Stop Homophobia


 




Editorial 1 - Scotty Weaver

In July and August of 2004 we learn of a gay Austin, Texas man who is robbed, beaten and sexually assaulted for two hours, after he met a man who pretended he was gay. And the gay community is also rocked by the death of Scotty Weaver. A lot of anger and fear appears to have been taken out on Scotty. His body showed signs of being beaten, strangled, stabbed, cut and burned.

There is political and religious polarization over gay rights. There are a few religious and political figures who have the intestinal fortitude to stand for gay human rights. Some powerful religious groups are vocalizing the evils of the gay life style, as they try to prevent basic human rights being extended to gay people. President George Bush and some other leading political figures are promoting laws that would restrict the ability of gay people to get married. In this highly charged climate, we see what appears to be two very hideous gay hate crimes. Certainly, political and religious leaders opposing gay rights are not to blame. Only the men guilty of these terrible hate crimes are responsible for what happened.

The level of rhetoric needs to be turned down. People are dying and we cannot afford to have highly inflamed public debates. Inflammatory public debates increase the level of fear among men who have so little security in their own masculinity and manhood that they feel they must beat or kill people who express their masculinity or femininity in ways that are different. While most religious and political leaders are ignorant of the impact of their actions, the tragic thing is that some may not care about the damage they are doing.

Phone or write political and religious leaders when they turn up the rhetoric. Tell them you oppose the strong language they are using. In this debate, we cannot afford to inflame public fears.