Freedom of Speech

Recently, the Gay-Straight Alliance at South Windsor High School participated in the National Day of Silence. In response, four young bigots came to school wearing anti-gay t-shirts (on one conservative message board, one schmuck indicated that there was left-wing media bias because in the article, they didn't label the shirts as "pro-marriage").

I tend towards absolutism on Freedom of Speech. I don't agree with the sentiments on the t-shirts these boys wore, but if a school is going to allow children to express their pro-gay opinions, students who disagree should be allowed to express their bigoted opinions, as well. From my perspective, it's always good to know who the bigots are. This might just be my rationalizing that is saying this, though - several months ago I posted about the outrage I felt when driving behind a car with a pro-Bush sticker on it, but then I realized it was helpful to be able to identify the idiots and radicals amongst us.

But still...still, there is something about this whole thing that really bugs me. It's not just that the boys expressed an opinion that I happen to disagree with, either. I guess its that on one side, you have people who are gay standing up to claim their equal rights, and people who aren't gay but who believe that all people should have equal rights standing up to support them. And on the other, you have a few rabble-rousers who are never going to experience a shortage of more than equal rights, because they're white males*. (And for the record - when someone else is equal, that doesn't take away any amount of equality from anyone else - there is not a finite amount of equality, that once we've divvied it up between the white men and the white women and the black men and black women, that we will run out, and we'll have to take some equality away from the white males to make it up to the Hispanics or the gays or the Asians. I'm not a math whiz or anything, but that's correct, isn't it?)

And I guess that's what bugs me about this. People on the right are not only proudly expressing their bigotry, they are defensive about it, pretending at victimization. It's pathetic. It's unnecessary, because no one is trying to stop people from being heterosexual. No one is trying to stop anyone from being (or claiming to be) Christian.

Let the bigots speak, but I don't think there is any need for people to listen to them.

*This is completely an assumption on my part.

eta: The response to this incident has been almost entirely supportive of the 4 bigots (which I feel free to call then since they have identified themselves as such). I tried to add my opinion to the story, but it hasn't shown up yet. However, I encourage anyone who reads the article to share their opinion on the subject.

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