Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rainbow Games

Gay people. They're so cute aren't they? Awww...let's let them get married. Even though more Americans are starting to support LBGT rights, that support doesn't do much good if it's superficial. It's time for the idea that "everybody has a right to their opinion" when we discuss equality for the LBGT community to die.

No one has the right to beat gay people physically or emotionally, criminalize their relationships, or prevent them from being part of society. That's not an opinion, it's a human rights violation. Holding hands with the person you love isn't propaganda.

Standing for equality, as in really truly equality not just a few rights here and there, means putting it on the line. When it's about more than choosing where to buy a sandwich and is about choosing to be ostracized or excluded as a straight person the same way the LBGT community is being ostracized and excluded, a lot of people chicken out.

With the Olympics coming, it won't be just athletics on display. The reactions of governments, leaders, committees, corporations, spectators, and others will be on display too. Letting go of the fear of what people will think or how they will treat us at a time when such a level of homophobia is showcased to the world is important.

Every time an ally decides to put away the rainbow flag when they feel it's going to offend someone, every time one of us lets someone get away with saying, "It's fine if they want to be gay but I don't want to see them kiss or hold hands," every time we don't immediately let it be known in a group that any homophobic hate speech won't be tolerated, we're saying that LBGT rights are a matter of opinion. We're saying LBGT rights aren't human rights.

The way allies react to what's going on in Russia and to the Olympics is going to set the stage for what happens here in our own country. If the people who fear equality see that people outside the LBGT community aren't putting up much of a fuss, they're going to see it as a sign they won't have much opposition to committing future human rights violations and attempting to legislate hate.

For a long time, homophobes have tried to discourage potential allies. They've tried to say that if we support equality we are going against family values and religious liberty. They've called us Socialists, Communists, Anti-American. They try to make people scared to come out in support of the LGBT community the same way Rudolph's dad made him ashamed of his fabulous nose. If you choose the rainbow games, you'll be excluded from the reindeer games.

Now is not the time for allies to chicken out. It's time to start pointing out the hypocrisy of the homophobes who fight hard to keep LBGT rights a matter of opinion.

"Excuse me, Mr.Homophobe, now that the US government recognizes all marriages as equal and the Russian government makes "homosexual propaganda" illegal, whose policies do you support, those of the United States or Mother Russia?"

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