Are Gay People Bullying Our Way To Equality?

Are Gay People Bullying Our Way To Equality?

Ryan Lee, Associate Writer: News & Current Events

Last week, the National Organization for Marriage suffered an embarrassing lapse in its cyber-security when its Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as its blog, was hacked.

The virulently anti-gay organization began sending out Tweets such as “There’s a mutiny taking place…the New NOM Supports #marriageequality,” while its Twitter image was changed to a Gay Pride flag.

The hacking sent ripples of chuckles across the internet, and whoever was responsible doesn’t seem to be done having fun at NOM’s expense. Late last week, the Twitter account for NOM President Brian Brown was hacked and used to send out messages such as “Our strategies have been Hitler and Stalin-esqe. Stifling free speech, targeting minority groups, pushing our beliefs onto all of society.”

These incidents are humorous, and somewhat akin to seeing a schoolyard bully get punched in the nose by a pint-sized sissy.

So what happens when the sissy does become the bully?

As I watched the celebrations over the hacking of NOM, I couldn’t help but wonder what gay people’s reaction would have been if anti-gay forces had hacked the online identities of the Human Rights Campaign, and used its Twitter account to post homophobic scripture. I can already hear cries of a high-tech hate crime.

Lately, it seems that gay people have claimed a monopoly on being the victims of bullying; we don’t recognize that bullying can be a two-way street, and that we are just as capable of being the aggressors. In addition to the NOM hacking, several other recent incidents make me wonder if we are bullying our way to equality:

Scribbling on Facebook

The hacking gave me my first ever reason to visit NOM’s Facebook page, and I was not surprised by what I found. Every posting on the NOM page generates dozens – sometimes thousands – of comments, and the vast majority seem to be from NOM detractors who complain about the organization being whiny haters.

Out of curiosity, I also visited the Human Rights Campaign’s Facebook page. The postings on the HRC page generate fewer comments, but there is scant evidence of anti-gay individuals flooding the fan page in order to disrupt it.

Internet civility is almost an oxymoron, but we need to be mindful when we are a bigger ogre on the net than our tormentors.

 Labeling Our Opponents as Haters

Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 27 organizations in the U.S. as anti-gay hate groups. While SPLC is not a gay organization, its findings were once again celebrated in LGBT circles and are being used to discredit conservative organizations.

These conservative groups – including the Family Research Council, American Family Association and the Windsor Hills Baptist church – are devilishly misguided and are known to put forth hurtful lies to oppose LGBT equality. However, there is a difference between the activities of the Ku Klux Klan and the Windsor Hills Baptist Church opposing a non-discrimination ordinance, or United Families International supporting sodomy laws that were in place until 2003.

Labeling our opponents as hate groups seems to be a cheap, lazy way to win a debate, no different than the centuries of arguments won by those who claimed homosexuality was evil and sinful.

Bullying the Bullies

Few people have done more to combat anti-gay bullying than Dan Savage, the gay writer who founded the It Gets Better Project to deliver encouraging videos to downtrodden gay youth.

Yet, the man who attempts to make martyrs out of LGBT students who have been bullied has himself been engaged in the mean-spirited cyber-bullying of Rick Santorum since 2003.

Yes, there is much hilarity in Savage’s efforts to have Google searches for “Santorum” lead to a website describing the “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” Bullying is usually funny, at least to everyone who isn’t the target of the bullying.

Given his anti-gay hostility over the years, Santorum deserves no sympathy; but that doesn’t negate the hypocrisy of the LGBT movement’s leading anti-bullying crusader using the internet to defile the senator’s (and his children’s) last name, as if he were writing rumors on a bathroom wall or cafeteria table.

What do you think? Are gay people simply fighting fire with fire, and giving conservatives a taste of their own medicine? Or are we establishing a double standard where we complain when we are bullied, and cheer when our opponents are harassed? Is it necessary to be civil with those who want to deny us basic human rights? Or have we been the “nice guys” for too long, and it’s time we fought back?


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  • rondonaghe

    Bullying the bullies is an oxymoron, plain and simple. It’s called fighting back, after having been passive too long. Did gays start the fight? No. Are they now defending themselves? Yes. Is it in any way the same thing that bullies and hate groups have done to us? No. We are fighting fire with fire. It’s not a double standard. It’s cause for endless cheering.

  • rondonaghe

    Here ya go, Ryan Lee:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/11379730. This kid killed himself Saturday after being relentlessly bullied. And we’re supposed to wring our hands over hacking the NOM site or Twitter?

  • Guest

    There is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much I would like to say to Ryan Lee at this moment.

    However, I will simply say, Ryan, you are a blooming idiot.

  • http://profiles.google.com/esperandopara Nicholas Reed

    I don’t think calling the FRC and AFA “hate groups” is “cheap” or “lazy.” I think it’s accurate. You’re right, the SPLC is not a gay rights group, it’s the organization that broke the back of the KKK in the US. That should make their claims a lot more credible. They labeled these groups anti-gay hate groups for the same reasons that the KKK was labeled a hate group; they intentionally spread propoganda – that they themselves know is false – in order to incite hatred against LGBT people. How is their claiming that gay people are dozens of times more likely to molest children (when they know for a fact that this is not true) any different from the claim that Jews use the blood of Christian babies to make their Matzah? It is offered as an invitation and a justification for violence against LGBT people, in the same way that the blood libel justified the inquisition. This article seems to be trying to say that they are totally different because they don’t organize murder against gay people (at least as long as you’re ignoring Uganda, like most of the west), but the KKK didn’t do that in broad daylight either. Lynchings were not officially sponsored KKK events, any more that Matthew Shepherd’s murder was sponsored by the AFA. But in both cases, the KKK and these anti-gay hate groups provide a moral bulwark that justifies this kind of murder, bloodshed, and harassment.

  • Adfhfjm

    white supremecy

  • ChuckGG

    I doubt the HRC moderates postings on its blog except for extreme threats, spam, and ultra-profane language. On the other hand, NOM’s blog is heavily moderated. I have attempted to post the most mundane of comments on their blog only to have it moderated out. Not once, but many times. Others have commented, as well. It seems some topics on the blog have a pretty much open discussion while others are heavily moderated. Perhaps, it is the author of the article who sets the moderation level.

    But, clearly NOM has no interest in open discussion or hearing opposing views. If you read some of the comments it is clear that many of those posting are completely out of touch with the real world.

    NOM is wound around the axle about Starbucks providing spousal benefits to SS partners. During the annual stockholders meeting, Starbucks’ CEO was asked two questions from two NOM individuals. He answered them extremely politely and accurately and basically invalidate their questions. The questions amounted to the potential loss of business for Starbucks adopting the spousal benefits package. The CEO politely stated that sales have not been affected and may, in fact, be up, and that Starbucks wants to be a place where all employees are welcome, etc. It was very well stated.

    NOM actually posted the video on their website! They listened to exactly the same speech that the rest of the world did and drew and entirely different conclusion! The benefits spoken of by the CEO were construed by NOM to be detriments, much like someone speaking of equal-opportunity laws to the KKK. NOM just does not “get it.”

    They started a Starbucks boycott. So far, they have around 32,000 signatures. The pro-Starbucks group, SumOfUs.org has collected 640,000+ signatures. Now, I mean, really, could NOM be any more out-of-touch? First off, what is the demographics for Starbucks? Is it redneck, bible-thumping bigots? Is it Cletus coming in for a mocha latte? No. It is overwhelming middle to upper-middle class, Mac Notebook carrying, younger people. I have yet to see a Christian prayer circle in a Starbucks coffee shop.

    NOM boycott has done nothing but drive business to Starbucks. I have friends who told me they specifically stopped by Starbucks to buy a coffee after hearing of the boycott.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VVHGFY6INZQ5SX4HLNUF4NSIE Stanley J

    3000 gay kdis commit suicide every year in the USA thanks to bullying that derives from right wing church hatreds.

    that doesnt include the many kid suiicides where there is no apparent reason for the suicide

    We should go to war against these religious monsters who give us a repeating 9-11 every year of children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zen-Satori/100002031169898 Zen Satori

    Heterosexuality is always wrong, never allow it, it is a bastardization of luv. It should be outlawed in at least 32 states. In vitro fertilization , no touching allowed. No picnics with blankets to hide under, all hetero porn to be booted off the net. No displays of swappin’ kisses allowed those are the most disturbing.To me.

  • JC MUSAK

    National Organization for Marriage is godly and so is Rick Santorum, everyone who speaks against what they biblically stand for like being opposed to homosexuality is stupid ignorant fool, whose words will be judged by God and they will be cast down into a burning hell of torment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dwight-G-Grogan/1221365584 Dwight G Grogan

    I honestly believe, NOM Hacked themselves to try to get sympathy. They are close to losing the battle to hide their donors and they are grasping at straws.

  • Tone

    Our gay society is doing the right thing by demanding our rights. If you want to call that “bullying” then we are! I call it OUR RIGHTS. Was the civil rights movement bullying? NO. Injustice is just that. Injustice. And for the record. The photo you used to accompany this NO-THOUGHT article has no place next to your words. Doesn’t the publisher, editor, SOMEONE look at this crap before it is printed? Geez already!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Hannington/1536970562 Jim Hannington

    Excellent article ! Perspective. We need a reasonable approach to these issues. We obtain substantive progress when we exhibit civility towards each other. Politics is the art of representation and power is achieved by sharing the spoils. If we resort to the winner take all theory of achievement, the issues become muddled and chaotic. That is the scorched Earth policy. Politics is the art of compromise between parties. It is the middle ground. That is how we GOVERN ourselves. from the book ‘Thomas Jefferson and the Art of Power’, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity—and the genius of the
    new nation—lay in the possibility of progress, of discovering the
    undiscovered and seeking the unknown.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Hannington/1536970562 Jim Hannington

    Who and What are we fighting ? OURselves ? That is why the Chick-fil-a fight was such a waste of energy. Freedom of Speech won the day ! We forget to take the high road in our moral arguments. We are trying to bully the bullies into submission. Now that is an example of an oxymoron if I ever heard of one. Yes, we should ALWAYS speak up and stand up for OURselves. It is how and what methods that we use to accomplish those gains that matters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Hannington/1536970562 Jim Hannington

    When the hated become hateful we cannot win.

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