Do you like ANCHOVIES? They’re not for everyone, that’s for sure. In fact, that’s part of their novelty – not everyone likes them; not everyone likes them on their pizza or in their salad, but some people do and, in my opinion, they’re entitled to eat as many as they like as often as they like. But, do the anchovy lovers have to promote, protect, inform, advise, permit, and publicize their preference like a song that’s not getting enough air play on the radio?
It seems to me that the whole issue of being GAY is a lot like those who like anchovies except that the gays are getting outlandishly vociferous. While homosexuality used to be something that was kept “in the closet” – much like most of the rest of us keep our sexual preferences in the closet – now being gay seems to be as socially promoted as a Broadway play! Are we being slowly, and beguilingly, pushed into treating people who are gay as some kind of “special” case with special privileges, special considerations, and special laws protecting them?
We don’t treat people who are German, Irish, Polish, Greek, French, Romanian, Chinese, Japanese, or Australian as anything separate or different from other nationalities. We don’t treat people who love dogs, cats, monkeys, birds, snakes, fish, or gerbils as anything separate or different from other pet lovers. We don’t even treat people who like certain types of food, wine, beer, liquor, fruit, or poultry as anything separate or different from those who have other preferences. So why is it that we have to treat people differently who happen to prefer a different sexual orientation?
In my opinion, GAYS have been crafting a “special” status for themselves that supersedes the status that many of the rest of us have. Their complaints and objections become a matter of national attention almost immediately whether it’s non-gay actors playing the parts of gay actors, a reference to the lifestyle habits or stereotyped mannerisms of gay people, the absence of sympathetic documentaries or movies about gay couples, and even the protection of laws which single out hate crimes that make the punishments more severe.
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It is this constant honing of a niche for gay people that differentiates them – elevates them from the rest of us – that troubles me as much as making horse lovers exempt from the rules of the road. If your horse can now ride down the middle of the road and make turns without signaling first, those are privileges that are denied the rest of us.
In the same way, if being GAY entitles you to privileges, protections, and considerations ABOVE those of the rest of us – like inclusion in groups that don’t have “enough” as in jobs, college admissions, judgeships, teaching positions, government committees, or exclusion from jokes or comedy routines which make fun of the peculiarities, idiosyncrasies, or stereotypes of these people – then this is giving a “special” status to a group of people who are only self-identified as different. After all, there are no TESTS that I’m aware of to even prove that someone is “gay”.
If we recognize the SEXUAL differences of gays, won’t we next then have to recognize the “special” status of other relationships: INTERRACIAL partnerships with their racial differences, or INTERGENERATIONAL partnerships with their age differences, or INTEREDUCATIONAL partnerships with their differences in education, MULTIPLE partnerships where people prefer several partners to a more traditional arrangement, or even MONOGAMISTS who don’t want a partner?
While you may think that giving special rights to these other pairings of individuals is ludicrous because they aren’t likely to be as mistreated or distinctively discriminated against as GAYS might be, think about this: If you had to PROVE you were GAY, how would you do it? Yet, if you had to prove your age, race, or education, it would be easy to do.
Maybe what we need is a TEST to prove who is GAY and who is not before we grant certain rights and protections, and once you’ve declared, should you be allowed to change if your circumstances change?
Mr. Conrad is a retired college Economics instructor who enjoys expressing his opinion on controversial political, economic, and social issues not because he has all the answers but because he likes discussing the issues.