The Rationale of the LGBT Rights Supporters

(Originally posted in slightly altered form as a comment on Dr. Feser’s blog.)

I think it is extremely important, even vital, that we understand where LGBT rights supporters are coming from if we want to make any headway at all in discussions, so to that end, I’ll try to explain what I see from experience. I’m 19, to give you an age range to look at.

I learned not long ago that a person I knew as an acquaintance was gay. I didn’t really care. He didn’t act at all effeminate and it’s none of my business anyway. He was a good friend of one of my best friends and he was very popular, with good reason. He was funny, a nice guy, a talented actor and singer…pretty much a heartthrob,  actually.

It’s people like him, I’m sure, who are nice and talented and popular and gay, who influence what my friends are thinking. They see all of these examples of homophobia in the media and on Law and Order: SVU (sometimes there are HOWLERS), and that’s their image of people who think gay sex is immoral. Then they see their friend (let’s call him Ken), who has no obvious issues and whose sexual acts, whatever they might be, aren’t really affecting us in any way, and they wonder why they ever thought they were immoral in the first place.

It seems like an emotional appeal, but try and think from their perspective here. You’re against homosexual acts because you’re a Catholic. You’re not really sure why. You watch the media and see people like the Westboro Baptist Church make the news. They really are bigoted and their “arguments” are  awful. You have this image of signs quoting Leviticus then remember that it also condemned eating shellfish. And so you wonder: Why am I associating with these people? What is my reason?. And they can’t think of any. Then they meet Ken – nice, smart, funny Ken, who is such a great guy even if he has a boyfriend, and it just seems funny – how is what he’s doing harming anybody? Why do I think what they do in bed is immoral if it doesn’t affect anybody else? And how come Ken and boyfriend AREN’T allowed to get married? Doesn’t that seem WRONG?

Natural law, of course, is a terrible argument to them; after all, people used to think it was “unnatural” for blacks to marry whites, but we outgrew our prejudices. And there’s the rub: It’s about outgrowing prejudices to them and making sure homosexuals are “treated equally” “aren’t discriminated against” and have “equal rights”.

Do you see where the logic is coming from? In its own way it actually makes a twisted sort of sense. It’s dangerous to argue against because it truly is a moral crusade, and if you disagree you’re a bigot just like the Governor of Alabama or whatever. That immediately knocks you down a peg, and your arguments are never going to be taken seriously because you’re the equivalent of the “r” word – racist. And now you can’t win.

In the end, it’s really not some ultra-calculated move on the part of gay people, nor is it mindless adherence to LGBT propaganda. The real truth is a lot more dangerous because it’s a lot easier to understand.

So, how DO you argue against it, then? I’m not sure, but we at least need to know where we’re starting.

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7 Responses to The Rationale of the LGBT Rights Supporters

  1. Crude says:

    I gave my response on WWWtW when you asked this. Did you see it?

  2. Crude says:

    I’d add…

    In the end, it’s really not some ultra-calculated move on the part of gay people, nor is it mindless adherence to LGBT propaganda.

    I think it’s a mix of things. Propaganda doesn’t succeed because of mere mindless adherence – it can succeed because of partial truths, half-truths, etc. Depicting people who oppose gay marriage as thugs and WBC style bigots, and then there’s the nice super popular gay guy, involves a propaganda push. But there’s also, truly, some blame to be laid on the SoCon side of things as well. (As much as some people hate to hear that.)

    • I agree, and I actually addressed the role of propaganda in a couple of earlier posts, briefly here:

      And, more thoroughly and interestingly, here:

      I actually wrote this in the second post:

      “The important thing about propaganda isn’t that it’s well-argued or intelligent, it’s that it’s easily digestable in a quick read (I bet a ton of people will have drawn conclusions in advance just by looking at the article title) and that it makes people emotionally invested (who wants to argue with something that makes people happy?). The fact is, articles like this are really very frightening, because they work.”

      So propaganda is involved; it’s just that people hear propaganda and think massive Hitler Youth style mass conversions or something. The reality is far more dangerous, because unlike in the safe scenarios we’ve constructed in our heads, the REAL propaganda doesn’t automatically make the people affected by it in some way irrational (it’s important to remember, too, that propaganda in and of itself is neutral). No, they still have the ability to reason; propaganda has just provided emotional support to their arguments.

      (Incidentally, check out the article I linked to in that second post if you’re in the mood for a laugh.)

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