I operate from the philosophy that the only way you can oppose LGBT equality is to not understand what sexual orientation and gender identity are. If you understand these concepts and the experience of people with minority identities and you continue to oppose them, you are truly a heartless fool.
The true enemy in our movement is ignorance (along with its good friend misinformation). There are some who simply do not understand the concepts and there are some who have been taught to misunderstand the concepts. Then there are those like Utah’s Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute who attempt to unteach decades worth of biological and psychological research in one foul swoop (transcript below, hat tip JMG (apparently Chino Blanco at Pam’s House Blend originally posted this with his own transcript. I promise I didn’t copy!)):
The gloves must come off.
The fact remains that we don’t just disagree with you over the Common Ground Initiative, we disagree with you over nearly every motivating assumption that underlies the initiative.
We’re dealing here with two separate realities: one truth, one illusion. The intellectual, legal, and moral chasm between the two sides is so great that true common ground is nearly impossible to achieve. And so for my part anyway, I’m here to argue that the Equality Utah version of reality is an illusion.
The CGI bills constantly refer to sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is an illusion. It only exists in the minds of activists and their academics who need to explain away why people do what they do even when they don’t want to do it. There are no replicable scientific or medical studies about that issue of sexual orientation that exist. Nevermind that the only way they can be identified is through sexual behavior. There’s no reasonable argument to be made that subjective feelings or attractions toward another human being means anything deeper than what it actually is.
The truth is that we are born male and female with moral agency. Because it’s behavior, our sexual is always a choice, and any other sexual construct is an illusion. Your idea of rights is an illusion. With the backing of every miserable misanthropic philosopher of the post-enlightenment era, your initiative feeds on the unreasonable notion that you have these magically organic rights to do whatever you desire. These rights are usually couched in terms of equality, but because you constantly confuse what you do for who you are, your equality is illusory. You think your equality is about who you are, when it’s really only about what you do, and in terms of human behavior, there’s no equality as you try to imagine it.
Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?
My first pet peeve is that every time a group says “We disagree with you,” we have to automatically assume their argument has merit. Oh, they’re entitled to their opinions! Let’s be real: there is not one fact in that excerpt. NOT ONE.
Sexual orientation is not an illusion. Everybody has one and everybody experiences having one. Ask a group of 15-year-olds who they’re attracted to and every single one of them will be able to tell you, regardless of whether they’ve ever had sex. Sexual orientation has been observed and measured in countless studies and models over DECADES, most of which would be quite easy to find if you opened a single journal to look. And none of those studies would be worth considering if they weren’t replicable. There are even studies on hetersexual orientations! Yeah, everybody’s included! Sexual behavior is a choice, but orientation is not. There is a clear distinction there that any psychologist (except maybe the fake ones in NARTH) could easily articulate.
Sorry, I’m a compulsive debunker.
All that being said: this is our enemy. We need psychology classes to teach what we know about sexual orientation. We need to make sure that nobody graduates college (or even high school) without a basic understanding of the science of sexuality. We need to stand up to everyone who would call us biased or claim we’re indoctrinating and say, THIS IS WHAT WE KNOW. THIS IS SCIENCE.
Until we can undo the legitimacy that anti-gay opponents claim to have for their arguments, we will get nowhere.
I propose a mass education campaign. Let’s get PSAs on every cable channel, independent of any particular issue. “Do you know what sexual orientation is? You have one, you know?” Has anyone even considered that idea before? We shouldn’t have to hope people tune into “In The Life” or a rerun of MTV’s True Life to learn anything about it.
Education is our key. Until we embrace it, our movement will continue to flounder.