I’m not homophobic but…

(posted by Nixon)

One of the requirements of middle-class life is to give the impression of being politically correct. That’s not to say their politics have to be free from prejudice, rather they need to appear as such. To these ends, we prefix strange phrases to what we say when discussing politically contentious issues; phrases that are designed to shroud our prejudice and give the impression of impartiality. The classic example of this would be “I’m not racist/homophobic/sexist, but..”, or the wonderfully patronising, “I have a lot of gay/female/black/asian friends, but…”, or even better, “…I know a [insert minority group] who agree with me!”

These phrases are carefully-crafted rhetorical devices designed to lull us into believing “they’re not racist, they just don’t like immigrants who come here to steal our jobs and rape our young white girls.”

This attempt to give prejudice a publicly acceptable face can also be seen in the contentious issue of gay adoption.

There are two main arguments against it, the first being right-wing silliness about Adam and Eve, and God, and I’m going to waste my time discussing it. The one I want to post about is the argument against gay adoption supposedly borne out of concern for ‘The Children’. Perhaps you’ve heard it, perhaps you even believe it:

“Many of my friends are gay so what I’m saying isn’t prejudiced, but… Gays shouldn’t adopt because homophobia exists in society and the kids would be bullied a result.”

Firstly I’d challenge that the pathological response of other children would be to bully those children who had gay parents. A few studies have found no difference in the bullying of children with straight or gay parents. Moreover, children of gay parents do not perform any worse at school or score differently on psychosocial tests. The central tenet of the argument cannot be justified.

Whilst I’d concede bullying may occur and gay parents should be mindful of homophobia, it is not a justification in itself to prohibit gay adoption. To formulate an extreme case scenario using the same argument we could say interracial couples should not have children as their children would be bullied. Perhaps I shouldn’t leave my house because I might get a rock thrown at me?

This argument implicitly promotes homophobia by allowing it to go unchallenged, and allows for prejudice to be given an air of respectability. It is nothing more than the excrement of homophobia dusted with the icing sugar of political correctness- it’s still shit, it just looks palatable.

…and many of my straight friends agree with me.

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