Over at Volokh, a discussion sparked by an extreme pro-homo post on the Foley scandal, yielded some very good posts critically dismantling the “homophobia” term and its “ad hominem” uses. Tom 952 starts with a good summary, that I had also blogged about before.

Tom952 wrote:

“Homophobic” is a term loaded with implications of irrationality. It makes an analogy between critics of homosexuals (for any reason) and other irrational phobias. The term is used to dismiss anyone critical of homosexuals or pro-homosexual agendas, and to avoid serious inquiry and debate of the issues surrounding homosexuality. If those opposed to expanded homosexual rights are irrational, that can be demonstrated by facts and reason during honest debate. Those who deny that any problems exist, demonized the opposition, and otherwise avoid debate tacitly admit a lack of facts to support their position.

Then one bright poster (whit) continues against a bunch of dishonest pro-homos (including the tripe of Elais – whose life is devoted to covering up and lying about every single case of abuse and exploitation perpetrated by non-heterosexuals. Other posts where Elais gets a mention .


whit wrote:

But I also think it is absurd and PURE politics steeped in penny psychology to attribute “phobia” (a specific psychological diagnosis – see: DSM etc.) to a person because they believe an act (homosexual) is morally wrong, medically dangerous (I know more than one atheist who is opposed to homosexual sex on pure biological grounds), socially unacceptable, etc.

It is the kind of orwellian thought-control that we just accept. I am sure that SOME people who believe homosexual sex is morally wrong, or who believe that gay marriage is bad policy (heck, the democratic party has been officially against gay marriage and for civil unions for some time), etc. is PHOBIC. It eliminates the possibility of rational discussion by characterizing a policy stance, or moral stance as merely a result of mental disorder… shades of Michael Savage… how ironic.

And yes, the analogy to racist is apt. I recall that when advocates of initiatives to ban racial preferences in California were heckled by crowds of “privileged white college students” for their PRO-equality position, that many students claimed that being against racial preferences was the result of “racism.” The idea of a rich white UCLA student from Beverly Hills accusing Ward Connerly (a black man who has experienced plenty of racism firsthand) of being a ‘racist’ because, as a matter of policy, he finds racial preferences to be, well… racist, is absurd.

Being against homosexual acts, homosexual marriage, etc. (and again, *I* do not take these positions) does not mean one is PHOBIC. One *may* be phobic, in the same way that some people who are very against gun rights are in fact “hoplophobic”, but merely being for a policy of strict gun control does not EQUAL being “hoplophobic”.

As for the inherent thing … liberals TEND to want to think ALL human behavioral traits are purely “socially constructed” (see: gender for example, and of course with some exceptions) whereas conservatives tend to think most behavioral things are choices – good or bad.

Homosexuality turns this tendency on its head with pro-gay advocates jumping on even the flimsiest of data to proclaim it is 100% NOT a choice, and conservatives also reversing roles to try to find any study that shows people can ‘change’.

Like most aspects of human behavior and desire, it is partly genetic (no choice) and partly environment/choice.

But neither side will broach any ground… kind of like evolutionists vs. ID people.

(hoplophobia – n. – an irrational and morbid fear of guns, a term coined
by Jeff Cooper, from Greek “hoplites,” weapon. Symptoms may include
discomfort, disorientation, rapid pulse, sweating, faintness and more,
at the mere sight or even thought of guns. Hoplophobes are common and
should never be involved in setting gun policies, though many are hard
at work in the rights-denial movement, and are arguably the greatest
threat in the debate. Point out hoplophobic behavior when you see it, it
is dangerous, and sufferers deserve pity. A hoplophobe (HOP-li-fobe) can
often be cured by training, or by a day at the range.)


Marcus replied to Whit above:

I think at this point, the word “homophobic” has been redefined to include any bigotry against gays, similar to “Islamophobia.”

Certainly you can object to the redefinition, and I’d probably also prefer a clearer word, but I’m not sure you it’s a misuse at this point either.


whit wrote:
“I think at this point, the word “homophobic” has been redefined to include any bigotry against gays, similar to “Islamophobia.””

Marcus, again there is a problem with redefining words and making stuff up to suit an agenda.

First of all, it is arguable (at best) that being against gay marriage, as a matter of policy, is “bigotry” against gays, any more than being against polygamy (polyandry or polygyny for that matter) is “bigotry”.

I detest when people (and I am sorry but it is usually the left) tries to hijack the language to eliminate rational debate.

They do that on campuses by defining all ideas they disagree with as “hate speech”.

I know far too many people who are against gay marriage, as a matter of policy, and who are the LEAST bigoted people I have ever met in my life, to accept such rhetoric lying down (no entendre intended).

Kovarsky nails the ad hominem and orwellian doublespeak (unintentionally) to a “t”.

There are people who believe that being against gay marriage makes one a “homophobe”, which essentially means that the policy disagreement CANNOT be based on reason, but is based on psychological disorder.

It is SO typical of the thought police to label people they disagree with as evil (their favorite) or suffering from ignorance (see: elitism).

Another great ploy is that they are mentally ill. It’s a phobia.

FWIW, and I have seen articles like this many years ago in the GAY PRESS (the advocate comes to mind), there are GAY MEN (and women) who are (and were) against Gay Marriage. Are they self-phobic homophobes?

Many gays have historically seen marriage as a square and ‘straight institution’ that they want(ed) no part of.

The irony is so thick I could cut it with a ladle. Are they “homophobes?”

“marriage-phobes” (heck, many bachelors arguably suffer from this)

“heterophobes?”

spare me

As for randy, I have not heard the boy scouts “rant against gays”.

The boy scouts find homosexuality to be inconsistent with THEIR membership criteria, and I see nothing wrong with this. They aren’t ranting agaisnt gays, and they aren’t trying to eliminate gay rights. Nobody has a ‘right’ to be a boy scout. I guess you are boyscoutaphobic (rolls eyes)


Kovarsky replied to whit:

your time disputing the the term’s etymology and descriptive accuracy might be better spent refuting the attributes that Dale painstakingly describes. Whether the term homophobic applies or not is largely besides the point; the point is that the reaction is largely heavy-handed, sexually self-congratulatory, and hateful. so everyone should focus on whether those attributes apply without going william safire every time they hear the term “homophobic.”


whit:

“largely heavy-handed, sexually self-congratulatory, and hateful”

again, the meme. It is often not “hateful”.

Ideologues constantly see hate where none exists. Again, I know plenty of people steadfastly opposed to legalization of gay marriage. With NO hate whatsoever, period.

But again, you cannot accept that people can have policy disagreements without ascribing evil motives, feelings, intentions, etc. That is not rational discussion.

Elais: “If they aren’t bigoted, why do they oppose gay marriage? There has to be bigotry SOMEWHERE to deny people marriage rights because of their sexual orientation?”

Simply put… false.

This begs more questions than I can count. It assumes that opposing gay marriage, as a policy issue = bigotry against gays. I see this as no more valid than opposing polygamous marriage as a policy issue = bigotry against polygamy.

Many see gay marriage as oxymoronic. If it is not marriage in the first place, how can marriage rights be ‘extended’ to gays, when the very idea is nonsensical.

Contrary to laws against (for example) interracial marriage (which were invented out of racial seperatism and/or bigotry), gay marriage has never existed in the history of mankind. It is a new INVENTION. The idea that some believe that this invention is not a good policy decision does not = bigotry.

Maybe I am one of those people who can see other points of view (that I often disagree with) without ascribing evil motives, hatred, bigotry, etc. to those that hold them.

Y’know, I used to be pro-life. I am now pro-choice. it was reasoned discussion that changed my mind. I was never “anti-woman” when I was pro-life. I was never bigoted. I thought it was bad policy. Now, i disagree.

Similarly, all you are doing is name calling. I realize that it is inconceivalbe to you, that non-bigoted, loving, intelligent, freedom loving individuals can be against gay marriage, but like it or not – it’s true.

Including, as a I mentioned – many gays – who have been against gay marriage. Are they “bigoted?”


whit wrote:

“logicnazi: Also there is nothing at all wrong with the word homophobia. Nor has it been redefined. It means something like an irrational hatred/fear/prejudice against homosexuals. Everyone who uses the word homophobia means exactly this. ”

False. They do not mean exactly this, cause they haven’t proven (facts not in evidence) that somebody who is against gay marriage as a policy change has an “irrational hatred/fear/prejudice against homosexuals”

in many cases, they have no hatred, fear, or prejudice against homosexuals at all, let alone an irrational one. And of course, the IRRATIONAL issue is the point. It begs the question. It says, if you don’t agree with ME, you are irrational.

Is somebody against POLYGAMY, a “polygamophobe?”


whit wrote:
“Randy R:Yes, there are even gay men who oppose gay marriage for personal reasons”

riggggght. Because, if they disagree with you about POLICY, it is because of “personal reasons”.

It’s the same meme. Over and over. You need to deal with the fact that some people (even some gay people) think that gay marriage is BAD POLICY. And that this is not necessarily at all related to any phobia, hatred, etc. but to an honest disagreement about what policies are best.

“Randy R: As for the term homophobia, it’s true that it’s the fear of gays. But it’s also the hatred of gays as well.”

Rubbish. I repeat. I know plenty who are against gay marriage who have exactly ZERO hatred of gays.

You cannot differentiate policy from your emotional arguments. Yup, they disagree with me, it must be gay hatred.

utter rubbish

“Randy R: We hate the things that we fear, and the two are often intertwined to such a degree as to be impossible to separate. Once people realize there is nothing to fear from gay people, any more than this is anything to fear from Jews, blacks, Quakers, or Republicans, then the hatred vanishes, and they are ready to give us our rights. They won’t give an inch,though, so long as they have any sort of fear, however irrational or unsubstantiated.”

again, utter rubbish. In my humble opinion. You don’t understand that it is entirely possible (and quite common) for people who know JUST AS MUCH ABOUT GAYS as you do, and in some cases – who ARE gay – to be against gay marriage.

But you will not engage in discussion. You just want to demonize and assume that it is fear and hatred.

That is irrational. But I won’t go as far as calling it hateful. (rolls eyes)

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