Perhaps the most appropriate term could be "heterosexist", which stands in the same relationship to "homophobe" as "sexist" does to the term "misogynist". The idea being that heterosexism and sexism mean privileging the rights of one group of people over another, without implying a fear/hatred of that group.
Homophobic people have a fear of allowing homosexual people an equal status in all things- if they are equal in all things then we must stop treating them as lesser, right?
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Abbott's position on same-sex marriage is objectively anti-gay but is, I believe, sincerely motivated by his relgious convictions rather than an animus towards gay men and lesbians. I am happy to argue strongly against that position, but I will only use the term homophobe if I see objective evidence that he hates/fears gay people.
There are plenty of real homophobes out there. Let's not cheapen the term.
Last edited by Atropos; 26-03-2014 at 21:48.
I also don't buy Abbott's position as being one of religious conviction. If he wants to prevent people marrying based on religion, surely he'd be campaigning against civil marriages of all sorts?
If it IS religiously motivated then it's still based on fear and intolerance and frankly, his religious convictions have no place in governing our secular country!
I am not going to go to the barricades about the use of a word. I was really just explaining my own thinking on the use of such terms in discussion. I did not call Gillard a homophobe when she repeatedly expressed her opposition to gay marriage. She was mistaken. I will not apply a different standard to Abbott just because he is on the other side of the political spectrum from me.
I'm curious then, Julia Gilliard didn't support gay marriage when she was pm, yet I never saw her labeled as a homophobe. How is it different for the present prime minister to share the same ideal, yet be labeled a homophobe?
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