TOLERATING THE INTOLERANT

While doing my morning reading, I came upon this headline among the op-ed pieces in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Trashing traditionalists: End the intolerance toward opponents of same-sex marriage

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/trashing-traditionalists-end-the-intolerance-toward-opponents-of-same-sex-marriage-650945/

The writer, Jennifer A. Marshall, is a director of a division of the conservative Heritage Foundation. The basis for her argument was the lone gunman at the Family Research Council’s (FRC) offices last week who apparently was bent on protesting that organization’s opposition to same sex marriage.

While few were willing to say groups advocating for gay marriage were responsible for pushing  this idiot over the edge, some commentators such as liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank believed it to be irresponsible for organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to label the FRC a “hate group” for its refusal to accept the practice.

Would that it were so.

If that was the only “sin” of the FRC, the SPLC would not have labeled it a hate group. Alas, the FRC has made statements and taken positions much more egregious on this issue and has uttered outright lies, fostered discredited research about homosexuality and defamed the gay community with unsubstantiated accusations of criminality.

The SPLC lists its reasons for its assessment of the FRC here, and those reasons are reflected in the FRC’s own words and deeds.  http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/family-research-council

I am not going to dissect these reasons to determine the validity of each one. But I cite it to show that the “hate group” labeling of the FRC is founded on much more than mere opposition to gay marriage.

Even more so I view the resistance to gay marriage and gay rights in general as akin to those who fought against the civil rights movement for negroes and who had managed to get laws passed forbidding interracial marriages.

That INTOLERANCE to me is a denial of recognition of the basic humanity of those who are homosexual, who…other than the sexual orientation programmed into them…share the same dreams and aspirations as most people which include establishing a long term relationship of a romantic nature that is loving, nurturing, family oriented, and desirous of living in peace.

To deny them the opportunity to establish these relationships on the same legal basis as heterosexual marriages is an act that denies them this basic humanity.

So in response to Jennifer A. Marshall I ask, “Why should we tolerate the intolerant?” My own answer is we should not, but neither do we need to commit violence upon them. But our civil rights movement did not end the shame and degradation of official and de facto racism by tolerating the intolerant.

No, those individuals were shunted to the wayside through passionate passive resistance and  advocacy for and passage of protective and remedial laws and the final removal of laws prohibiting interracial marriage with the Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling in Loving v Virginia of their unconstitutionality.

The rightness and righteousness of that ruling are reflected in the plaintiffs’ name…Loving. So today the the couples who are in gay marriages or desire to be are also… LOVING.

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