In a previous post, I asked “Do prominent anti-gay measures have the effect of creating more hate crimes against LGBT individuals? Do these measures send a message to society that queers are lesser people, second-class citizens, not quite as deserving of respectful treatment as “regular” folks?”
I have also previously written about how words spoken by prominent individuals in public forums affect those who hear them. (Isn’t that the point anyway?)
My friend Jess in California is participating in the Tell3 campaign and recently sent me some information about how Prop 8 is affecting the lives of queer people there.
She also sent me this video about Ballot Measure 9, an attempt to outlaw being openly LGBT in Oregon in 1993: (below the fold)
Video clip h/t Jess
This is the text the Yes on 9 people wanted to add to the Oregon constitution:
All governments in Oregon may not use their monies or properties to promote, encourage or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. All levels of government, including public education systems, must assist in setting a standard for Oregon’s youth which recognizes that these behaviors are abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse and they are to be discouraged and avoided.
Thank god it failed. But the video clip draws the line from hateful homophobic speech to violence against gays. In my previous posts (mentioned above), I demonstrate how the Yes on Prop 8 campaign led to a spike in anti-gay hate crimes, and how Palin’s incendiary “terrorist” rhetoric around Obama led in a spike of death threats on him and his family.
Can we stop pretending that these ministers and other public figures who campaign for Prop 8 are harmless? That they are simply exercising their religious freedom? What about queers’ right to life? How do these people manage to define ‘bigotry’, ‘prejudice’ and ‘homophobia’ in such a way that defines them as ‘not’ these things?
Take, for example, Rick Warren’s claim that he isn’t homophobic. Or, google the phrase “I am not homophobic” and just look at how many clearly homophobic people have uttered that phrase in public.
Uh, ok, so when your anti-gay words can be linked to hate crimes, social inequality, and murders, YOU ARE A GODDAMN BIGOTED HOMOPHOBE!