The backlash this sort of thing tends to get by denying the existence of a problem, or saying that "there's no way to stop" it, is in some ways as worrying as the encroachment on freedom of speech. Bullying is a real issue. Bullying can be as subtle as eye-rolling. Focusing on the fact that eye-rolling can form part of bullying to attack bad law on the basis that eye-rolling is on its own a harmless gesture seems to highlight a worrying bias. There is nothing in the law to suggest that eye-rolling would be punished on its own. It may as well be argued that harassment laws will be used to punish door to door salesmen, wait, bad example.
I don't support the proposed laws. I do support admitting that bullying is a real thing that can be dealt with better if more people recognised it as a real thing and in the cases of school teachers and employers, did their jobs in challenging it. The solution to bullying can be as subtle and unobtrusive to society as a whole as bullying itself tends to be.
"This guy days being bullied made him stronger. Maybe they want to make us weaker?"
That guy was self harming and suicidal. I guess that's something everyone should go through to 'build character', or however people want to label surviving an ordeal as proof the ordeal wasn't an issue worth preventing. I guess the families and friends of all the gay kids who did kill themselves can take solace in knowing their loss was part of a greater plan for the betterment of others.
"I will continue to live a life where I accept everyone's sexuality without stressing out over every sentence I speak lest my word choice step on a semantic landmine."
Because becoming less ignorant is so painful that a landmine is an apt analogy. Oh no! My vocabulary lost its slurs in the enlightenment. I mean explosion.
Seriously though, you act like I'm judging you. Frankly, I couldn't care less what you say as long as you understand what you're saying. If I'm not in the target audience for what you're saying and you're confident that everyone who is thinks enough like you to avoid confusion then more power to you. I'm not out to label people as homophobic or anything else, I'm trying to get people to understand why what they say may give me cause for concern. Whether my concern means anything is their choice.
'Your equal-but-different notion is actually really weird, since for that to be possible it would require people to "choose" a set of rights - the "straight rights" or the "gay rights"'
There is no 'equal but different' notion. I pointed out that having the same rights doesn't necessarily fulfil the needs of equality. It's not a complicated concept:
Traditional marriage = same rights
Civil partnerships = equal but different rights (what you seem to think I support)
Redefining traditional marriage = same AND equal rights (what I actually support)
The right to not be harassed doesn't come under gay rights, it comes under everyone's rights. It's just gay people are more likely to be harassed so the measures taken to enforce those rights may not be the same. Equality isn't about treating everyone the same, it's about treating them fairly.
I brought it up because of a commenter emphasising their opinion that everyone should have 'exactly the same rights, no more and no less', which on its own does nothing to ensure equality, especially when the existing rights are not equal. Further, in the context of their assertion that a measure to avoid to hardship is somehow a special privilege above those who aren't subject to that hardship it seemed kind of, you know, not very supportive. In fact it seemed kinda the opposite.
But hey, it seems that challenging apparent ignorance and potential subtle homophobia falls foul of homophobia phobia. I guess unless someone prefixes their comments by addressing me as a fag then anything I say in response will be considered too darn PC.
'if "same rights != equal rights", I think you're using a peculiar definition of either "same" or "equal."'
Equal and same are quite distinct. Having the same rights implies that they are little different, which may not always be fair. Having equal rights implies fairness. If I have the same rights as someone with different circumstances then our rights may not be equal.
In the case of marriage, same sex couples have the same right to traditional marriage as everyone else. Civil partnerships don't provide the same right, yet they are more equal. Changing traditional marriage to include same sex couples is even more equal. It's a nit pick except when someone precludes 'the same' with 'exactly', in which case they are beyond dicey semantics. Fair rights may be the same for everyone, but that doesn't mean the same rights for everyone are always fair. Hence equal being a better word.
"convinced a bunch of people who already believed in gay rights to say so several more times"
The issue isn't one of belief, but understanding. I never questioned your belief in gay rights. I still question the anonymous coward's belief, but was too busy responding to your indignation over my interpretation of what they said to see if they replied. I still don't see how what they said, taken in context of what they were replying to, can be seen in any way as supportive of gay rights. It'd be quite unlike, but not entirely unlike, a guy claiming that women's shelters were a special privilege and that women should have exactly the same rights, no more and no less, than men.
But of course, I'm just someone who likes typing pointlessly, not someone trying to explain an actual observation. At this point I give up either way, for today at least.
"I don't want to make this personal, but you're telling me that as a bisexual man you have NO contacts from other folks in that community? REALLY!!??"
I said I'm not part of any community, not that I've not had contact (although that has been extremely minimal and limited to the past year). One of the benefits of being bisexual is you can stay closeted all your life with relatively minimal effort. Which was kind of my point.
"This idea that every/most homosexual or bisexual is some kind of lone wolf out there is just unbelievable."
Perhaps because you made it up?
"All I was saying was that with loose evidence in a trial where sexual orientation can become an issue, keep EVERYONE anonymous until verdict. Why you're getting all fucking bent out of shape is beyond me."
If that had been all you'd said then I wouldn't have had anything to say except 'that's a good idea'. I think it was the part where you claimed more hardship was suffered if the accused wasn't actually gay and used that as a reason behind your idea, implying that gay people suffering hardship wasn't reason enough.
"Oh, go screw yourself."
I so want to make an anal sex dildo joke here, but it might raise the tone too sharply for comfortable reading.
"But I do not belief in extending separate rights to gay people - are you saying you do?"
Not really, as you point out in another post, single rights can usually be defined in a sufficiently inclusive way to ensure equality. However, absence of rights can also create inequality. A white cisgendered straight able bodied male in the UK is de facto privileged because he is unlikely to suffer from many problems that plague the rest of the population. Whether rape is illegal may not have an impact on his safety. Whether women get paid less may not impact his financial situation. Whether the bank has wheel chair access may not impact him. And so on. Thus, in this case, where sexual orientation is not likely to be an issue if you're heterosexual, while disclosure may be a right afforded to heterosexuals as well as gay people, it is only gay people who are likely to directly benefit. I'm all for straight people not wanting to be outed as straight. I'd be surprised if there are any though.
"How do they prove they are gay? Do you have to apply for Gay Status? Do you have to fuck in front of a judge?"
See above, re: disclosure of orientation. You shouldn't need to apply for gay status to be afforded the protection of your personal information, as the same right should be afforded to straight people, should they choose to use it.
The commenter who mentioned special privileges was implying that protection from disclosure of sexual orientation was a special gay privilege. If they'd argued that hey, perhaps no one should be outed as porn users regardless of sexual orientation, then that would make more sense.
"Gay people SHOULD have SAME rights, not equal-but-different rights. I don't believe in gay marriage - I believe in same-sex marriage: as in, any two adults should be able to get married regardless of sex and regardless of any statement of orientation."
Yay. You've started thinking and lo and behold, you're right. Where possible, rights should be equal by virtue of being the same. In the case of marriage, sameness is only an issue from a historical perspective (which is actually quite relevant as that is pretty much the definition of conservatism). Having the same rights does not mean those rights are equal. What you see as pointless semantics, I see as the actual reasoning people use against same sex marriage when they say that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman. Civil partnerships with the same benefits offer more equality than having the same right to traditional marriage.
The issue also applies to new rights, after all, it was selective application of marriage that defined it as is considered traditional now. For example, I'm currently quite healthy and fit. Giving someone a right to the same healthcare I currently use, if that person is less fortunate, isn't equality.
"Are you saying that gay couples should have to prove they are gay in order to get the right to marry?"
Yes, I'm totally not backing down from... wait, I didn't say or imply that.
"Oh give it up. Seriously: GIVE IT UP. This is ridiculous. A commenter was clearly advocating gay rights"
If "I do not agree that gays should get any special priveleges." in response to the idea that outing people is wrong because it may cause hardship is clearly advocating gay rights then I'd hate to see the clearly homophobic position.
"I say it again: Pathetic. And quit being a jackass. And I'll add: get over yourself. You aren't some visionary freedom fighter educating us all - you are a whiny kid trying to start a fight so you can feel like an ideologue."
Yeah, well... you're a whiny kid with cooties! Long live Che Guevara!
"Really? That's how you interpreted what the original commentor said? You, sir, are in serious need of a quelude and possibly a lobotomy, because it's so entirely clear what that commentor meant that your manufactured outrage doesn't impress anyone."
Interpreted? It's commentary on the literal implications of what they actually said, prompted by their choice to emphasise the exactness of the rights gay people are entitled to and the irony of implying gay people are claiming special privileges when many people see heterosexuality to be a privilege in itself. Oh, and to adapt the tagline of a feminist blogger: I'm not outraged; I'm contemptuous.
"Is this another vague reference to me being some kind of a homophobic frat boy? Better look over your shoulder, goofball, there might be a whole world out to get you or something...."
Uh, no, it was a reference to asking if I needed a hug. I take it back, don't punch me! I need a hug! I'm just so emotionally vulnerable and everything I type is a result of secretly being a care-bear.
"Oh don't be a jackass Viva. Everyone knows that's NOT what was meant by saying that gay people should have the same rights as straight people."
Everyone knows that when someone uses gay as a pejorative, they don't mean to insult gay people. It's not their fault that they're making a literal comparison to being gay, because, you know, they don't think about what they're saying. You can't blame people for not thinking. Apparently, you're not even allowed to point out their mistakes without being called a jackass.
"You are just looking for an argument by playing semantics."
Technically, I'm making an argument by commenting on semantics. I think the issue here is people disagreeing or believing the argument irrelevant. Personally, this seems as good a time as any to point out the fallacy of treating everyone the same under the guise of equality.
"In theory, if homosexuals are to have the same rights as everyone else"
Just because some people have put me on a nitpicking roll, same rights != equal rights. But I agree with the sentiment, in an world without homophobia there would be no reason to treat any orientation as more sensitive information.
"Umm... read that back to yourself a few times, viva..."
Geez, make me explain it why don't you.
If marriage is legally defined as between a man and a woman then a same sex couple, though afforded exactly the same rights as all the legally married heterosexual couples, would not be allowed to marry. It was a commentary on how adding 'exactly' and 'no more and no less' doesn't necessarily make things any fairer.
"Seriously, what the hell is your problem that you see that comment as being AGAINST gay marriage? He said gays should get all the same rights as straights, which would INCLUDE marriage!"
Seriously?!?! What the hell is your problem that you fail logic AND sarcasm at the same time!!?
Uh, to repeat, having exactly the same rights as straight people would mean that gay people could not get married to their same sex partners. Sorry for commenting on what the person actually said rather than divining what they meant by ignoring words like 'exactly' and 'no more and no less'.
"Seriously, do you need a hug or something?"
I'd say I need a punch, but I wouldn't want the attempt to emasculate you.
Ugh, in your rush to sound not homophobic, you missed my point, possibly in part because you didn't leave time to think.
'It's not the homosexual part of being falsely accused that creates extra hardship, it's the "falsely" part.'
What extra hardship does being falsely accused create? You discount your own examples when you admit that they don't apply to everyone, whether gay or not. I've known I'm gay for over a decade and I'm not part of a community. Many people who are part of gay communities don't even recognise bisexual as a valid orientation. Given that my family don't know that I'm bisexual, their ignorance may remain forever if I never have a relationship with a man, or even if I have a relationship with a trans woman. As a bisexual person myself I can assure you it would have been easy to stay wholly closeted for life.
"Now, if you're falsely accused of being homosexual, you obviously WON'T have that community to fall back on as you're not actually gay, while simultaneously facing potential hardship from your actual communities because of the undue revelation. It can, CAN, be harder."
Bullshit. Plain and simple. A gay person can suffer exactly as much hardship as a straight person from the same communities. Your logic is weak here and relies on your own supposition that heterosexuals are more likely to suffer hardship despite the fact that the only difference for gay people is your own idea of having other communities to turn to, which would of course preclude the idea of continuing to deny they are gay. Here's a novel idea, why don't falsely accused heterosexuals turn to gay communities for support? I hear some of them even include bisexuals or heterosexual transgendered people, so I don't see why they couldn't include cisgendered straight people who have been falsely accused.
"I'm pretty sure I made it clear in my original post that I don't think there's anything wrong with being gay"
If all that mattered about racism was that you denied you were racist then I'm pretty sure that racism would be solved in American politics by now. I'm glad that I live in an age where the majority of people don't seem to want to throw people in jail for being gay, much like I am glad I live in an age where women in my country are allowed to vote. However, just like the fight for woman's rights isn't just a history lesson, homophobia is something that exists even in the most subtle of forms. You're not Rick Perry by a long shot, which is a good thing, but not the end of it.