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Obviously, I really hope the Supreme Court smacks down prop 8 and DOMA, validating the fact that same-sex couples can get married. And I think it'll happen, because every year that passes by I see more and more public support for gay marriage, we were told it would happen, I actually didn't think it'd happen this fast. But every year more "younger than me" people reach voting age. I guess that's one good thing about getting older... seeing your more progressive views grow mainstream over time.

What I did want to comment on was this profile that NPR had last week on an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, who knows her side is losing, and is now starting to shift her efforts towards just making sure that people have a free-speech right to be homophobic and protected for it:

""I have always believed that gay people are human beings with human dignity who need to be treated with respect," Gallagher says. "But that's different from having a foundational norm that says there is no morally relevant difference between same-sex and opposite-sex relationships and [that] if you see one, you're like a bigot who's opposed to interracial marriage.... I do worry about other people — I worry when I get an email from a woman who's a nurse in a hospital, who wrote a letter to the editor opposing gay marriage, and finds that she fears her job is in jeopardy."

First off, I think there are plenty of workplaces where it's 100% safe to be a total homophobic nutcase. Forget letter to the editor... I hear comments outloud, which I suspect is really what the advocates of "traditional marriage" (whatever that means) seem to think they have the right to do.

Second, I think it's accepted that this is a national dialog. Right after this quote, the point was brought up that Barack Obama himself only recently offered spoken support for gay marriage, and nobody was calling him a bigot before that.

And lastly... workplace etiquitte is not about you and your right to freely discriminate against people. It's about your company retaining its trained talent. This is something I've actually stood up in meetings and spoken about: the business case for diversity. It's in our economic interest to "have a foundational norm" that accepts same-sex couples, pure and simple.

Sure, you're the majority, you can band together and say "We don't think same-sex relationships are valid like ours are. They're not moral. They're bad for kids. They go against tradition. They're gross. They're too rainbow-y." whatever your defense is. But when you do that you're telling a person who might work three cubicles down from you that they just aren't wanted here. They're not like you, the person they love isn't like you, and they deserve to feel uncomfortable.

I think we have two obligations: the high moral one of just being a nice person to other humans, and the corporate one of "don't do anything to screw up that guy's productivity or drive him away". In my world of engineering, we have a hell of a time getting kids into the field, recruiting and retaining talent. It's just not worth it to drive some away because they're not the right race/sex/class/sexual orientation. That's my concern, and why I don't feel like homophobia should be "protected" in the workplace. We can debate whether people choose to be gay, but I KNOW people choose to be assholes. So let's tell them to leave it for the weird little churches or blogs nobody reads, and be nice to their coworkers, that doesn't sound too difficult.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)
I wish I had more words for this, but I'm exhausted and working up to a final exam.

But what I will say is:

I very much agree with you. Thank you for your excellent articulation :)
Mar. 26th, 2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
I read that article too and her logic made no sense to me. I really didn't understand what she was trying to say.

Thanks for this! well said!
Amy H.
Mar. 26th, 2013 11:39 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with you.

Unfortunately, Michigan is one of the states that allows discrimination based on your gender identity, presentation, and orientation. For a blue state, you'd think we'd be more accepting.

Mar. 27th, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)

Somehow gay marriage opponents never want to to think about the PEOPLE involved. The more they other them, the easier it is to be an asshole I guess.
Mar. 27th, 2013 03:48 am (UTC)
So, her main argument is OMG THINK OF TEH CHILDRENS!

Except that you cannot compare divorced families to loving, same-sex couples in committed marriages.

Also you cannot compare the children of divorced couples to children who are stigmatized and hated because of their sexual orientation.

If you're worried about OMG TEH CHILDRENS you should work toward everyone having safe, stable, loving, committed relationships, not denying some people (with children!) that right. It's the denial of these things, the othering of those GLBT children that make them commit suicide. Take that away, and the rates will fall. And while GLBT marriage will not be the end of discrimination and hatred, it is an important step.
Mar. 27th, 2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah there's a million things wrong with that argument. Divorced families are divorced families.

And honestly I think the worst thing is for a kid to go through their parents getting a divorce... that's always the miserable part. And there are plenty of cases (I personally know of some!) where the reason a divorce happened was because one parent was gay, tried to live as a straight person purely because of society pressures, and finally caved in and had to be who they were born to be! It was people like this woman who CAUSED a marriage that was destined for divorce, and she's saying she wants what's best for kids?
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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