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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tolerance cuts both ways

Israel is, rather obviously, the only country in the Middle East where the holding of a Gay Pride march would be thinkable. I'm with Brett of Harry's Place in feeling that this is something to be celebrated.

Israel is also a country where you are free to be the kind of religious conservative who thinks that a Gay Pride march is a bad thing - on condition, of course, that you express this belief without violence. But I'm not so sure that Brett is with me in feeling that this is also something to be celebrated.

I'm getting rather fed up with gay campaigners' instant resort to the guilt by association tactic. Any suggestion that gay sex is, in any circumstances, not the best thing since sliced bread gets met with a kneejerk 'oh, so you'd like to send us all to the gas chambers, then' reaction. It's more or less a mirror image of the 'gay=paedophile' type of prejudice.

Thus if there's been some thuggery from (apparently) some members of Jerusalem's Muslim religious police, the Papal Nuntio must be an accomplice - he 'seemed to egg this sort of reaction on', says Brett. I can't find the full text of what he said, but there's nothing like quoting half a sentence out of context for making people 'seem' to confirm our prejudices about them, is there, Brett?

The touchiness is understandable in view of the weight of homophobic tradition which gays are up against and the violence which it too often generates, but it really is time for people like Brett to start setting an example of the tolerance they demand from others.

For instance, they are fully entitled to disagree with the statement released today by the US Catholic bishops' conference. But not to represent the bishops as advocates of homophobic violence. They aren't.

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