Monday, March 17, 2014

Richard Kim on Why Gays Can't "Accept a Polite Culture War Truce by Letting 'the Dissenters Opt Out'"

At The Nation, Richard Kim asks, "So why can’t gays accept a polite culture war truce by letting 'the dissenters opt out?'" He provides five answers to his questions--all are direct quotes from Kim's article:

1. "First, the forces behind Arizona’s SB 1062 don’t just want to be left alone to exalt heterosexual marriages."

2. "Second, anti-gay discrimination still happens—a lot."

3. "Third, the twenty-one state laws meant to remedy this discrimination were all passed by democratically elected legislatures and signed by democratically elected governors."

4. "Fourth, while it’s true that the courts have been ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, they have also been extremely deferential to religious freedom."

5. "Fifth, in states that do have anti-discrimination laws that cover sexual orientation, there is not exactly a record of religious persecution."

Meanwhile, at Commonweal Michael Peppard suggests that in our national conversation about where to put gay folks, we Americans "need not deteriorate into a culture 'war' with winners and losers." And as I read that observation, I wonder where Peppard has been lo these many years.

I had thought we've already been in a culture war with winners and losers for, oh, quite a few years now. Certainly since Patrick Buchanan explicitly called for a culture war in his saber-rattling speech about this topic to the Republican National Convention in 1992. 

I can only conclude that a war's perhaps easier to ignore when you're not the human being against whom the war is being waged.

The photo of Richard Kim is from his Twitter page.

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