Yesterday, I received a series of replies to a group e-mail that made me very, very sad. The original e-mail referred to a major retailer that had been exposed to "homophobic outrage and organized boycotts" after featuring a lesbian couple on a Mother's Day ad. What did the company do? Put a gay couple on their Father's Day ad. My friend circulated the e-mail to a bunch of us with the comment, "Yeah!!!"
To which one recipient replied, "Being opposed to gay marriage does not mean one is homophobic."
That ignited the firestorm. Another friend fired back, "YES IT IS, even if you aren't outraged and organize boycotts. There is no good reason, NONE, for being opposed to gay marriage."
The next salvo was quick in coming: "So everyone who opposes gay marriage is homophobic? You are stating a demogogic, radical, left-wing position and you're simply wrong...I resent your characterization of me and other good Americans as homophobic."
What was lost here was a chance to actually discuss the subject - to hear why someone else feels the way they do. For the record, I am for gay marriage, but that's not what this blog is about. I'd like to see we Americans begin to talk about these hot button issues instead of shouting at each other in caps.
I invite you all to add comments to this blog, not to state your position, but to explain it. No caps, no italics, no explanation points. Maybe someone will persuade someone else. Perhaps there's middle ground we can all occupy. Let's give less sturm and drang and more discussion a chance.