opinions, if somebody is hurt by WORDS there is a huge problem. An insult, for example is not damaging in the same way as an assault. If somebody’s ego is so fragile that it is going to be injured by words, that person has a problem.
If, however, you are a NSW Liberal MP and one of your staffers writes a series of posts on Facebook comparing homosexuality to incest and bestiality, and you support that staffer by saying his comments were ‘logical’ and ‘unremarkable’, it is an entirely different kettle of homophobic fish.
I would argue that if however some moron compares incest to bestiality then that’s an entire different kettle of incestophobic fish. Homosexuality is more comparable to incest than it is to bestiality, but not for the reasons that people intend. It’s often used as a slight against gay and lesbian people, which is clearly reprehensible. Of course homophobia should be lambasted. However, incestuous people have to put up with the same or an even greater amount of hate, often with the same ridiculous reasoning being employed by homophobes. Rather than tackling homophobia alone, how about we tackle BOTH forms of hate and inject a bit of common sense here.
Bestiality is a completely different topic, it involves the rape of an animal that cannot consent. Incest and homosexuality both involve consenting adult HUMANS. Please get your facts straight.
Edwin Nelson, a charming young fellow who works as a staffer for MP Kevin Connolly, recently caused a bit of a stir when he wrote a series of Facebook posts (confusingly) comparing homosexuality to incest.
Where exactly is the homophobia here… I don’t see it. It’s a legitimate question. Of course BOTH OF THE ABOVE SCENARIOS ARE FINE. As long as it’s consenting adults, what business is it of anyone else? Also where is the bestiality remark?… this only mentions gay incest versus heterosexual incest.
He then KFC Double-Downed on this by arguing that homosexuality “can have detrimental effects on others too when they adopt children” (what) and “there’s no conclusive studies” that future generations won’t be wrecked by same sex couples raising children (thanks Mr Scientist, where did you get your science degree).
Wow… just wow. I can see why you would lambast that, and rightly so, current evidence points to the fact that children ARE NOT detrimentally impacted by being raised by homosexual parents. It doesn’t turn them gay, and if people were not homophobic then this wouldn’t even be an issue.
Anyway, these are opinions. They are very wrong and poorly worded opinions, but opinions all the same. But in this case, unlike pineapple pizza or a song choice, these are not just personal preferences. These opinions have a victim. They are homophobic, and they perpetuate damaging beliefs. And they come from a staffer of a politician, someone who can make real-world policy decisions.
An opinion cannot have a victim, and you cannot bar a person from serving as an elected official based upon their personal opinions, even if those opinions suck. Of course, we should try to change homophobic attitudes whenever we see them, but barring people from serving their country would be as short sighted and as wrong as the homophobia you are lambasting.
Again, nobody is saying that Nelson should have been fired or thrown down a hole to rot for eternity. But in an ideal world, Nelson’s boss MP Kevin Connolly would have swiftly decried Nelson’s claims, explaining that his point of view is unacceptable for this the year of our Beyoncé 2016. Instead Connolly defended the blatant homophobia, saying:
“Mr Nelson has made the logical and unremarkable observation that proponents of changing the definition of marriage to include any two adults who love each other would have no rational basis on which to exclude two adult brothers or two adult sisters from that definition of ‘marriage’,”
What on earth is wrong with that?… rather than being a homophobic statement, it is tolerant of BOTH HOMOSEXUALITY AND INCEST. Way to go, what a breath of fresh air! So really there isn’t any homophobia here at all, and for once, no incestophobia either… unlike with this article. I was expecting something awful, instead I find a good dollop of common sense and tolerance. How the author of this article can see homophobia in this is beyond me.
MY opinion is that this is an incredibly inappropriate and actually quite thoughtless thing to have said. So surely we could now look to NSW Premier Mike Baird to step in and put down his foot. Surely the homophobia on display here, first a staffer comparing homosexuality to incest, and then a member of parliament saying that this comparison is logical, would be enough to make Mike Baird act.
But both ARE comparable, because neither deserve the hate and intolerance. Rather than the comments being thoughtless, they should be thought provoking, enough to make people see that if hate against homosexuals is unacceptable, then hate against incest is also equally unacceptable, and for exactly the same reasons.
Well, he kind of did. After a fashion. Buzzfeed reported that the Premier was asked if he supported Connolly’s statement.
“I have not seen those comments but I make it clear that individual members of Parliament will have different views in relation to the marriage equality debate,” Baird said.
Baird said he would not personally support words comparing homosexuality to incest, but “members are allowed to have different views”.
“What I want to see as part of the debate, both here and at the national level, is respect for individual opinions. The words and the way they are said is important.”
In other words, answering the question officially had been pretty much evaded, not that this is any great shock coming from a politician.
Well, this is not really the stepping in we were hoping for. This is yet another little babushka inside the babushka of homophobia that is this entire situation. Saying that homosexuality is akin to incest is not a valid opinion, it is homophobia. It is damaging to queer Australians. Not condemning these public statements of homophobia is effectively the same as endorsing it.
Why isn’t it a valid opinion? The parallels between the two in terms of the intolerance and the fact that both involve consenting adult who aren’t harming anyone are endless. Not only is this a valid opinion, it’s a demonstrable fact! FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY is necessary for BOTH groups of people. How would this logical and necessary comparison hurt gay people? It WON’T, it will demonstrate how ridiculous it is to hate anyone based upon their sexuality and lifestyle.
Mike Baird has form of this wishy-washy kind of statement around homophobia. He is a committed Christian who is against same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption, but appears to try not to advertise that fact.
Those views may be lamentable, but he has every right to hold them providing that he does not use his faith as an excuse to oppress others. Also, not all Christians are opposed to homosexuality or same sex marriage, many are not. The Church of England, for instance, ordains gay clergy these days (and women clergy) in a bid to show that the religion can keep up with the changing times… and good on them.
He made concerning remarks last year following the controversy around the documentary Gayby Baby being banned from NSW schools during school hours.
“I think tolerance is a good thing. But I think there should be some parameters around it … This is something that can be provided but done outside class time.”
In other words, he was offering his views in an off the record basis.That aside, tolerance SHOULD have parameters around it: Consenting adults: accepted, Anything else: prohibited… there, job done.
Yeah, nah. The queer community and same-sex couples and families do not need your tolerance. That is not good enough anymore Mr Baird. We also do not need ‘opinions’ that compare queerness to incest, or bestiality, or whatever bullshit homophobes come up with.
Except that there was no comparison with bestiality… so why mention it? Also, as I have explained already, the comparison with incest is valid. Both groups need ACCEPTANCE, and if not everyone can accept fully then tolerance will do just fine.
These are not simply ‘different views’ that should be respected on the same level as the ‘view’ that homosexuality is okay, and queer people should be treated with respect. Those kinds of comments are not acceptable, and should not be treated as part of the debate on marriage equality, or any other debate, unless the debate is ‘how many awful statements can an MP make before the Premier will do something’.
Nowhere did he say that homosexuality was not okay, and his comparison to incest seemed to indicate that incest is also okay… which it IS. It SHOULD be part of the debate, for BOTH groups, and by the way both homosexuals and incestuous people deserve respect. Nothing awful about that.
By saying that such comments are simply different views as part of a rational debate, you are saying that those comments are themselves rational. You are giving permission for people to say whatever harmful comments they want, without repercussions.
And in my opinion, that just is not good enough.
But the argument IS rational, he was asking about gay incest versus straight incest in the context of marriage equality. Why should that not be debatable? I suspect this has little to do with defending homosexuals and more about your negative attitude towards incest. I could see absolutely nothing harmful in those comments.