Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Homophobia within the Republican Party in the US

There are days I forget how much hatred there is out there just because of who some people fall in love with. Then there are days I read articles like the one in Pinknews today: Rick Santorum: “Equal” education about gay life “a hit to family and faith” in US.

Rick Santorum is running to be the Republican candidate for president. So, next year, he could be running against Obama to be the next president of one of the most powerful countries in the world. If he were to win, that means his views are likely to impact decisions about matters of foreign policy which will affect my life. There is not one thing he was quoted as saying in this article that I do not find offensive. Not one. He was asked by a student why he though "gay" marriage would be “a hit to faith and family in America” To start us off:
Santorum said that legalising same-sex marriage meant the “sexual activity” of gays would be “seen as equal” to that of straight people.
Yes, that's kind of the point of legalising same-sex marriage, that it'd be considered equal to opposite-sex marriage. Also Rick, we're not talking about "sexual activity" here, we're talking about people falling in love and making a commitment to one another, hopefully for the rest of their lives. Well done Rick, real presidential statement right there.
As a result, he said, it would be taught equally in schools.
Yes, and what is your problem with this Rick?
"So what is going to be taught to our people in health class in our schools? What is going to be taught to our children about who in our stories, even to little children — what are married couples? What families look like in America?"
Right, that's not answering the question yet, that's asking another question. Dare I say it, you're worse than our politicians at answering questions. However, I will answer you. As it was after marriage between white and black Americans was made legal, what will be taught is that no matter who is at the "head" of a family, it is brought together by love. Someone's sexual orientation does not change how well they parent. There's been at least one study that suggests that children brought up by two mothers do better in school. As correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation, I am not going to say this means lesbians are better mothers I am just quoting the result of a study.
"So, you are going to have in our curriculum spread throughout our curriculum a world view that is fundamentally different than what is taught in schools today? Is that not a consequence of gay marriage?"
First of all, well done asking more questions to answer the question. Yes, if what is taught now is that the only people who can be in committed relationships are heterosexual men with heterosexual women, what is taught in schools today will hopefully not be taught in schools in a future where "gay" marriage, as you like to call it, is legal. This is a good thing. This way, young people who grow up knowing they're attracted to people of the same or both genders will, hopefully, not feel abnormal any more.

Secondly, as a bisexual woman I find it offensive that you're implying only gay people would benefit from equal marriage. I much prefer women to men, so am more likely to fall in love with a woman, not a man, despite the fact I will meet more heterosexual or bisexual men in my life than lesbian or bisexual women. Because of this, I would like to be able to marry my partner, not get a civil partnership, but marry, regardless of what their gender is.

As a liberal, I believe (very strongly) that everybody is entitled to express their point of view, no matter how offensive. Yes, this applies to Rick Santorum. But in a world with free speech, just as he is entitled to say what he likes, I am entitled to say what I like to challenge his logic, hence this post. 

What worries me most about what Rick has said is that if he were to become president, I see no way DOMA would be able to get overturned any time soon. Also, he is likely to overturn foreign policy pledges such as this one made by Obama. Also, as a liberal, I do not believe that one person's point of view should stop someone else from being entitled to the same services as everybody else. 

This means that even though I think Rick is entitled to his views, they shouldn't mean that same-sex couples shouldn't be entitled to the same pension rights as a legally married couple. I also don't think it should mean that someone's same-sex partner of an American citizen should be unable to have the automatic right to apply for American citizenship.

I hope that there is no way on this earth that Rick Santorum could become president, but I thought that about George W. Bush too.

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