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Hatred Against Homosexuals Essay, Research Paper
A quiet young man is tied up on a fence and beaten into unconsciousness and later dies. At his funeral a small cult pickets outside the church holding signs that say things
such as “No Tears For Queers and “Fags Don’t Go To Heaven. Multiple times before this brutal murder took place Congress silently condoned this behavior by not passing a hate crime bill that would have let the FBI and other federal agencies more thoroughly investigate the murder. The strong hate mentality towards and homosexuals and deadly homophobia are supported both outwardly and discreetly by the hypocrisy we live in.
Homosexuals played a very overlooked role in the Nazi holocaust. The acceptance of homosexuals has varied throughout Germany’s history. Homosexual behavior was illegal for hundreds of years before in Germany. Although in the liberal climate of the Weimar Republic homosexuality was tolerated and open. Works advocating homosexuality were published and there were gay bars in every major city. Professor Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institute of Sexual Research was vandalized, the photo collection and library was destroyed only four days before Hirschfeld’s book advocating homosexuality was burned (homosexuals 52). Almost immediately when Hitler came into power he banned all gay and lesbian organizations. Institutions and frequent meeting sites of gays were raided and the address books of the men were seized and networks of informers arose. A special division on homosexuals was even set up (Homosexuals: Victims of the Nazi Era). In 1933 storm troopers began raiding gay bars (Homosexuals 52). Of the approximately 1.2 million gay men in Germany 100,000 were arrested, 50,000 were sentenced, and 10,000-15,000 were sent to concentration camps, almost all of whom perished. Gay men had a specific mark in the camp which was a black dot and later a pink triangle patch. Men bearing these marks were treated harshly by guards and their fellow inmates (Breaking The Silence: Friedrich-Paul Von Groszheim). Pink triangles became concubines of male Kapos or other men of supervisory positions among inmates, they were known as dolls boys and during these affairs they were awarded certain protections. The camp commander of Flossenburg often ordered pink triangles flogged. A sixty-year-old gay priest was beaten over his sexual organs and ended up dying the next day. Homosexuals were reportedly tortured to death by tickling (Homosexuals). There were two stressed reasons why homosexuals were condemned. Homosexuals were seen as a threat to Aryan breeding policy and the macho-centered Nazism felt threatened by gay men, as they were associated with having a lack of manliness (Homosexuals 52).
There has been a history of anti-gay behavior throughout history that Christianity seems to have had a significant effect on. The Bible, a highly held piece of literature does actually state homosexuality is wrong in the book of Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” and also 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as with a woman both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” But one must keep in mind that the book of Leviticus deems women unclean for up to two weeks after childbirth. The Book of Leviticus is considered a product of its culture and is rarely practiced. The opposition against the use of the Book of Leviticus is not unfounded such as in Isiah 56:3-5:
“Let no the foreigner say, when he would join himself to the Lord, ‘The Lord will
surely exclude me from his people;’ Nor Let the eununch say, ‘See, I am a dry
tree.’ For thus says the Lord: To the eunuch who observe me Sabbaths and choose
what pleases me and hold fast to my convenant, I will give, in my house and within
my walls a monument and a name Better than sons and daughters; an eternal,
imperishable name I will give them.”
Eunuch now is defined as a castrated male but the belief his held that eunuch may have also referred to homosexuals and therefore giving homosexuals special protection. The other point that is strongly argued is that of what would Jesus have done when faced with homosexuals. In the time of Jesus the disease leprosy, a skin disease that is potentially deadly and does cause deformities, was widely feared. Lepers were cast out of towns and even their homes to perish in unknown places. Jesus was widely famous for taking in lepers and even curing them, there are no Bible scriptures does it talk about Jesus picketing their funerals (Lepers 515-516). Lepers has somewhat of a comparison to homosexuals and even people with HIV/AIDS, they are sometimes cast away and treated as if they are physically deformed. It is even theorized that Jesus may not have been heterosexual because the Bible does not state whether he is or he is not, though this belief is not widely accepted or embraced (OutRage! London).
There are multiple pro-gay and anti-gay officials in our midst. James Hormel for example is an openly gay ambassador of Luxembourg. Bob Smith, U.S. Senator was not going to have a gay official appointed and even vowed “I’ll filibuster until I drop?” though obviously it didn’t work. Bob Smith is considered homophobic which is ironic because a new study recently released by the APA (American Psychologist Association) “holds that homophobia-the fear, anxiety, anger, discomfort, and aversion that some ostensibly heterosexual people hold for gay individuals is the result of repressed homosexual urges that the person is unaware of or denies.” Also, Hitler and the Nazi party were considered homophobic though there were top gay officials. Bill Clinton, the current president of the United States of America, is pro-gay which is easily identified through his bills and even the nomination of James Hormel. Clinton urged congress to expand federal hate crime laws to include crimes based on sexual orientation. This hate crime law would be expanded so the Justice Department could prosecute crimes based on sexual orientation or disability. The current statue now only covers crimes based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Clinton even issued an appeal for greater acceptance of gay people; he also talked about the fact that it’s wrong to refuse normal life based on attitudes. The President also talked about diversity and our psyche, “Where you always got always get to think a little better of yourself because you’ve got someone you can dehumanize” and on diversity, “Our diversity is godsend for us?. The number one security threat to that is the persistence, even primitive hatreds.”
DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) violates the human rights of homosexuals. DOMA-2 8 USC 1738C states:
“No state, territory, or possession of the United States or Indian tribe, shall be
required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceedings of any
other state, territory or possession or tribe respecting a relationship between person
of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state,
territory, possession or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationships.”
(Defense of Marriage Act) This if contradicting to article 16:1 of the Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality, or religion have the right to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage, and its dissolution.” Though this does not state that persons of the same sex can be legally married it does say “Men and women of full age?.” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) When this bill was passed Elizabeth Birch, the executive director of the Human Rights Campaign announced her opinion by saying, “The House committed an ugly, cowardly, and unconstitutional act by passing this bill, and history will remember it as such.”
Anti-gay behaviors and crimes are becoming a more serious and public problem. An anti-gay poster at a British seaside resort in east Yorkshire grabbed attention because of its violent depictions. The poster showed a boot stomping on a man’s head with a caption that read “Make sure you stomp your fag properly.” Fag is British slang for a cigarette but also a derogatory term used towards homosexuals. A Manchester based fascist group “The Third Party” is thought to have been responsible for these animosity filled posters. The posters began appearing after news that a gay pub may open (BEDFELLOW: News on Bedfellow). There have been many gay hate crimes in the United States, both public and ones that barely made headlines. On one occasion three men forced a gay man under a bride at gunpoint and beat him viciously. Before the man lost consciousness he heard, “We’re going to teach this faggot a lesson.” On another occasion in New York City a bike messenger started punching a female passenger in a car and when she got out he put her in a headlock and slammed her head against parked cars while yelling anti-lesbian slurs. Some incomprehensible hate has lead to death. In Medford, OR two lesbians were found dead. They had bound and gagged and had each been shot twice in the head. Robert James Acrement confessed to the killings and said his motive was that he considered lesbians sick (The Human Rights Campaign). A more public murder was that of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student that was brutally beaten and died just days later. Matthew Shepard was born prematurely and was a small young man, standing only at a mere 5′2. He is described as shy and gentle though he was from Casper, WY, a rough and tumble oil town. One night at The Fireside Lounge in Laramie, WY, he met Russell Henderson and Aaron McKiney. Matthew was lured away by the two men under the impression that they were gay. The two men took Matt onto a deserted road and pistol-whipped him until he collapsed. He was then left tied to a crosshatched fence like a scarecrow or others say like a savior. A huge crowd turned out to his funeral, 700 mourners. Matthew is considered a martyr to the cause of tolerance. Outside the church protestors held signs saying “No fags in heaven”, and “No tears for queers.” Matthew Shepard was not flamboyant but did not deny being gay (Echoes of a Murder in Wyoming: Matthew Shepard).
Martin Noemeller once said, “When they came for the Jews, I said nothing. I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for the communists, I said nothing. I wasn’t a communist. When they came for the trade unionists I sad nothing, I wasn’t a trade unionist. When they came for me there was no one else left to object.”
Adams, Henry E. and Bethany A. Lohr and Lester W. Wright. “New Study Links Homophobia
With Homosexual Arousal.” [http://www.apa.org/releases/homophob.html]. April 12, 1999.
Barenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know. US: Little Brown and Company, 1993.
“Bedfellow: News on Bedfellow.’ [http://www.joechat.com/news/items/1019/4.html]. April 4,
“Breaking the Silence; Friedrich-Paul Von Groszheim.” [http://www.holocaust-
trc.org/homosx.html]. March 2, 1999.
“Defense of Marriage Act.” [htpp://www.brandeslaw.com/doma.html]. March 26, 1999.
“Homosexuals.” [http://remember.org/wit/vic.homo.html]. April 12, 1999.
“Homosexuals: Victim of the Nazi Era.” [http://www.holocaust-trc.org/homosx.html]. March 2,
“Leprosy.” Collier’s Encyclopedia. 1992 ed., Vol. 14, pp. 515-516.
OutRage! London. [http://www.outrage.cygnet.co.uk/jesus.html]. June 5, 1998.
“Press Release.” [http://www.pfaw.org/news/press/show.cgi?article=903565285]. August 28,
United Nations. United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. 1948.
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