Someone recently asked me what about Dan Savage’s comments were false. I don’t have time to catalog all of them here, right now, as I’m in a full-court press toward finals week. However, I’d like to tackle one now.
“People often point out that they can’t help it with the anti-gay bullying because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in [First] Timothy, it says right there in Romans…that being gay is wrong.”
How is Dan defining “gay bullying”? I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that this is at least directed toward those who maintain that marriage is only legitimately engaged in by two adults who are of different genders. But is that bullying just because a restriction is placed on a certain behavior?
To bully someone is to “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.” Insisting on heterosexual marriage as an institution to the exclusion of others is not, by the very definition, bullying. It’s nice rhetoric, the type that politicians and right-wing crazies use often. If we can demonize the other side, it is thought, we can win the culture war!