I turned on the TV in my room last night and discovered I had BBC World News. At first, I was rather excited that I had another option besides CNN, but that quickly turned to confusion and anger when I watched the first story presented.
A BBC reporter was in Moscow, where the Eurovision final is to be held on Saturday night. A gay rights activist had petitioned the city council for permission to hold a gay pride march, but had been denied (every application since the first in 2006 has been turned down by the mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, who describes the parades as ‘satanic’). However, the council is allowing “hardcore nationalists and religious groups to stage a counter-demonstration on the same day.”
Being gay is apparently not illegal in Russia, but there are many cases of gay and lesbians being the victim of violence from “neo-Nazis, ultra-Nationalists and Christian fundamentalists.” Including British activist Peter Tatchell, who was badly beaten in Moscow two years ago, and Irina Fedotova, one half of the first lesbian couple to seek a marriage certificate in Russia (they were denied), who says she has been beaten twice by extremists. While I was watching the story, she intimated that many gay people in Russia have to hide their sexuality for fear of violence against them, and that anti-gay activists will wait outside gay clubs to bash people leaving them.
Indeed, Mikhail Nalimov, leader of the United Orthodox Youth, has said there will be “a very tough reaction from a lot of [their] activists” and claims gay activists are “spiritual terrorists” and that the “aim of the gay movement is to destabilise the country and society.” Of course, it’s not possible that the aim of the gay movement is simply to allow gay people to have the same basic human rights as everyone else.
I am completely baffled by opinions such as this. I just don’t understand what people have against homosexuality. What does it matter what two consenting adults do in their private life? How on earth does it impact on anyone else? Why do religious people get their knickers in such a twist about it (such as the ‘God Hates Fags’ group in the US)? And not just religious people, but anyone? Why? I’ve heard of some people who are against homosexuality, and in particular same-sex marriage, bring up paedophilia as an argument, and say society makes it their business to prevent that sort of perverse behaviour, and claim that it’s no different to homosexuality. But that’s bullshit. Paedophilia is not between two consenting people, because one of the parties involved is a minor and unable to give consent. There is also the ridiculous argument that if we allow same-sex people to marry, what’s to stop someone from marrying their dog in the future? For the same reason – the dog can’t consent.
While I was watching the report, and listening to Nalimov say the church and his activists will continue to fight against gay activists (and putting aside the very important issues that those who call themselves Christians are hardly acting like Christians when they bash other people and act with such intolerance), I just kept repeating to myself, “But why? Why do you care if these people are gay? How is it affecting you?” Sure, you might think homosexual acts damn the soul and what not, but what does it matter to you if someone else is doing it? I hardly think bashing someone up is going to endear you to god, even if said person is doing something you think god doesn’t approve of. Two wrongs don’t make a right and all of that. Not to mention, Jesus doesn't say anything about homosexuality in the New Testament of the Bible. You’d think if it was really that important, he might have mentioned it once or twice.
I really don’t understand homosexual-hate. Anyone have a clue?
P.S. May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), so I thought this was a fitting topic.