Thursday, May 3, 2012

Reason #189: Ignorance Is Bias

I try to make this blog as funny as possible without resorting to outright satire, but it's hard when you're only talking about the good stuff. Like the bill currently floating around the Missouri state legislature that would ban schools from discussing the existence of homosexuality - that's just ripe for ridicule, but until (and unless) it's voted down or withdrawn, it's rare that anything happens in the story that's worth holding up as a good thing.

That's why I'm thankful for Republican Missouri state legislator Zachary Wyatt, who, at 27, was at last driven to out himself as a gay man for the sake of fighting the bill. According to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Wyatt is the only openly gay state legislator currently in office anywhere in the country, which is just astounding - and all the more reason to thank him for his bravery.

There are (I suppose) lots of honorable conservative causes out there, but stifling gay rights is not one of them. The stated intent of this bill was to combat bullying, but refusing to acknowledge the existence of a persecuted group of people needs to be understood as a form of bullying in itself.

It seems likely that the "Don't Say Gay" bill, as it's called, is going to be defeated regardless of what Wyatt does or doesn't do, which should make his decision even more powerful in the eyes of Missourians. According to him, “if I can save one kid from hurting themselves or taking their life, then I have done my job as a representative.”

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