Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finally, Something Else to Get Pissed About

It would also lessen the intimacy of straight marriages if gay folks were allowed to get together. That would be sad. Because you know, your definition of what “intimacy” is should be the same as mine, and if mine differs then yours should override me. Because you’re not wrong, of course.

I hear this kind of argument a lot. And while sometimes it's simply the best can expect from certain people, I'm highlighting it because it pisses me off how often I hear it from supposedly fellow LGBT allies who are presumably addressing their comments to other allies - or, you know, people who are L,G,B, and/or T themselves.

Because in that context, it makes no sense. The argument as put forth is completely ridiculous. And hardly supportive of "gay folks." And yet, it makes even less sense as an argument put forth to people who do not support LGBT rights, since it's hardly useful or logical to argue that something you think is wrong is suddenly ok because it might make it harder for people to do something else you think is wrong. It's really just an all around stupid argument.

Let's ignore for the moment what it is the author of this statement is actually arguing about, because when it comes to what this arguement implies about LGBT rights, it doesn't really matter if the main argument is about polygamy, scarlet letters, or anything more risque than doing the missionary position in the dark, under the covers, and behind closed doors.

We will also ignore the author's nonsensical poor choice of nouns, since it also doesn't really matter what it is that people generally think is wrong about LGBTs and their "lifestyle."

What matters is that they are the ones who think that it is wrong - not us - and "wrong" and "not wrong" are not our only two choices here. "Right" would be another very obvious one. And I don't know about you, but I don't support LGBT rights because I think that it's none of my goddam business what people do behind closed doors - or in front of open ones. I support LGBT rights because I think what the law allows people to do is very much my business - this being a democracy and all. More than anything else, though, I support LGBT rights because I think that LGB relationships and the T "lifestyle" are inherently good things.

When I am up against a wall of fear, ignorance, and bigotry, and left with nothing else, I will often argue with non-allies that people should simply be left alone to live as they wish. This is something that is usually true and that I fervently believe in when it is. But when it copmes to LGBT rights, it also happens to be a politically expedient argument that lives on the distant fringes of why I am an ally. It is so far from being the reason that I am an ally that modern space shuttle technology could not bring the two reasons together in my lifetime.

The heart of the matter is that LGBT rights is a good thing to support. And not just because the absence of those rights is fascist, but because excercising those rights brings joy, emotional support, and all kinds of other good things into people's lives. Individuals make mistakes, but the overall net gain of excercising those rights should be obvious to anyone who truely considers themselves to be an ally, and not just a libertarian.

In conclusion: Twisting politically expedient arguments for LGBT rights in order to claim moral relativism for something else altogether has got to be a new low in the "but some of my friends are black!" scale of low debate tactics. So knock it off.

No comments: