Yesterday, in posting about LGBT lesson suggestions that the UK's government approved, I may have spoken too soon. I wrote:
Anyway, the fact that the arguments there are weak-sauce says something about the opposition to LGBT people. If this were happening in the US, I doubt papers would have much trouble reporting on rallies with parents and pastors screaming about how the children are being led to a life of sin, with a few of the big-media Religious Righters saying absolutely bonkers stuff to get even more attention, before this whole thing would be dropped, whoever was responsible would be fired, and Obama would apologize even if he didn't know it were happening.
The Daily Mail's Melanie Phillips, in a column that also defended the anti-gay B&B owners' right to turn gay people away from their hotel so long as they blame Christianity for their actions, writes:
Alas, this gay curriculum is no laughing matter. Absurd as it sounds, this is but the latest attempt to brainwash children with propaganda under the camouflage of education. It is an abuse of childhood.
And it's all part of the ruthless campaign by the gay rights lobby to destroy the very concept of normal sexual behaviour.
She defends her views in Pink News, saying that she cares a lot about fighting homophobia, so long as the homophobes aren't Good Christians:
"I have nothing against gay people and would always defend them against true prejudice - as I did in my article, and as I often do when considering the threat posed to them by radical Islamism. What does concern me, however, is the 'gay rights' political agenda which, as activists have often made clear, aims to change the basic moral framework of society.
She's a fairly typical European conservative when it comes to LGBT issues. She doesn't actually support gay rights and is generally uncomfortable with them being brought up. But if they're a tool that someone can use to beat Muslims with, then bring it on. LGBT people are supposed to just accept that Christian homophobia is good for them while Muslim homophobia is bad for them because the former comes from better people. It's jingoism with a pink feather boa.
Back in the Daily Mail, Phillips defends religious freedom:
Penalising religious people for speaking and acting in accordance with their beliefs is neither liberal nor tolerant. It is behaviour more commonly associated with totalitarian dictatorships.
Unless someone is Muslim, then it's entirely appropriate to penalize them for acting in accordance with their beliefs. It's the very definition of tolerance, of fairness, and of religious liberty to give more leeway and rights and protections to one religion than to another.
And, no, I wouldn't support a Muslim couple who owned a B&B in the UK and wanted to keep gay couples away. Religious beliefs had a chance to enter the equation when people voted for those who passed anti-discrimination legislation; allowing those beliefs to enter the equation a second time when enforcing the law is really just asking a court to judge the relative value of certain people's beliefs compared to others', an affront to real religious freedom. It's not really religious freedom if the government gives benefits to one religion over another.
It's a ridiculous argument but it's also ridiculously common in Europe. My bottom line: My humanity isn't a tool for denying other people their humanity.