Acceptance not tolerance

29 Aug

I know I’ve already written about this topic but I got so upset last week when I saw footage of yet another political debate on the topic of gay marriage….

Did you hear about what started it all? Bob Katter and a bunch of others spoke about how legalising gay marriage would destroy everything that marriage stands for and pollute their children. They even said that the word “gay” has been contaminated. Oh and did I mention that this was during a rally that Bob Katter organised protesting against gay marriage?

Then two days later Bob Katter’s gay brother released a video describing his difficult journey of trying to find acceptance upon the realisation of his homosexuality. Then the debate followed.

Sure there was plenty of support by level-headed, compassionate types but the rebuttal was nothing more than a bigoted, insecure, fear-driven, homophobic gay-bashing… I felt embarrassed that these so-called “leaders” are representing us. It was truly disgusting. “Leaders” who cannot accept diversity should not be allowed to represent a diverse nation!

Some of their comments suggested that opening the door for “gays” to marry will then open the flood gates for “marriage in other types of unconventional relationships such as polygamous relationships”. WTF?! How is this even relevant? This isn’t the high school debating team! This is a discussion about why two people who love each other should be allowed to legally marry. The polygamy shit is simply a cover for homophobia and a convenient distraction from the issue at hand. And honestly, is having to say “no” to the guy who wants to marry all of his girlfriends really anything to be afraid of?

And did you notice the word “unconventional” in there? That was really a part of the debate – multiple times! As I mentioned in my last blog about marriage equality, allowing same sex marriage is about FAR MORE than equal rights, it’s about NORMALISING homosexuality so that the children of the homophobic blokes who are in power don’t grow up to be homophobic too. It’s about acceptance, not tolerance.

Tolerance is the whole “I don’t care what you do behind closed doors as long as our innocent children don’t have to know about it” attitude. Guess what? If a man wants to kiss his boyfriend in public, all I see is a demonstration of love between two people – and a child that grows up seeing gay relationships as a normal part of life will simply see that as well. Love is not wrong.

It’s interesting to see such strong opinions on this issue. Neither side seems willing to back down any time soon. But I have hope in the fact that: gay people aren’t going away just as much as women aren’t going away… and not long ago we gave women equal rights too.

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3 Responses to “Acceptance not tolerance”

  1. Justin August 31, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Keep in mind, Bob Katter doesn’t really represent… as you say… a diverse country. He only represents a backward section of Northern Queensland. His attitude is to be expected really.

    • newheightswellbeing September 1, 2011 at 4:38 am #

      Thanks for commenting!
      You are right. I often have high expectations when it comes to respect and understanding. My comment was moreso related to the MP’s with homophobic responses during the debate – I don’t know which areas they represented but it’s likely that they were similar to BK’s electorate.
      The irony of it all is that Karl Katter grew up in the middle of that same backwardsness that Bob Katter did and he explained how much all that judgement and rejection damaged him because he felt pressured to suppress his true identity. Many people aren’t able to rise above it all with such resilience and as a result they suffer unnecessarily due to unwarranted homophobia.
      So yes, I agree that it is to be expected but I also think that if same sex marriage were legalised now that in 10 years time those attitudes may have changed. I can only hope 🙂

  2. Bob September 10, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    This is exactly the same as the racist views from the 50’s and 60’s, all it takes is a few generations where it is normalised and people don’t even see it!

    here’s hoping our generation can help

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