Friday, November 21, 2008


I was saddened and a bit disgusted to read this week that, the phenomenally successful online relationship service, settled a lawsuit brought by a gay man who accused the company of discriminating because its vaunted software only measured heterosexual compatibility. eHarmony agreed to set up an additional service, Compatible Partners, that will be visibly associated with eHarmony and will provide compatibility matching for gays and lesbians.

I was saddened by this news because in the game of chicken that is litigation, by settling before trial the company blinked first and now set a precedent which will be used as a wedge by gay activists to pry open new “rights” (though eHarmony did not admit “fault”). I was disgusted because there is a shakedown going on and I do not like bullying.

Earlier this year I wrote three essays on the import of the California Supreme Court decision to strike down a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages. I expressed my deep misgivings about this decision and suggested that it would have far-reaching negative social implications. I said that gay activists began by asking society for tolerance, then for acceptance, and now are demanding normalization. I expressed this opinion in the context of my empathy and compassion for gay individuals and the predicament in which they find themselves.

The “shakedown” is in the use of civil-rights language to advance this demand for normalization. When people in California, in response to the Supreme Court’s decision, put together Proposition 8 to permanently amend the state’s constitution to define marriage as man-woman, opponents likened Prop 8 to “hate” and vilified its supporters. If you treat gay people with kindness and dignity and support laws allowing civil unions and its associated protections, but support Prop 8, then you are full of hate, just like whites in the Jim Crow era. See how it works?

Interestingly, black people do not seem to buy into this idea that “gay is the new black.” Seventy-three percent voted in favor of Prop 8, which passed 52-48%. Perhaps blacks are offended by the comparison, which they should be, since no gay people are being forced to sit in the backs of buses or eat at separate restaurants.

But in the aftermath of Prop 8’s passing in California, gay activists in California published on the internet an “Anti-Gay Blacklist” of Prop 8 donors and began recriminations. The artistic director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento was forced to resign for his $1000 donation to Prop 8. A Los Angeles restaurant whose manager made a small donation was harassed nightly by groups of protesters. Anti-Prop 8 organizers targeted Mormon, Catholic and evangelical churches for demonstrations and name-calling. All in the name of tolerance, of course.

As the noted columnist Thomas Sowell, a black man, observes, “When the majority of the people become like sheep who will tolerate intolerance rather than make a fuss, then there is no limit to how far any group will go.”

I do not want any of this to sound hateful, but I do not mind if it sounds angry. The Christian faith is personal but not private. We are not politically oriented but we must be socially engaged, “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). I am not hateful, and I do not like shakedowns.


Blogger Dr. Pedantic said...

Matt --

I am curious as to whether you were "saddened" and "disgusted" by the shakedown employed by the Yes on 8 campaign. Before the election, they sent certified letters to major donors to the No on 8 campaign threatening to "expose" those donors unless they gave the Yes campaign at least the same amount of money they had given to the No campaign. The Yes people defended these sleazy, extortionate tactics at the time, but now are whining about the fact that supporters of equality don't want to patronize businesses that support discrimination. El Coyote was not "harassed"; it was the subject of a peaceful protest. That alleged "harassment" certainly pales in comparision to taking away people's fundamental rights and trying to invalidate their families.

The Yes campaign also was run on nothing but bigotry and lies. It lied and said that if everyone is provided equal rights, kids will be forced to learn about gay families in school. It lied and said that churches refusing to perform same-sex marriages could lose their tax-exempt status. It lied and sent mailers and robocalls claiming that Barack Obama supported Proposition 8 (which, along with a failure of outreach to the community, was part of why that community voted against people who are suffering from the identical type of discrimination they have suffered from as well).

Last time I checked, Jesus did not say one word about homosexuality, and the Bible says very little, but there are many proscriptions, including in the 10 Commandments themselves, against bearing false witness.

Marriage equality is not about religion. It's about treating everyone with the same respect and dignity, regardless of one's personal beliefs. Domestic partnerships and civil unions do not provide all the same rights as marriage, and even if they did, the law is that "separate but equal" is not equality at all.

But if the anti-equality people want to make this about religion, they should consider their own tactics, including their hatred and lies. Seeking to deny people their rights because of a narrow religious belief is, in fact, hateful. Casting aspersions on the millions of peole who have been victimized and confirmed as second (or worse citizens), and who are in deep pain, is worse than hateful -- it's cruel.

And unchristian.

5:52 PM  

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