Sunday, December 27, 2009

Anti-Gay Marriage Ads On Washington, DC Transit


When I first saw this article on Towleroad.com, I was incensed. I thought "Here we go again. Why can't they find something more important to devote their time, energy, and money to than trying to prevent two people who love each other from marrying? Really, how does this affect them?"

I still think that. And as much as I would love to see these ads ripped down or defaced with witty, sarcastic sayings, the reasonable part of me, the American part of me, said, "Listen: it's a freedom of speech issue. It's not an opinion I agree with. It's not a position I think is based on any logic, but simply on misguided hate, but whomever is behind these ads has the right to be heard."

It kind of sticks in my craw to say that, but it's true: I would hate to see my side deny that side their voice. They do have a right to it. Let them have their say, stupid, and mean-spirited as it is. Who knows? Maybe the good people of DC will see these ads for what they are and will deem them homophobic, or better, laughable. Best of all, maybe they will simply shrug and be indifferent.


That would be a day I'd love to see come. Until then, I will sum up with this quote widely attributed to Voltaire (but was, in fact, said for him, by someone else):

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
-- The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

Because, really, if we take away these bus decorators' freedom to speak out against equality, we logically should take away my freedom to speak out against them, as I'm doing right here, right now. I wouldn't want that; would you?

7 comments:

  1. Well said.

    Have a great New-Year Rick. A day this will all be nonsense and gay marriages will be accepted as are all marriages.

    xo's
    Sylvie

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  2. That's always been the hardest thing about freedom of speech. To say you truly believe in it and defend it you have to allow it to all sides, not just the ones you agree with. If you can stifle the speech of repressive idiots, then there will come a time when someone, somewhere will stifle things you believe in. And face it, there are always good reasons for that muzzling, but good or not, it is never right. The best way to fight it is to come up with better words.

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  3. Afternoon, Rick :~D
    Yeah, *sigh* know what you mean. Like allowing nazis to march in Skokie. Idiots still need to be allowed this freedom. But it sure gets tiring being the ones to act noble, doesn't it?
    You know most of these folks would deny the same right to those of s of the opposite viewpoint!

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  4. Yes, Jeanne. It would be nice to find the billboard opposite the offices of whomever paid for the bus signs and plaster it with images of loving gay couples and their families...

    There is line, legally, as regards freedom of speech. For instance, that bus wouldn't be allowed to post an anti semitic opinion. So I'm curious about how they got away with this. Is it a private company?

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  5. Am...I wondered the same thing myself. As I understand it, this group is not saying anything derogatory per se (we both know that's not quite true, if you think about it), but simply asking to put marriage to a popular vote.

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  6. I agree with you about freedom of speech, and how even jerkwads deserve to have it. I think a more relevant question, though, would be what is the GLBT community in Washington DC to counter those ads? Are there pro-marriage (for everyone) ads up in DC as well, to let passersby know that there are real people on both sides of the issue? The homophobes have a right to their say, but hopefully there are people on our side there having their own say just as publicly.

    Angie

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  7. True - but what WE NEED TO DO is get an issue on the ballot that is worded clearly: Do you believe that all adult Americans have the right to marry the person that they choose?

    ALL the anti-equality ballots have been written by propaganda experts who use weasel-words so cutely that a lot of voters can't tell whether to vote yes or no.

    And it is a fact of statistics that more issues get a YES vote than NO... so if you're voting FOR gay marriage -- as many people did, on Prop 8 -- your vote is actually counted against equality.

    We need to stop letting the haters set the standards and write the words that change law.

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