Thursday, April 23, 2009

Intolerance

Regarding the recent events surrounding the ... and for those completely out of sync, see the video of the incident here.

Tabloid journalist asked the Miss USA contestant from California, , whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized across the country.

We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised.
To be fair, she did not completely answer the question.  However her answer appears to be consistent with the recent result of in her home state. Mr. Hilton was not only unimpressed with this response, but he thought it was so wrong he profanely slammed her in a video.

I know a lot of people who are passionate on this matter, people who would be called extremists by most.  And on-balance, the people I know are roughly split on each side of this issue. Certainly, those who do approve of same-sex marriage are on Mr. Perez's side, and those who do not are on Ms. Prejean's side. That's easy to see.

What isn't easy to see is what happened since Ms. Prejean took her stand: right or wrong, she laid it all out, on national television, and said what she morally believed. Damn the consequences, she stood fast. Whether you agree with her or not, that took courage, integrity.

Mr. Perez, to his credit, stood up for what he believed in, and used his highly popular blog to state what he believed in. His website carries a lot of influence, and should Ms. Prejean ever want a career in the performing arts, for example, his retort will surely do damage to any future endeavor in that area.

Where Mr. Perez went wrong, in my view, is that he completely undercut his own position by using offensive and derogatory words in describing Ms. Prejean.  Later, on the TODAY show, he suggested she should have left her politics at home.   This made me laugh: how is it that a contestant should leave their politics at home but then have to answer a political question?

In my view, Mr. Perez has done himself - and the position he defends - a huge disservice by acting in an intolerable manner. To those who advocate same-sex marriage, Ms. Prejean will always be viewed as intolerant.

But to those who are either undecided or are opposed to same-sex marriage, Mr. Perez is clearly intolerant. Intolerant of someone who has a different opinion, and who punctuates their disagreement by leveling an ad hominin attack.

I said this to a group of my colleagues who strongly defend Mr. Perez's position. They were aghast: how can anyone who supports same-sex marriage be considered intolerable?

Isn't that a lot like saying people like who are racists automatically have to be white?

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