Straight Pride

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Backcountry Conservative draws attention to Straight Pride Week, sponsored by a student group at the University of Central Oklahoma. I noticed that Jeff doesn't comment on it one way or the other, but the trackbacks are trying to make this out to be an issue of fairness. That seems to me to miss too many of the social dynamics. I left a comment, but I want to record here also what disturbs me about this.

I think when you view this in the light of what such things normally are like, then it does seem bigoted or at least insensitive. Normally these pride things are supposed to give a sense of recognizing the importance an value of those in a persecuted, marginalized, or even hated group. When racial minorities do it, they're purportedly identifying themselves as good people and most fundamentally as no more or not the sort of people that anyone should be ashamed of being.

This sort of thing seems a little silly when you see that straight people aren't peresecuted in any important way, and saying so makes it look as if you're just being insensitive to people who have truly been persecuted. There's no way at all that straight people have been marginalized, though I do think there is some bigotry toward straight people who think gay sex and relationships are wrong. It seems insensitive to those who have been the object of negative social attitudes, then, to do this in the way that these things are normally done, using the same sort of language obviously adopted from the kinds of events I've been talking about. It becomes the kind of victimology conservatives loathe, emphasizing victimhood where it barely or doesn't at all exist, purely for the benefit of feeling like it gives the one made out to be an opppressor some sense of guilt.

11 Comments

I don't suppose the Straight Pride folks have come up with their equivalent to the rainbow flag or pink triangle?

The point you seem to miss, my friend, is that the right to free speech, to rally, and to protest is not exclusively reserved for the minority. Each and every person has the right and almost the duty to celebrate who they are. Straight Pride isn't about being anti-gay, it's about celebrating heterosexuality. Yet, we are just as persecuted, I can assure you of that. Largely because of people like W. N. Otwell and Fred Phelps, people believe anyone who holds an opposition to homosexuality is a member of the Klan or the Third Reich. We're not the ones who picket funerals of homosexuals with signs that say "God Hates Fags," in fact we're just as opposed to that as anyone. However, people like us have come under heavy persecution recently. Don't believe me? Just ask Michael Marcavage and the three others from Repent America on trial right now for hate crimes because they peacefully protested a gay rights rally. They were trying to witness to people, to protest peacefully, and were charged with hate crimes because the religious beliefs they were talking about view homosexuality as a sin. If convicted, each of the four will receive 47 years in prison and a 90,000 dollar fine. This is tantamount to what happened to blacks during the Civil Rights movement. But why don't you hear about this on the news? The media has blacked out this story for fear of sounding anti-gay. But, of course, this isn't persecution in "any important way" as you put it. This story isn't alone. In Sweden, a minister was arrested at his pulpit for preaching against homosexuality. In Canada, any speech including reading directly from the Bible is considered hate speech if it speaks against homosexuality. Portions of the Bible are being introduced in the Repent America case as examples of hate literature. One final note, I strongly recommend that you do not compare the supposed �homosexual plight� to what blacks went through. At no time have there been �separate but equal� water fountains, schools, and bathrooms for homosexuals. Homosexuals today have the same rights as heterosexuals� and I can make an excellent case that homosexuals actually have MORE rights than do heterosexuals (via unconstitutional �hate crime� legislation, etc.).

Keeping It Straight,

Adam Key
Director of Public Relations, Straight Pride

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke.

The point you seem to miss, my friend, is that the right to free speech, to rally, and to protest is not exclusively reserved for the minority.

No, I never said anyone had no right to do this. I just said it was a bad idea to do it, and I think the justification for doing it is faulty. It may also be morally wrong, and I gave one consideration why. That doesn't mean people don't have a right to do it. I have a right to lie to my wife constantly, but that doesn't make it right or a good idea. I'm talking about the moral issues here.

Yet, we are just as persecuted, I can assure you of that.... This is tantamount to what happened to blacks during the Civil Rights movement.... I strongly recommend that you do not compare the supposed �homosexual plight� to what blacks went through.

So you seem to think heterosexuals are persecuted in the way that blacks were during the civil rights era, but gays are persecuted less than that? That's nuts. There's much more hatred of gays in the public light than hatred of straghts, which is just about nonexistent. Can you honestly tell me that the people who got arrested for protesting were arrested for being straight? Why am I still sitting here, then, rather than being in jail? They got arrested for public statements of anti-gay views, not because they were straight.

No one is really persecuted for being straight. There are the radical fringe feminists who think all heterosexual sex is rape, but those people are extremists like Fred Phelps, and no one pays attention to them. The fact that someone says something I do is wrong doesn't count as persecution, though, anymore than it's persecution of gays to say that gay relationships are immoral. That's just not persecution. It's expressing a moral view. There's nothing else that I've ever even heard of that could conceivably count as persecution of heterosexuals merely because they're heterosexual.

I acknowledge that there's bigotry against those who think gay sex and relationships are wrong. I've put a lot of effort into arguing just that. That's not bigotry against heterosexuals, though. It's bigotry against those who hold a certain moral view. Since most heterosexuals in this country don't hold that moral view, it can't be anti-heterosexual bigotry. I don't think this sort of thing counts as persecution anyway compared to how Christians have been persecuted the world over throughout the last 2000 years or compared to some of the horrendous things that have been done against ethnic groups. It is bigotry, though, and you seem to be assuming that I don't acknowledge that. I do and have been the recipient of such bigotry myself in the past, on this very site.

At no time have there been "separate but equal" water fountains, schools, and bathrooms for homosexuals. Homosexuals today have the same rights as heterosexuals� and I can make an excellent case that homosexuals actually have MORE rights than do heterosexuals (via unconstitutional �hate crime� legislation, etc.).

It's clear that some people discriminate against gay people in terms of both hiring and housing. I have a good friend who argues that that kind of discrimination is morally justified, but it's still discrimination. Don't try to pretend that such discrimination isn't out there. That doesn't immediately transfer to rights, but it's something to acknowledge. I know of no one who discriminates against heterosexuals.

The rights issue is more complicated. I can't think of any rights that gay people as a group have that straight people as a group don't have. Same-sex unions don't require being gay, just that you live with the person and sign some paperwork. So that's not an extra right that gay people have. If I weren't married, I could form a same-sex union with another straight male roommate, if I were living in the right state. I can't think of any other right that you might think gay people have that straights don't have.

Whether marriage rights are something gay people don't have that straights do have is a legitimate debate, one that I think is more complicated than it at first sounds. One thing is clear, though. There are social privileges that gay people don't have in many segments of the American population. One is to be able to discuss one's romantic desires and attitudes in public without risking condemnation. Another is the ability not to have one's romantic attachments be the entire way society defines one. Straight people never have to worry about those things, but they're privileges society often doesn't give to gay people. Given that there's no persecution of heterosexuals at all, even if there's a little of gays then there's enough more that talking as if straights are persecuted equally or more is just silly and at least bordering on offensive.

>They got arrested for public statements of anti-gay views, not because they were straight.

Exactly. The Christians in Philadelphia were arrested for exercising their right to free speech. They were expressing disapproval of homosexuality, but they weren't advocating that homosexuals be stripped of any rights.

Just because you have the freedom to behave how you wish...and you do...doesn't mean that I should have to agree with the morality of your actions.

There is increasing pressure, especially on college campuses, to require students to conform to views of "non-discrimination" based on gender identity, sexual orientation, etc, that directly conflict with their values. Considering some of the experiences I have had on campus, I am not suprised that somebody thought of a straight pride week.

PS.

Your statment that "Same-sex unions don't require being gay, just that you live with the person and sign some paperwork." might help you understand why so many people are against gay marriage. If it is wrong to insist that marriage is between a woman and a man, what right do we have to insist that it is a sexual relationship, or a life-long committment? Increasingly marriage will simply be more a contract between two...or more...individuals, and less a committment between a man and a woman to raise children. This can only hurt children, and society in general.

Exactly. The Christians in Philadelphia were arrested for exercising their right to free speech. They were expressing disapproval of homosexuality, but they weren't advocating that homosexuals be stripped of any rights.

Yes, that's what I said. That's why it's not persecution of heterosexuals but of those who think homosexuality is wrong and say so publicly.

Just because you have the freedom to behave how you wish...and you do...doesn't mean that I should have to agree with the morality of your actions.

I'm not sure what you're getting at. If the 'you' is just meant the way formal written English would traditionally have used 'one', then I agree. If you mean to be talking about something I'm doing myself, then you need to be a little clearer.

There is increasing pressure, especially on college campuses, to require students to conform to views of "non-discrimination" based on gender identity, sexual orientation, etc, that directly conflict with their values. Considering some of the experiences I have had on campus, I am not suprised that somebody thought of a straight pride week.

That also confirms my point. There is an attitude that expressing certain views is wrong and should not be allowed. There is no view that heterosexuality is wrong or that heterosexuals are bad and should not be tolerated. I'm not surprised that someone thought of a straight pride week. I understand why faulty reasoning might lead someone to think it's parallel to other pride weeks. The fact remains that it's not parallel and unmotivated, with enough negative elements to asserting that it is parallel that it might even be immoral to make such assertions.

I'm not sure what the P.S. is supposed to be getting at either. If you mean to be informing me about that argument, I'm already well aware of it. I'm just not sure why you think secular marriage in the U.S. is anything like a commitment between a man and a woman to raise children. It hasn't been for decades, at least outside conservative Christian churches and various other institutions that are viewed as backward by most of the population. There's resistance to gay marriage among half the people, but many of those same people have no problem with no-fault divorce, which means marriage is already effectively destroyed. There's no reason to think the last vestiges of it contain any moral notions worth pretending amount to biblical marriage, and therefore secular marriage is not what Christians should be fighting to save.

I still argue that a Straight Pride Week makes a good parallel to Gay Pride Week. Indeed, every college campus ought to have a Straight Pride Week.

In order to be fair, *one* first needs to examine Gay Pride week. Is the goal to achieve mutual respect and tolerance for all people, including "straight" Christians that choose not to give into homosexual inclinations? Or is the goal of Gay Pride Week to equate opposition to homosexual actions into discrimination against homosexuals?

Let's be realistic. No campus LGBT group is going to include ex-gays, Christian or otherwise, in their Gay Pride Week activities. Is it Christian to preach that individuals have an obligation to refrain from sinful behavior and then fail to provide support for those that struggle...whether with alcoholism, depression, homosexuality, or a host of other issues?

Creating a Straight Pride Week makes space to support individuals that do not identify with "Gay Pride", but struggle to live by the straight & narrow due to homosexual inclinations. It also gives straight students a chance to promote tolerance on their own terms. The current campus climate in which students are forced to suppress honest discussion is breeding hate...not promoting tolerance. I've found that when I identify myself as someone that doesn't agree with homosexual behavior, I have an opportunity to diffuse some of the built up hatred that results from classroom dynamics.

I don't think the goal of gay pride week needs to be either of the things you've listed, and I don't need to endorse gay pride week to say that straight pride week is morally wrong as a response to gay pride week, even on the grounds of equal time. The people who aren't getting equal time aren't straights, as I've argued. They're conservative Christians or ex-gays or others.

If you want a week of those who have struggled to overcome things biology and culture have made it difficult to overcome, and you include ex-gays in that group, I have no problem with that. That's not what this is, though.

I also have no problem with trying to create space for those who want to disagree with homosexual behavior. I consider it immoral for evangelical Christians to focus on this one sin while not giving at least due time to the sins that plagues evangelicals, e.g. divorce, materialism, pornography, premarital sex, no concern for the poor, hatred for gays, and many others. Most people who focus on this issue do ignore those others in my experience, and they're thus guilty of looking at the splinter in others' eyes and ignoring the log in their own. If creating a space for people to disagree with homosexual behavior leads to that, I will denounce it fully, and I think this effort seems geared directly toward that sort of thing, something counterproductive for Christians who should be focusing on the gospel and not on behavior.

"Normally these pride things are supposed to give a sense of recognizing the importance an value of those in a persecuted, marginalized, or even hated group."

Are you saying that white people are NOT hated at all by gay or black people??

Or maybe you are saying that you have to be hated to have pride....

Well, whites are persecuted---not the same as Gays or blacks but yes they are. And like EVERY other group---black gay muslim etc, white people have pride.

This is what it sounds like---Two families---The Bobs and the Lous. The Bob(the Bob family being like the majority here) family has 60 family members at all of its family reunions. The Lous (Being the minority) has only 6 people that attend their family reunions.

Does that mean that the Lou family has the right to make t shirts and not the Bob family because the Bob family has more people than the Lous??

"No one is really persecuted for being straight. There are the radical fringe feminists who think all heterosexual sex is rape, but those people are extremists like Fred Phelps, and no one pays attention to them. The fact that someone says something I do is wrong doesn't count as persecution, though, anymore than it's persecution of gays to say that gay relationships are immoral. That's just not persecution. It's expressing a moral view. There's nothing else that I've ever even heard of that could conceivably count as persecution of heterosexuals merely because they're heterosexual"

Then please could you be so kind as to explain this amendment, from south wales, for me...

I am pleased to introduce the Anti-Discrimination (Heterosexual Discrimination) Amendment Bill. The object of this bill is to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act to make it unlawful for any person to discriminate against others on the ground of their heterosexuality. The bill inserts new part 4D, that will parallel the existing provisions of the Act dealing with discrimination on the ground of homosexuality. The New South Wales Law Reform Commission has expressed concern about this omission from the law. An article in the Australian of 18 January 1994 stated:

From: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LC20010607047

Whoever said they didn't have the right to doing what they were doing? I said it was stupid, and I said it was insulting to people who really have experienced serious discrimination and oppression, but I didn't say they have no right to do what they were doing.

I did give an argument about the connotations of the word 'pride' in these contexts. Your point simply ignores that.

Your other two comments have been deleted, and anything else you decide to leave of that sort will also. Also, it's kind of pointless to keep pretending you're different people when you use the same IP address.

As for your amendment, I'm not really interested in explaining anything besides what I've already said about victimology. That's clearly the motivation, and I've already explained why. It's a stupid law anyway, though, if there are already laws preventing discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Being straight is a sexual orientation.

I agree with Jeremy here, and I wrote an entry on my blog with some of my reaction to the topic.

"To Be Gay or Not to Be?" That is not the question.

The question is, "Why aren't we sharing the gospel and attracting people to Christ?"

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