How can you not accept someone just because they love someone of the same gender? I'm not going to dance around it; homophobia is one of my biggest pet-peeves. We "live in a culture in which homosexuality is considered maladaptive and opprobrious" (Cornett). Some people treat homosexuals as though they have something wrong with them, as though they're a threat. This of course is absurd. But it's not so much the fear (which I'll get to later) but the sheer ignorance that really bothers me. Love is love. Why aren't people able to accept that?
They say that ignorance is bliss, but from the other end it's extremely frustrating! People get so stuck on themselves that they're not willing to even listen to other peoples opinions that might contradict their own. I bet that most of the people reading this are already disagreeing with me that homosexuality is perfectly acceptable. "The vehement belief that homosexuality is a form of emotional illness is predominantly an American phenomenon" (Cornett). In places such as Europe homosexuality is commonplace and nothing to get upset about. Unfortunately, here in America, that is not the case. Here it is frowned upon by society. Why? Why can't two people in love simply be in love? Why should their gender matter?
Why do people care so much if someone's homosexual? If someone doesn't like the same music as you do you shun them? No. You get over it and accept them anyway because, hey, they're still a great person. According to statistics only thirty-nine out of sixty people surveyed knew someone who was gay in 2003 ("Opinions on Gay Marriage"). Most Americans are so closed minded that if they ever did meet a homosexual they would immediately stereotype them and disassociate themselves with that person. Stop swimming in pools of your own ignorance! The world is pretty big. In it you're going to meet a lot of different people, and some of them will happen to be homosexual. You might have to work with a homosexual, or maybe even marry someone who's related to a homosexual. You're unavoidably going to have to encounter and interact with homosexuals in your life. Face it, you're going to have to grow up and get over your homophobia at some point or another.
Some people have religious reasons for homophobia. I'm not particularly religious so I won't say much about it. I don't know the depth or reasoning for such beliefs and I don't want to make any assumptions (they say that 'when you assume you make an ass out of you and me'). All I want to ask is why wouldn't the Lord want us to accept all people or respect two peoples love for each other?
Homophobia is not only ignorant; it's irrational. What are you afraid of? Actually I know what you're afraid of, and it's absolutely ridiculous! "It's all too easy for society . . . to assume that same-sex relationships are only sexual" (Wedgwood). That could not be further from fact. Are you only in a relationship for one thing? And it's not like homosexuals are going to try have relations with everyone just because they're homosexual. You don't go around trying to hook-up with everyone just because you're heterosexual. That's just not what people do.
People also just plainly fear change. It is a "fear of what might happen if traditional values are replaced by values (we) do not understand" (Cornett). People simply feel threatened by people opposing them in any way. People create a little safety-bubble to live in and anything outside of that barrier is wrong. That bubble is impenetrable to new ideals, and it can only be popped from the inside. I hate to burst your bubble, but I think it's time to.
"Same-sex relationships should be taken just as seriously as heterosexual relationships" (Wedgwood). They're people like everyone else and they know when they want to spend the rest of their lives with someone else. "Real love isn't ambivalent" (Kushner 102). Everybody, heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, know when they're in love. It's not something you can mistake and it's not something that's going to go away. Homosexual couples love each other and are just as committed as any heterosexual couple. "They have a relationship of the same general kind that society expects of married couples" (Wedgwood) and yet we deny them the right to be married. Domestic partnerships and commitment ceremonies are not marriage. "For society at large, domestic partnerships and commitment ceremonies are less familiar than marriage" (Wedgwood). It's not enough just to label something as a serious relationship. There has to be legal foundation for society to take a relationship seriously. You can call it whatever you want, but you know you're not going to regard them as 'together' when a same-sex couple tells you that they're life-partners.
Denying their right to marry is like saying that homosexuality is inferior to heterosexuality. People feel that "it seems to install homosexual relations as equal in value to heterosexual ones" (Wedgwood). But of course "without marriage, (they) remain second-class citizens" (Wedgwood). And that's how society regards them, whether people are conscious of it or not. This is because most of society doesn't understand it. People act like it's unacceptable just because it's not the majority. But I suppose that that's just the way society functions. "There's the monolith of White America. White Straight Male America" (Kushner 96). And therein lies the problem. Majorities control the way people think and feel. We divide ourselves into groups, into clicks and coteries, and everyone outside of that safety-zone is wrong. Unfortunately the biggest, most popular group holds the most power, and that's the one everybody wants to be a part of so they're going to let that monolith manipulate their opinions.
Seriously, come on people! It's 2007 and homosexuality is still controversial. People need to wake up and realize that homosexuality isn't going away. They're not going to change to meet your comfort-level. Why should they? Also, taking away rights isn't going to change anyone. Did you know that "a gay person can be denied employment, housing, promotion, child custody, health insurance and a long list of other rights and privileges taken for granted by most other U.S. citizens" and that they are "the only minority group in the country that cannot be assured even of family support" (Cornett)? In most minority groups the whole family is of the same minority. But with homosexuality they risk losing their families just by being themselves. Almost all of us fear loosing the support of our families, so we can relate. Imagine having to hide your entire life from your family because you're considered 'socially unacceptable'. Why should anyone have to be ashamed of them selves when they can't change? If your family didn't even back you up, wouldn't you feel like you were inferior? I honestly don't think that anyone should have to feel like that at any time for any reason.
There's nothing that's going to 'eliminate' homosexuality, it isn't some disease, "homosexuals are no more pathological than heterosexuals" (Cornett) and there is no 'cure'. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's going to be changed. There's nothing that even needs to be changed, there's nothing wrong with homosexuality. It's just love. It may be in a different form that what you're used to, but it's still love.
You need to get over your petty, irrational, ignorant, stereotypical homophobias! All homosexuals want is to be "treated with the dignity and respect afforded to all other citizens" (Cornett). It's not as though they're a different species. You need to realize how much you're hurting these people just because you don't agree with them. I ask again, why can't two people in love be in love? I'm not saying you should change your opinion, everyone is entitled to their own. But I am asking that if you don't accept homosexuality, please at least respect their right to be in love.