A few years later I recall watching Anita Bryant leading an anti-gay march on the evening news. I asked why the lady who promoted orange juice on TV hated those people so much. My mom said, “Because it isn’t natural.” I recall my answer was, “But they are people,” which got me an icy glare and no answer. When I was a senior in high school my mom was working with a woman who’s son had just come out as gay. The woman had disowned her son over it. My mom could not understand how anyone could disown one of their children. A year before she passed away I told her of two gay friends going to Hawaii to marry. She said she did not understand it, but hoped that they would have a happy life together.
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Recently Mozilla hired as their CEO Brenden Eich, who donated $1,000 to support California's anti-gay Proposition 8. Three board members have resigned and employees are up in arms over his appointment as CEO. The uproar over Eich's appointment as CEO became so bad that he resigned after only two weeks on the job.
Research about Eich led me to a Tea Party Facebook page with the status update and linked story below.
I am a tolerant man. I judge people by their character, not by race, color, creed or sexual orientation. I firmly believe that the vast majority of us on the left have a very similar viewpoint. Where I draw the line is by actions. If you are a bigot, I am going to call out your bigotry and shame you. That is not me being intolerant. That is standing up for those who are oppressed and giving them a voice.
What the Tea Party and their conservative brethren are are bullies - that is a simple fact. I have had a lot of experience in my life with bullies. This is a part of how bullies work. They blame the victim and claim they are the misunderstood victim in all of this. If you have a belief that causes harm to others, if you have a belief that because you are [fill in the blank: white, straight, Christian, etc.] and that makes you better than [fill in the blank: African-Americans, homosexuals, atheists, etc.]. Then you are a bigot and your views are outdated, backwards and have no place in modern society. You are not a victim, you are nothing more than a loud, vocal bully.
The comments on the Tea Party status update are typical of the right, how tolerant they are while at the same time showing their true colors as a group of bigoted backwards-thinking people. I feel sorry for them. I really do. Going through life so full of hatred is a sad, sad thing.
My mom, a child of the Great Depression, was able to evolve on her viewpoints about color and sexual preferences. She realized that her beliefs were wrong-headed and she consciously changed them. I think the defining moment for her was when her co-worker disowned her son. My mom could never imagine doing that to one of her own children.
I often wonder what will be the defining moment for those on the right. What will it take to get them to accept people as they are? When will they finally understand the words that Thomas Jefferson wrote so many years ago:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Today, the pursuit of marriage equality is just one more battle being fought so that one more group of people can pursue the happiness that they have so long been denied.