“Justice Scalia, I’m gay, and as somebody who is gay I find these comparisons extraordinarily offensive,” Duncan Hosie, a freshman at Princeton, said to Antonin Scalia on Monday.
I read this Amy Davidson short essay in the New Yorker and thought it was well written. But under the recommendation of Maria Bustellos in the RSS-essential Longreads I gave it a second read.
I appreciate the judicial history of anti-gay decisions framed in comparison to cultural change. I also like Amy Davidson’s tone, writing about the issue with sincerity and compassion, all while basically arguing Scalia is a prejudicial prick.
I’m also retiring the #hashtag “homophobia.” It is often used to write about anti-gay discrimination, but it is a term which does not convey correctly what I mean. I can’t read the mind of the person who is discriminating, I can only judge the behavior.
The AP style manual is now much more clear on the subject:
An irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness. Examples: acrophobia, a fear of heights, and claustrophobia, a fear of being in small, enclosed spaces. Do not use in political or social contexts: homophobia, Islamophobia.
It also nullifies strategies for resistance if we choose to assume that actions against people (followers of Islam for instance) are driven by irrational therefore presumably ideas which can not be informed by teaching and/or rational discourse. I ain’t into that.