Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Do You Think? Is There a New Frenzy about Gay Rights Among Those Determined to Resist?

What do you think?

Is the open discussion of marriage equality sparked by the Supreme Court hearings creating a special kind of fury among some Americans and some others following American politics? Is there, for instance, a sense among those committed to resisting the human rights of gay persons that things are getting out of their control--hence, a kind of frenzy to lash out?

Steve and I had a discussion last evening with a friend. He's an African-American judge and Baptist minister, and I've written about him and his church here in the past. This black church has taken the courageous step (courageous for our part of the world, where even "liberal" churches shy away from such discussions) to discuss gay rights openly, and to proclaim themselves as a welcoming community for gay persons. As they prepared for this step, the church invited Steve and me to talk to their study group about our experiences as a gay couple living in a region highly resistant to gay rights and highly intolerant of openly gay folks.

I'm not sure, to be precise, that it was our friend's insight that things are at a particular peak of frenzy now over gay rights issues, or if Steve and I suggested this. No matter how the suggestion arose, it was one that seemed to all three of us worth pursuing, and our friend helped us make parallels to his experience as an African American who lived through the Civil Rights movement in Arkansas, and who has drawn much fire as an outspoken African-American judge and minister defending human rights.

These questions do seem to me to be worth asking. Unless I'm mistaken, there's a special kind of vituperation on full display lately at many Catholic blog sites I read daily, some of them in the centrist-liberal camp, now being vented against gay persons--not by the writers and staff of many of these blogs or journals, but by folks logging in to participate in discussions there.

To be blunt, the bullying of gay folks by some Catholics who seem particularly angry right now about gay rights issues seems to have spiked in recent days, especially in the American context. Because of my own experiences with some of these people at blog sites in recent days, and because of some experiences Steve and I have had in the past two weeks that I haven't shared here, we're wondering what's going on, and if our experiences are reflecting some enhanced hostility among groups in the U.S. who may sense they've lost control of the culture when it comes to gay rights.

What do you think?

The chart showing religious views on marriage equality is from a Pew Forum study in June-July 2012.

No comments: