Revoking Homophobia

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Around the globe, there are revocations to suit all tastes. Between 2007 and 2008, a citizen campaign group called a referendum in California hoping to revoke the state law that permitted gay marriage. On Nov. 4, 2008 they succeeded, with 52 percent in favor of revoking the law and 47.5 percent opposed. But there has since emerged a possible counter-revocation that could make history.

As of this week, the U.S. Supreme Court will see a demand presented to revoke this law, called Proposition 8. There will also be an attempt to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law which, in 1996 — under the Clinton administration! — defined marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman.

Both of these demands now enjoy support from monumental politicians: Clinton himself, today almost regretful that he gave his name to the passing of such a law, his wife Hillary, who is starting to weigh up her cards for the future presidential elections, and Barack Obama, the first president to disclose his opinion on the matter.

Even Clint Eastwood, the famous filmmaker known for being a tough guy in his roles and ideas, has turned out to be in favor, and so the judges facing this task are being confronted by a strong tide of public opinion in favor of homosexual marriage. According to Gallup, 54 percent of Americans would agree with them; multicolor love is now the most accepted kind.

The decision, nevertheless, will not be easy. The extreme opposition which opposes the law promoting greater equality has its militants. Antonin Scalia — worryingly, one of the judges of the Supreme Court — compared the laws which punish homosexuality to those which punish murder at a presentation at the University of Princeton last December.

It seems incredible, but the world has not yet shaken off prejudice. In France, a large-scale protest has recently emerged to challenge the imminent passing of gay marriage by the Senate. In Argentina, meanwhile, a group of extremists attacked a young homosexual with the insane “argument” that the new pope was opposed to “male hookers.”

Eric Holder, the U.S. attorney general, has compared the fight for homosexual rights with the achievement of civil rights. The comparison is correct: There exist rabbis, pastors, politicians and even priests, as well as a great global citizenry, who clearly see in homophobia the foul odor of contempt for the other.

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