I was looking back through my posts to see if I have any new input on things, and found this draft from a year ago. I don’t recall why I did not post it back then, but it still seems to have value today, so here it is.
Congratulations, you have made great progress in social standing. It appears that you have even achieved your “holy grail” of legal marriage. You seem to enjoy a fairly wide based acceptance; not universal, of course, but likely by the majority.
Why endanger your progress? There are a few in the community who seem bent on taking you from an acceptable subset of society to a danger. If you want to avoid becoming tarred with the brush of extremism, much like Muslims have to deal with the onus of the radical Muslims, it might be in your long term best interests to weed out your own extremists while you are still on the upswing.
Whatever am I talking about, you ask? I heard someone relate a troubling story today; I cannot verify if it is true or accurate. If it is true, it shows how a few of your community could make yourselves appear to be a danger to society at large.
The fellow claimed to be a DJ at a club, and happened to make a comment that the Supreme Court was not doing its job correctly. A U.S. marine came up to him and said that someone in his party was offended and asked the DJ what he had against gay marriage. The DJ explained that he did not say anything about gay marriage; that he personally was for it, but did not think that the Supreme Court should have quashed States Rights. That is, that gay marriage should be decided at the state level, not at the federal level. The marine threatened that if the DJ did not apologize, the marine would beat him up. The DJ then broadcast an apology.
Problem number one, a person made a statement of opinion without any indication it had to do with gay marriage, yet someone assumed it was an attack on gay marriage and was “offended”. Perhaps they would have been wiser and more social to not assume it was any kind of attack on them. And even if it was, keep it in perspective. After all, I’ll bet the person couldn’t care less if anyone was “offended” by THEIR position on gay marriage.
Problem number two, they sicced a U.S. Marine onto the “offender” in an effort to either extort an apology or “punish” him. This is unconscionable and illegal. In this case, both the marine and the offended person lucked out; the DJ would have been within his rights to have called the police. A threat of violence is legally an assault, and to ask the marine to do it would seem to be conspiracy. But ignoring that, to use violence or even the threat of it to punish an opposing viewpoint is unacceptable behavior.
Despite the DJ’s apology and explanation, the party of the offended person went to the manager and raised a fuss, getting a refund of their cover charge (10 people at $6 each) and then the group left. At the end of the night, the manager was hostile until the DJ was able to explain what happened. Even so, the manager only paid him half his fee, cancelled his next nights gig, and indicated that his continued presence was in doubt.
Problem three, even though the DJ explained what he meant and apologized, the offended person still continued after him, costing him money and putting his livelihood in jeopardy. Punishing him for even the appearance of having a dissenting opinion.
It seems highly likely that the offended person is a member of the gay community. Who else could possibly act so viciously at so tenuous a dig at gay marriage? And what was the result? One person, who did not even disagree with gay marriage, was punished.
If you attack someone who does not see you have valid reason to do so, you make an enemy of them. You make enough enemies, and your favored status may become reversed. Right now, you are winning most of your encounters, because a majority of people are for you or at least not against you. But what happens if 80% of the population fears you, because you attack anyone who even looks like they might disagree with you? Don’t you think that you will start losing encounters?
Don’t you think it would be better to treat the people who disagree with you with at least the same amount of courtesy they treat you with?
Was this story a complete fabrication or an exaggeration? Perhaps; perhaps not. Is it likely? I don’t know; I can believe possibility of the alleged behavior by every character except the Marine. The behavior ascribed to him would seem to be un-Marinely at best and incredibly stupid and a bit criminal at worst. But even if this story is complete balderdash, it does show how a group could arrange to eventually be hoist on their own petard.