Opinion: If you’re anti-gay, you’re a bigot



Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton is a sophomore news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

In my last column, a reader was outraged that I called Russian president Vladimir Putin a homophobe for approving and defending his country’s anti-gay laws, which will generally outlaw any positive “propaganda” of homosexuality such as homosexual public displays of affection, gay marriage, gay pride parades and events or gay content on the Internet. (These laws will also crack down on other political and religious minorites, too.)

I’d usually brush this off, like many comments I get, but I think I need to educate anyone who really does think this way. No matter how good of a person you think you are, if you are against gay rights for whatever personal reason, you are a bigot, plain and simple.

But what really is a bigot? By the definition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a bigot is “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

I do not blame people who think homosexuality is a sin; I do not blame people who personally believe that gay marriage is wrong. That is not what makes you a bigot. It is because of people’s personal faith that they think this way, and you have a right to believe what you want. But being anti-gay is bigotry.

If you want to avoid gay people, or if you don’t want your children or friends to be gay, or if you agree with or participate in political decisions that prevent gay rights, you are a bigot and, more specifically, homophobic.

I love the word “homophobic” because, for the first time, a popular term for a group of people that are intolerant of a minority group defines you as being afraid of them. If you are homophobic, you’re not only intolerant of gays, but you fear them, too.

I think this is also true of bigots that are intolerant of any minority groups. Bigots are afraid of a specific group of people because they don’t understand or accept who those kind of people are. Being a bigot is not a thing you should be proud of, either; it means you are immature and ignorant of other people, like a child who bullies kids on the playground.

Being anti-gay is just the same as being an anti-Semite, plain and simple. However, the fact of the matter is this: Being anti-anything isn’t what makes you a bigot; being anti-anyone makes you a bigot. That’s the difference.