So proclaims Paul Mero, President of the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank in Utah. And, he’s referring to the two sides in the so called “gay rights” debate, one that encompases the most basic of civil rights and the so called fundamental right to genderless marriage. The Salt Lake Tribune published Mero’s thoughts in an article entitled Too Complicated to find Common Ground. Apparently Mr. Mero and some Equality Utah folks (I love the names of these organizations) have been having an ongoing series of debates, either through email and/or in an actual physical face off, where, as the article describes, the gloves came off:
Four months later, Mero warned the crowd at his debate with Equality Utah members at the University of Utah Law School that he might be offensive, or, as he put it, “intentionally provocative.”
And he was. He said gay and transgendered people come from a “very immature emotional frame of reference,” pick from a menu of “umpteen” gender options, “play house,” live an “illusion.”
“The gloves must come off,” he said.
The question is: Why?
Proposition 8, apparently.
It seems Proposition 8 has taken on a life of its own. Of course, the best time to have had this debate was before last November–but still it rages on–even in the most socially and religiously conservative of venues, Utah. I don’t know exactly what to make of Mr. Mero’s words. They do seem harsh–but perhaps it’s because since Proposition 8 and the incredibly infantile response by some fringe elements of the “gay community” some folks have been afraid to speak their mind. And, certainly the intent of the unprecedented response to Proposition 8’s passage was to have a chilling effect on people who have a difference of opinion with those who champion genderless marriage as a basic fundamental constitutional right.
Despite his harshness, I think there are grains of truth in what he says. And, frankly his speech is just as constitutionally protected, if not more so than some the Proposition 8 aftermath that passed for political protest and speech. And, it was this aftermath that has disturbed Mr. Mero:
Angry about the gay community’s protests, boycotts and “extortion” of the LDS Church, Mero turned condescending and nasty, steaming with the emotion he so despises in the other side. Still, the next day, he sent an e-mail to his opponents inviting them to “continue to talk.”
Mero insists his behavior is consistent. He’s a self-styled compassionate conservative who thrives on heady debate with the other side. Certainly not a homophobe or a “gay-hater.”
But you’ll understand if gay-rights activists feel burned.
“The anti-church stuff after Prop 8 really set him off,” says Sen. Scott McCoy, a Salt Lake City Democrat. “He is like a totally different person.” . . .
Mero’s theory turns on the question: Does it benefit society? As in: Gay sex doesn’t benefit society, so there’s no point in debating gay rights.
Well, so there you have it: Separate realities and no common ground. The more I see this “debate” play out, the more accurate that characterization seems to become.