Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gay Rights > Preborn Rights?

[Today's post is by Kristan Hawkins, the Executive Director of Students for Life of America.  It was originally posted on LifeNews and on the SFLA blog.]

Like many of you, I made time to catch the most recent GOP debate this past Saturday night hosted by ABC and Yahoo. I winced through the usual back-and-forth between candidates and, at times, their evasive answers to controversial and defining questions. Per usual, abortion, gay rights, and health care were all hot topics.
After noticing the candidates’ responses to questions tailored toward gay rights and, more specifically, how ABC’s hosts were tailoring those questions, I couldn’t help to think of abortion.
Why is that the ABC debate hosts humanized and made you sympathize for gays who are treated unfairly – and rightly so – yet they wouldn’t even utter the words “unborn”, “child”, or even “fetus”? It seemed that the questions surrounding abortion heard in the debate were crafted from an aloof, constitutional rights perspective, but the issues of gay marriage came up from a connecting, human rights perspective.
I posed this very question on my Facebook status Saturday night.
One user promptly commented that maybe if pro-lifers acknowledged the humanity of homosexuals, homosexuals would begin to acknowledge the humanity of the preborn.
Should pro-lifers acknowledge the humanity of homosexuals? Absolutely. And we do. Should we also recognize the humanity of heterosexuals? Of course.
But the abortion debate isn’t about whether or not pre-born babies who are victims of abortion are gay or straight. Any attack on the humanity of anyone – born or pre-born, gay or straight – goes against the fundamentals of the pro-life movement. And anyway, this user’s comment assumes that most supporters of abortion are gay, and this simply isn’t true.
In our society, it has gotten far too easy to brush abortion under the carpet as just another option within the culture of convenience. We are right to condemn the dehumanization of homosexuals – or heterosexuals – in any context.
This isn’t a gay marriage debate; this is a recognition of the basic right to Life for all people.
Stealing is wrong, arson is wrong, embezzlement is wrong, and murder is wrong. But our moral compasses are rendered useless with the pressure to remain “politically correct.”
Abortion has been pegged as a “necessary evil”, something a woman “would never freely choose to do unless she had to”. Something that makes her life easier. But using a derogatory term to refer to a homosexual is downright chastisable. And we are right to chastise those who use these words to dehumanize anyone.
But how has the murder of pre-born children become an easier pill to swallow than ill-suited word choice? Both are wrong, but one is far, far worse.


Ward Ricker said...

I agree with your essay, except perhaps for one point. You ask "Should pro-lifers acknowledge the humanity of homosexuals?" and then respond "Absolutely. And we do." Perhaps we do not deny the humanity of homosexuals, but there is, unfortunately, a very clear anti-gay emphasis among much of the antiabortion community. Just visit the web sites of many organizations that fight abortion and you will see that they are fighting homosexuality also. I corresponded with the head of one group a while back, and he was greatly upset when he found out that I have an internet dating sites that, in his words, "caters to homosexuals". (It "caters" to all single people, regardless of sexual orientation.) Of course killing people is far worse than looking down on people because of their sexual lifestyle, but as long as many among our numbers continue to hold this anti-gay position it will continue to hurt our cause. People won't believe that we really care about preborn humans if we don't seem to care about those already born. I only hope that somehow we can root out this anti-gay bigotry among our own numbers.

The Bear said...

You are so right Ward. And it is not only morally indefensible but also damaging to the pro-life movement. Many people see pro-lifers are as far right, anti-gay and pro death penalty. While these stereo types endure it is easy for the pro-abortion to dodge the fundamental issues of the right to life and fetal development and dismiss our voices as those of religious extremists.

Marauder said...

I know you didn't mean to do this, but writing "anyone - born or pre-born, gay or straight" comes across like it's meant to encompass all people, and all people aren't either gay or straight. The same goes for "the dehumanization of homosexuals – or heterosexuals". I'm bisexual, and although, again, I know you didn't mean to do this, sometimes I feel like I must be some type of invisible person when people act as though everyone is either gay or straight. It might have been better to use "people of all sexual orientations."

I definitely agree with you that abortion gets presented as something unrelated to human rights - unless if someone wants to talk about the "right" of women to have abortions. I also agree with everything Ward said (except that "sexual lifestyle" isn't the same as sexual orientation - GLBT people can be unkissed virgins and some people will still look down on them for hoping to find a romantic partner someday).

jouer said...

Right ? Or Not ?