Props Where Props Are Due

Please read the rules here.

Over the last 11 days or so, it could be easy for you to believe that I think that the entire gay rights movement is a terrible thing. I understand that I have said virtually nothing good about gay rights. But credit should be given where credit is due.

When you remove the push for gay “marriage” from the movement, along with a push for total acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle under pain of government fines, loss of job, reputation and property, there isn’t much left to oppose, in my opinion, in the gay rights movement.

1. Decriminalization of Homosexual Acts
The greatest progress that has been made, and progress that was the most necessary was the decriminalization of homosexual behavior. While immoral, homosexual behavior is not criminal between consenting adults. Persons should not be sent to jail for such behavior. Homosexuals have just as much right to be secure in their person and their property as any other person. Persons must have the freedom in virtually all circumstances to make the right or wrong decision when such an act does not hurt others.

2. Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
I think that this was a rather large blunder on the part of our federal government. I think it is absolutely reprehensible to believe that someone is not fit to protect our country based upon their sexual orientation. As a Catholic, I understand, more than most probably, that a person is not defined by their sexual orientation. My orientation does not prevent me from caring about America. It does not prevent me from being able to shoot at Al Qaeda (my lack of coordination prevents that). It does not prevent me from being able to take orders or to live in community. There are many things about me that make me unfit for the armed services, but my sexual orientation is not one of them.

Let me tell you a little story before I move to the next point. One of the reasons I used to give in high school for defense of this indefensible act was that it wasn’t fair for a straight man to have to take a shower with a man he knew was homosexual, that it would be uncomfortable and create disruption in a unit. This is false. Unfortunately similar feelings abound among Catholics. In 2010, while in college, my roommate came out. It plunged me into a dark period where I was trying to figure my own life out. But what really struck me was the way that some of my Catholic friends would make comments about how uncomfortable it must make me to live with a gay man, and how careful I have to be. Little did they know that I was on both sides of the table in this scenario. Being homosexual doesn’t make you any more of a pervert or a peeping tom than any heterosexual person, and repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell speaks to that truth.

3. Non-Discrimination in Employment
This is related to the previous point. Unless being a homosexual directly prevents you from performing your job, it should not be able to be the sole reason for being terminated or not being hired. It is good that sexual orientation has joined the ranks of race, creed, political affiliation, and religious belief in protected areas from unjust discrimination in employment. This goes for renters as well. As Catholics especially, who are called to serve the poor, the homeless, and the outcast regardless of their compliance with Catholic orthopraxy, we should not discriminate, when no danger is present, to offer homosexuals the same housing opportunities we would provide to others.

There are good things that occur in the gay rights movement that make sure that homosexuals are not discriminated against solely because of their orientation, that secure for them the right to be employed, the right to have a roof over their heads, the right to vote, and the right to be a productive member of our society, regardless of their state in life.

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