gay civil rights : Gay & Black Glossary


pinktriangle  Gay Civil Rights


Primarily because of Christianity, treating gays as second class citizens has come to seem natural. Christians of the religious right don’t even see it as discrimination.

Even though it looks as though homosexuality is largely genetic, Christianity teaches that it is a sin, much like lying or adultery. However, it is treated in a special way from all other sins. It is punished by denying equal civil rights. Further, it is punished as a thought crime. You don’t even have to have gay sex to feel the lash.


What is even odder is that Christians deny that they are treating gays inequally. When gays ask for the same benefits and rights that straight people have, the Christians accuse them of demanding special rights as if they were asking for special privileges that straights don’t have. Key among them are same sex marriages, pension benefits and spousal health care.

Other special rights include protection from being thrown out of their apartments based solely on their sexual preference, or being fired from their job. Christians strongly oppose hate crime legislation. Freedom from being randomly assaulted based solely on sexual preference is also seen as a special right since straight people are rarely assaulted for that reason.


Christians persist in spreading a major lie about gays — that they are all child molesters. Gays therefore cannot be teachers or counselors. Yet the statistics show gays are much less likely than straight men to be paedophiles. When homophobes learned I was gay and that I lived in a household with children, they immediately accused me of paedophilia even though the children were female.


Public attitudes toward gays have been changing rapidly. When I started my gay lib work in 1969 I knew of no other publicly out gay person besides myself. Nearly all gays were in deep hiding. They automatically accepted they would lose their apartments if the manager found them out. They fully expected to be fired if their boss uncovered their homosexuality.

Yet 30 years later the Supreme Court of Canada ordered that common law gay couples would henceforth be treated equally to straight couples. We still don’t have an institution comparable to marriage to formally recognize unions, but this is a great first step. One of the most important new rights is you can bring your spouse into Canada if they are a citizen of another country. Formerly it was illegal to even visit Canada if you were gay.

We have an unvicious circle. As the law offers more protection against discrimination, more gays come out of hiding. That means more straight people are exposed to gays. That means there is more tolerance. That means there is greater acceptance for offering gays equal civil rights. That leads to still more gays coming out of hiding.

The most wildly anti-gay people are Chrisian un-come-out gays. They are doing a mighty battle internally and absolutely hate anyone who accepts their homosexuality. As civil rights improve, even these people can relax a little and their anti-gay rhetoric tones down.

TV Evangelists

The main source of anti gay hatred is the TV evangelist. At any one time at least three of them are pounding out their messages of intolerance and greed. Often they spew misinformation about gays. There is no counter balance to that to correct their lies.

Only very gradually are there community programs becoming available that present a more balanced picture of gay life.


Before too long, it should be possible to determine a child’s likely sexual preference before that child is even born. Misguided Christians may then counsel abortion, or artificial sperm and egg selection techniques to ensure gay babies are not even conceived.

It would be highly unwise to get rid of all gay people in this way without thinking about the consequences. Nature thinks gays are necessary. Why are they useful?

Dirty Tactics

The dirty tactics used by the religious bigots to smear gays include:


Pride marches went over the cliff a few years ago when we decided all that crap about rights and equality was cutting into our partying. In the early years going to pride was an admirable, courageous act, the equivalent of going on a firewalk. Today, pride marches are more like freak shows than rites of passage. And bad ones at that. My biggest beef against them isn’t that they suck (they do — I’ve seen better floats in high school homecoming parades) or that they tear down everything we work for (we act out every offensive stereotype we spent the past year trying to break down). No, my biggest beef against pride marches is that they celebrate the wrong thing — being gay. Why? Because there’s nothing intrinsically good about being gay. For every Walt Whitman there’s a Roy Cohn. For every Elton John there’s a Jeffrey Dahmer. For every gay hero there’s a gay asshole.
~ Michael Alvear , Syndicated gay columnist

Christianity is the main source of hate and intolerance for gays. It leads to things like the crucifixion of Matthew Shepard. In its most extreme form, churches like the Westboro Baptist church and their website (held off the air by hackers) live solely to teach an anti-Christian anti-gay message of intolerance and hate. We must stop treating the Kristian churches with historical kid gloves and start treating them as the evil institutions they really are. A sign of light is the counter site

I would like to make clear I am not calling for the crucifixion of a Christian Matthew Shepard. I am not calling on you to fire your Christian employees on a pretext. I am not calling for you to evict your Christian tenants. I am not calling for gang of gays to out and beat up Christians as they come out of church. I am not calling for you to persecute Christians in any way. I am calling for you to resist the institutions that teach Christians to be malicious toward gays. So, for example, you can lobby for the end to the tax holiday for churches that teach discrimination against gays (which is distinct from teaching that you should refrain from homosexual sex. What they do to themselves is none of my business.) You should lobby for an end to public funding to organisations that discriminate against gays or the children of gays, such as the Boy Scouts. When you hear bigots spreading lies about gays, speak out. You don’t have to be angry with bigots, though sometimes it is hard to resist tormenting them. They were brainwashed from infancy with anti-gay propaganda, as were many gays themselves.

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