I really and truly don't understand how anyone can so blithely hate people who are homosexual. It makes about as much sense to me as hating someone because they have red hair, or have green eyes. Okay, maybe I get the red hair hatred. Bloody gingers, anyway![i]
I mean, it's just such a waste of energy, and for those who stand behind their religion to defend their hatred, it seems to be in complete defiance of most religious tenets. More specifically, the Judeo-Christian religion.
When I self-identified as a Christian, I was always taught that you must love others as Jesus loves you and to always follow the Golden Rule. I could never think of Jesus being the type of person who would advocate hatred the way modern day churches and religious organizations are today. I know whenever I hear of people beating a gay[ii] person (to death at times) just because they had the strength and courage to accept and love who they are my heart hurts and I truly believe that if you are a person of faith, your heart should hurt too.
The think about homophobia that makes no sense to me is that no truly valid[iii] argument can be made in support of it. It's not as though people of the LGTBQ community have started wars, have committed or have attempted to commit genocide, have actively persecuted heterosexuals, or have fought to take away rights of heterosexuals. In certain (very extreme) cases, a valid argument can be made to make specific instances of racism (or nationalism) excusable[iv] but I just don't see why or how someone can think it's okay to be homophobic.
Dictionary.com defines homophobia as an unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality. The way I see it actively denying rights to homosexuals, throwing out hurtful homophobic slurs, and/or thinking that they are an abomination makes you someone who is homophobic. If you defend the above actions or other actions against homosexuals, you are saying that homophobia is excusable.
To say homophobia is excusable is to say that it's right for people to kill someone for being gay.
To say homophobia is excusable is to say that it's okay that children are killing themselves because of the bullying they receive as a result of being gay or being perceived as gay.
To say homophobia is excusable is to say that it's okay for your child who may be gay or questioning to be afraid to come out to you or talk to you about it. You are saying it is okay for your child to fear you.
Can you imagine what that must be like? Your teenaged (or older or younger) child is questioning whether or not s/he's gay and they are terrified that they are because they see how much you hate gays. They see how afraid you are of people who are homosexuals and how you say nothing but negative things about gays and they are petrified that all of that hatred will be directed towards them. In my opinion, if your child is ever afraid of you, you have failed them as a parent. Your most important directive in life as a parent is to make sure they always feel safe, protected and loved by you, and your hatred of gays means (to them, at least) that you hate your child.
I don't ever want to hate my child.
The last thing I'll say is what in the hell does what other people do have to do with you?? How is someone being in a happy, healthy homosexual relationship impacting your life in any way, shape or form? Heck, how is someone being in an unhappy, unhealthy homosexual relationship impacting your life in any way? Do you think omnivores in their households are somehow affected by what vegans do in their households? Of course not. That would be silly.
[i] I kid! I kid!
[ii] For shorthand, I’m going to be referring to those in the LGTBQ community as gay, though really what I’m saying refers to anyone in the community.
[iii] I personally don’t believe that arguments starting with “But the Bible said...” as a valid argument. People (including religious clerics) defy theological laws/rules every day (Do you shave your beard? Do you enjoy a good pork chop?) so the Leviticus and other Biblical arguments are easily counter argued. Also, since not everyone identifies as a Christian (or other religion that “bans” homosexuals), using the Bible as a means to discriminate against non-Christians is illogical.
[iv] To be clear, I don’t think racism is ever excusable. I’m just saying that if you really wanted to, and you were referencing very specific circumstances (e.g., certain historical events), an argument can be made in favour of it. Say, if you were in a debate class or something.