I hope the title isn't overly dramatic. Though it's true, at least in the US.
The issue of marriage has always been a minefield. If you have been following the happenings in the US, gay marriage opponents always claim that it will destroy the family institution. As they say, when you point an accusing finger at others, four are pointing back at you.
Straight marriages have not been doing so well either. The often bandied around statistic in the US is that half of all marriages end in divorce, which I don’t think is that far off anyway. People seldom look at themselves for faults, but look elsewhere. In this case, it's the gay population.
I received these two links a few days ago: Article 1 and Article 2
It is actually a report of the anti-gay industry. They are no longer a movement or group. The report tracks the evolution of the industry since the 70’s. How the fundamentalist right had lost the battle in the ‘rights’ movement – first black people, then women. They have to do something before gay people get the same ‘rights’ too.
What was shocking to me is this, taken from article 2:
But now the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization known for monitoring hate groups including the Ku Klux Klan, labels them as extremist groups.
Both of the reports make good reads. I strongly recommend that you read them. They show very clearly how bigoted and conservative the US is becoming, especially in the suburban and rural areas. Taking the Bible word for word, without thinking and analysing, is indeed dangerous. I suppose it’s a fine line that separates religious conservatism and fanaticism.
I shall list a few outrageous, illogical and extremist quotes used by the anti-gay industry to spread their propaganda:
"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the earth." (Aren't there more pressing issues, like adultery, child abuse, teenage pregnancies, drugs, alcohol addiction, etc to deal with? All these destroy marriage and have been proven, unlike homosexuality.)
When the AIDS crisis broke out in the early 1980s, Cameron claimed gay people had unleashed "an octopus of infection spreading across the world," and had done it on purpose. (Yup, we want to infect everyone, including our gay brothers and sisters.)
"We are to be intolerant of evil," Dobson told his radio audience in 1994. "Romans 12:9 says, 'Learn to be sincere. Hate what is evil'" (Dobson's emphasis). (To learn to tell lies and spread fear and discrimination is not evil?)
In January 1998, Christian Action Network founder Martin Mawyer wrote: The title character in the ABC-TV sitcom Ellen came out of the closet ... AND DUMPED HER FILTHY LESBIAN LIFESTYLE RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF YOUR LIVING ROOM!! IT'S THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF NETWORK TV THAT THE LEAD CHARACTER IS A SODOMITE!! ... Do you think TV ever portrays homosexuals as they really are? Having sex with hundreds of perverts in 'one-night stands' ... spreading their filthy sex diseases to millions of people ... molesting innocent children ... flaunting their grotesque lifestyle ... committing murder and sex crimes more than any other group of people. (Can Mr Mawyer name five homosexuals who are molesters, murderers, paedophiles or criminals? Even if you can, it’s not like straight people do not commit these acts.)
"What's at stake here," said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, "is the very foundation of our society, not only of America but all Western civilization." (Yeah, whole societies will turn homosexual, the sky will rain fire and brimstone and destroy the Western civilization only and spare the rest of the world, because there are no gay people elsewhere.)
"I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry," said the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart. "And I'm gonna be blunt and plain: if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died." (Reverend, I think you should go read the Bible. Didn’t Jesus mix with anyone and everyone, regardless of who they are? And you claim to be a man of God?)
Again, the maxim ‘People fear what they do not know or understand’ comes to mind. What do we expect from Americans brought up on a diet of heterosexuality and Christianity and so much insularism?
I have written my views on Christianity. I can only imagine what it is like to grow up gay and Christian and repressed. No wonder the ex-gay movement like Exodus and things like reparative therapy have their origins in the U.S.
Clearly, a lot of Americans do not believe in ‘Live and let live’ and ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison.’ (get it?)
Look at this, from article 1:
Just five months after Lawrence vs. Texas, the Pew Research Center found that opposition to gay marriage had climbed from 53 to 59%. A new majority of Americans, 55%, now characterized gay sex as a sin. Thirty years of anti-gay crusades had begun to pay.
I feel rather thankful to be in Malaysia. At least people here are not openly homophobic and religious zealots do not incite hatred towards homosexuals. Though certainly, more openness, understanding and acceptance would still be nice.