The following is my opinion. I’d love to hear your take on it. Feel free to comment. I don’t like to mince words, as you may see, but I have “broken it down” significantly. – Daniel Hauff
I have a particular conversation fairly regularly with a dear friend of mine. It tends to go the same way.
Here is the synopsis:
I feel that fighting marriage equality and allowing others to use religious beliefs (incorrectly using them to boot) to justify homophobic and/or anti-queer (anti-LGBTQIA) civil liberties and progress for queer integrity creates the environment where those “less than” us are bullied, beaten, and killed.
Fighting gay marriage is hateful and narrow-minded.
Treating others as “less than” encourages name calling.
Name calling is bullying.
Bullies call people names and threaten them.
Threats are assault.
Bullying is cruel and often physical.
Physical bullying is called battery.
Battery is crossing the line between your body and mine. Battery is hurting me. Pushing me to see if I will push back.
Battery is illegal.
At least battery is supposed to be illegal here as most everywhere; however, in many cases – the U.S. civil rights movement as a case in point, battery is often from those we pay our taxes so that they can earn their salaries and in return they are supposed to protect us.
The police. The military. Those sorts of authorities.
Too often those authority figures allow to harm others to do harm. Discrimination. Targeting a particular demographic. Enforcing unconstitutional laws.
And they turn the other way to let like-minded persons (haters) harm others.
Sometimes are blatantly encouraging the like-minded haters to harm those they hate.
Like me. It’s happened to me over and over again.
In school. At jobs. On the streets. And even on government property.When battery is against a class or group of persons (a demographic) which has been historically oppressed (gays, Jews, blacks, women, disabled, and so forth), that is a hate crime.
The act occurs because of who the person is.
Difficult to prove in a courtroom and that’s when the prosecutors are doing a good job. They often do not do well.
In the U.S. there is a big movement to treat queers as second class citizens (or lower).
Persons, generally with a religiously-based reason whether that reason is actually part of their religion’s actual tenants or not …
(it’s the reality, so let’s not be too afraid to say it)
… are the leading and often the only forces fighting to keep queer individuals oppressed.
Bullying leads to violence.
Violence is illegal.
But violence is often dismissed.
The cause of it? Harsh words.
Where do those harsh words come from? Our society.
Where do kids learn these words? From us.
What does a bully do if they want to challenge us? They use “locker room talk” and call us names that mean we are “less than” them and don’t deserve to be there. They push us around. They taunt us and try to start a fight (nearly always in a group, of course, because we all know that bullies are actually persons with low self-esteem).
Three men: Benjamin Eder, Sean Little, and Kevin McAndrew bullied me. It was a gay bashing, frankly.
And those three gay bashers were acquitted.
They bullied me.
They called me names.
They pushed me around and challenged me.
And they beat and kicked me while they continued their mantra of “stupid faggot.”
I was asked, in the midst of their “stupid faggot” taunting and why I was standing up for another gay male “if he [wasn’t my] boyfriend?” He was their first victim. I never saw him.
I hope he’s OK. And I don’t blame him for not coming forward. I know quite well what it’s like to lose friends and be confronted by family members about their perception of being gay.
It’s not a choice.
I would NEVER have chosen to be bullied all my life.
Why does one stand up for anyone else? Because it’s the right thing to do, that’s why.
What did they say to the person trying to assist me? They called him a “stupid faggot” too (all three of the victims, myself included, are in fact gay – though technically victim #1 was never confirmed my “Gaydar” says he was “family”).
They offensively questioned a gay witness, their third victim and the only person who stuck around to speak to the police and see if I was OK, about standing up for me. Since, he wasn’t “my boyfriend” why should he care? Why would he care? Why did he care?
Because he saw someone being harmed and it was the right thing to do.
Their defense? Well, let’s see …
Other than the judge throwing it out because someone beaten in the head had a hard time recollecting what he did nearly two years later the day before being gay bashed and the day after (apparently I should have kept a journal in case I was gay bashed), …
and because …
The prosecutors didn’t carefully review the discovery evidence (the items handed over by the defense attorneys that should have clued the prosecutors about what the defense attorneys’ strategy was, …
The gay bashers’ attorneys bamboozled the judge by merely mixing up the order of when things were known. She needed a timeline and no one provided her with one. She thought things weren’t making sense when in fact she just didn’t do her due diligence in the case and didn’t allow a response to the timeline “problem.” It really wasn’t an issue.
She was frankly just already decided as per her angry outbursts during the trial.
Angry person, she was. And easily jumbled.
Their defense argument was basically this:
“They didn’t mean to make you feel like you were less than them and that they felt you were not worthy of anything but the bottom of their shoes and boots while they were only calling you a faggot/dyke/queer/etc. because that’s just locker room talk. They are just terrible people generally. And just because they regularly and willingly bust out with hateful names to you because you are gay/lesbian/trans/etc. (not to mention use their firsts without problem or a cautionary second thought) doesn’t mean they don’t like queer persons or that they targeted you because of it, even though obviously they did, it just means they felt this situation was just like a locker room. They were only joking when they bloodied your ‘stupid faggot’ face.”
Name calling is bullying.
Bullying leads to violence and is normally violent.
And violence is wrong.
And violence and bullying because of who you are or your religion or your skin color or your nationality, or for whatever other reason they don’t like “your people” and don’t want to mix with “your people” – that’s all based in hate.
And hate is what we are fighting.
Stand up and be counted. Stand with us at OutJustice.
Have you seen the anti-gay violence in Russia to fight equality? We’ll show you. Know where it comes from? Society considering us “less than” and allowing for systemic bullying and violence.
Russia’s not even looking the other direction, though; Russia is proactively beating equality activists.
- Stick Together. (On Recent Legal Happenings) (outjustice.org)
- Cutting the Crap about Racism. It’s time. (outjustice.org)
- Cyber Bullying Statistics, A vast resource Article featured by NoBullying.com Today (virtual-strategy.com)
- NoBullying.com invites Everyone to contribute to Bullying Quotes, A Comprehensive Article featured Today (virtual-strategy.com)