The Perils of Homophobia

By Jordan Heide

“Homosexuals are brute beasts, part of a vile and satanic system that will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven."

Complements of the notorious Jerry Falwell, the above quotation summarizes the dangerous antagonism that faces homosexual Americans on a daily basis.

The source of that antagonism? A group that proselytizes love, peace, and understanding, yet defames anyone who doesn’t conform to its archaic set of beliefs. I’m speaking, of course, about Christians.

The Christian movement against homosexuality has repetitively demonstrated the shortsightedness of the religiously devout, pervading our constitutionally secular society and using a haphazardly constructed document that does not withstand the scrutiny of historians to justify its oppression. Gay individuals have been harassed, bullied, maimed, and killed by Christians simply for being themselves.

One such example of this persecution is the infamous case of Matthew Shephard, who was robbed, pistol-whipped, tortured, and then tied to a fence and left for dead. The culprits of this brutal crime cited their religious beliefs as the rationale for the murder, expressing no remorse for Shephard’s death and claiming that Shephard “needed to be killed” because of his sexual orientation.

Christian homophobia has even pervaded the political sphere. Chief Justice Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court, in a2002 decision that denied a lesbian mother custody of her children (despite evidence that the paternal father was physically abusive), provided the following condemnation of homosexuality to support his verdict:

“Homosexual conduct is, and has been, considered abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature's God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated. Such conduct violates both the criminal and civil laws of this State and is destructive to a basic building block of society -- the family....It is an inherent evil against which children must be protected.”

Chief Justice Moore provides no substantive evidence for his reasoning, other than the presumption that homosexuals are “presumptively unfit to have custody of minor children,” based solely on his religious ideology. Most shocking is his blatant disregard for the Constitution, which champions equality and prohibits persecution against any subculture of society. How does his explicit usurpation of a document that has governed the United States for more than two centuries go unchallenged?