Sunday, February 03, 2013
Redefinition and Equality
It is worth reading Liam Fox's letter about the redefinition of marriage over on Cranmer's blog. What Fox seems to be saying is that for the sake of a small minority a serious lack of equality is being introduced into British law.
I wonder if we should in the interest of equality introduce quotas to ensure that such organs as the BBC, Parliament etc are indeed "equal".
Cameron after being forced to confront the prospect of rebellion may be tempted to a U-turn but that appears impossible. What he has already done is redefine the meaning of "homophobia", which now is applied to anyone who is against Cameron's redefinition. I am sure that very few MPs will, despite their personal convictions, want such a vote losing accolade.
The word "homophobic" until recently was rightly applied to instances of violence or at least active discrimination, what is new is it is now applied to passive opposition and not simply to homosexual people but to homosexual sexual activity. I don't what kind of detail Parliament is going to go into, I suspect most MPs would rather not go into the details of people's sexual activities, though doing so might bring with it a degree of legal clarity. Sexual taboos probably mean the 90-95% of citizens who are heterosexual never actually think about what happens in private with less than 5-10% of a sexual minority. Redefining "homophobia" means that those who have a revulsion of homosexual activity are actually judged "homophobes".
What seems to be part of LGBT (though other letters are often now added to be more inclusive and equal) agenda seems to be to normalise, remove the taboos, about such activity. There is a rather shocking piece of Terrence Higgins Trust material here, be warned, it is about anal sex, it revolts me and therefore presumably just by that fact makes me and anyone with a similar reaction a homophobe. The worrying thing is that many, if not most people's reaction to this will be "homophobic", so Fox is right this is indeed socially divisive. If a child comes home with a copy this THT booklet, I suspect many parents, who previously saw themselves as liberal and fair minded, will identify themselves as "homophobes" and begin to ask their own questions about whether they are treated "equally".
Defining oneself by what used to happen in the privacy of ones home, or bedroom, is indeed worrying and deeply damaging, perhaps we are are safer ground just simply accepting people as people each with their own set of quirks and idiosyncrasies rather than defining them by their quirks and idiosyncrasie.
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