Anti-Gay Activists, Why Do You Persist?

Understanding the religious foundations of hate is what makes Outspoken Ally’s message relevant to the discussion. From experience having been there, to studying theology and culture, to keeping up with current events, this entire project continues from the love of standing up on issues that need to be understood. Outspoken Ally’s persistence is due to a genuine empathy for humanity. A strong desire to stop the hurt and drive the discussion toward acceptance, and ultimately social equality, is what keeps us going. This persistence is easily justified because it’s necessary. Despite the experience and knowledge, however, there is one thing not quite understood. The persistence of anti-gay activists.

I was a homophobe for years, and I’ve always been outspoken. In High School, I spoke loudly and often about the “depraved sinful shame of homosexuality.” There were people around me who didn’t feel safe coming out until years later because of the hate I displayed. There were allies around me who disagreed, but I was intentionally arrogant and closed my mind to their objections. I was persistent, but then something happened. As I went through life’s experiences, I paid attention to what could be learned from them. I went to sea for five years and learned a lot. I went to university for four years and learned even more. I embraced the importance of family and learned about the joy of life. In short, I grew up. I became an adult.

I don’t understand the persistence of anti-gay activists. People like Ted Cruz go around making up lies and ridiculous reasons for their bigotry, but why? I understand the strong convictions involved, really I do, but why the persistence? Why not just look at the facts you’re standing against? Why must you insist on the authority of writings from a different time and culture? Where is the justification? What do you stand to gain from this? Do you think your salvation depends on it? Do you think your marriage will somehow means less if everybody gets to make those vows? Think of the money you’re spending on campaigns against equality, and imagine what it could do if used for good!

To be fair, I understand that the Bible is absolutely insistent on the importance of bearing witness. Almost every book talks about it somewhere. The book of Acts alone talks about it several times. The thing is, though, it’s not right to loudly condemn everyone who doesn’t fit into your own cookie-cutter mould of morality. I know that Jesus said to judge righteously in John 7:24, but I doubt he was condoning the denial of equality. Lay down your arms and grow up. We need peace.

A couple of questions for my theist readers. Why persist? Why is it that some of you felt it necessary to scream “God has cursed your genitals with STD’s” at the Supreme Court protest just days ago? What is it about LGBTQ+ issues that stir you up so much that you just can’t give up this resistance to fair and equal treatment?

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One thought on “Anti-Gay Activists, Why Do You Persist?

  1. It’s the psychology of persuasion: the harder one side pushes, the harder the other side pushes back. Pro-gay messages are warmly received by people who already share that viewpoint, but they generally strengthen the attitudes of people who are anti-gay (“because you are blatantly one-sided, whereas I came to my opinion after careful, rational consideration” – a simple cognitive bias that most people are guilty of at some point in their lives). According to research, the most effective way to change someone’s mind is to present an apparently even-handed discussion of the issue in question, while stacking the argument slightly in your favor. Not an easy thing for activists to do, so I suspect that the vocal anti-gay community will continue to decline (very) slowly over the next few decades as the generations shift.

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