18 May 2012

EXTINCT

UPDATED: 05/24/12
 “Species become extinct when they are no longer able to survive in changing conditions or against superior competition.” (Wikipedia)
In my previous post, “Evolved,” I wrote that homophobia is "melting away." I expand on that here.

Through evolution, we know that certain animals – like the Dodo Bird – have gone extinct. Similarly, evolution sometimes brings about the extinction of certain notions. Take this other definition of extinction from the free dictionary:

Extinction: a progressive decrease in the strength of a conditioned response, often resulting in its elimination, because of withdrawal of a specific stimulus.
If you think about it, there isn’t much difference between the Dodo Bird - an animal that just couldn't adapt “against superior competition” - and, say, the idea that the Earth is flat.

Like the fat flightless bird, belief in a flat Earth would be overtaken by “superior competition,” which, in this case, were emerging facts about the solar system.

Facts.

Now, have a look at Jeffrey Kuhner’s commentary, “Obama’s Homosexual America,” published in the Washington Times on February 24, 2011* – just over a year ago – in which he said this: 
By its very nature, homosexuality cannot fulfill the primary function of sex: procreation and the reproduction of the human race. It is inherently a socially barren act. A homosexual society is a childless one - doomed to extinction.”
We all know what Mr. Kuhner was getting at. We’ve heard that one before. Repeatedly. The problem with his premise – that gays don’t raise children – is that the facts contradict it.

Yesterday afternoon, same sex parents from each of our 50 states – and their children – came to Washington DC to roam the halls of Congress. This day of lobbying (organized by the Boston-based Family Equality Council) is just one example of the wonderful work happening across this country to present the truth about gay families. 

Ultimately, members of our own community - along with our straight allies - will be key in delivering these facts, and rooting out homophobia where it still lurks. Not folks like Kuhner.

All of this reminds me of the bold words of President Ronald Reagan (yes, him) who, in his 1981 commencement speech at Notre Dame, said this: 
"[The West] will not bother to denounce it; we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written." 
Of course, President Reagan was referring to communism. Applied to homophobia today, I believe the sentiment fits.


* Incidentally, in his perfunctory follow-up (with the same title) in response to the president's announcement, Kuhner shifts his focus away from procreation, and instead goes whole hog... Read for yourselves... "Obama's Homosexual America" (05/10/12).
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JUST IN: NAACP Endorses Marriage Equality (New York Times)

UPDATED: 05/24/12 GLAAD's CAP on Tony Perkins
FROM GLAAD: GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project (CAP) aims to put critical information about frequent anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, editors, hosts and reporters. Journalists or producers who are on deadline often don't have the time to dig into the histories of a commentator. Audiences need to be aware that when they’re not talking to the mainstream media, these voices are comparing LGBT people to Nazi Germany, predicting that equal treatment of LGBT people will lead to the total collapse of society, and even making accusations of satanic influence. 


The Commentator Accountability Project is bringing all of these statements to light, while calling attention to the sentiments behind them. We will show that the commentators who are most often asked to opine on issues like marriage equality or non-discrimination protections do not accurately represent the "other side" of those issues. They represent nothing but extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community.