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“Homophobia”? No, bigotry.

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I was just talking to Lyz Liddell of the Secular Student Alliance about this the other day.  Then I saw this post on Reddit, which reminded me about it, so I decided to write a quick post.

From now on, I’m no longer using the term “homophobia” to describe bigotry against gay people. I’m simply going to call it bigotry.

Bigot: one obstinately and irrationally, often intolerantly, devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion.*

I have yet to hear anything close to a rational, fact-based justification for why gay behavior or orientation is anything other than normal, natural, and harmless. Until someone can present this, obstinate, irrational, and intolerant devotion to anti-gay beliefs is simply another way of saying that someone is bigoted.

Phyllis Siegal, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, the first gay couple legally married under New York State’s recent marriage equality law. They have been together for 23 years.

Phobias are medical conditions where someone has an irrational *fear* of something that’s normal or otherwise harmless. For example, there’s such a thing as a healthy fear of bears (a mother sow protecting her cubs can be very dangerous), but a phobia of bears is something else entirely. There may in fact be some people who are actually, irrationally afraid of gay people, despite knowing that they are normal, natural, and harmless. But that is not what we mean when we say “homophobic.” We mean “bigoted,” and it’s time we started saying so.

People who normally get called “homophobes” don’t have an irrational fear of gay people. They have an irrational *intolerance* to the belief that gay people are sinful, etc. That’s just bigotry, plain & simple.

That’s all. Good night!

– Dave

*”bigot.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. (15 Jun. 2012).

Dave Muscato is Vice President of MU SASHA. He is a vegetarian, LGBTQ ally, and human- & animal-welfare activist. A junior at Mizzou studying economics & anthropology and minoring in philosophy & Latin, Dave posts updates to the SASHA blog every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday and twice monthly for the Humanist Community at Harvard. His website is

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About Danielle Muscato

Danielle Muscato is a civil rights activist, writer, and public speaker. She has appeared on or been quoted in Rolling Stone, People, Time, The New York Times, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard Magazine, and on MTV News, VH1, NPR, MSNBC, ABC, "The Real Story" with Gretchen Carlson, The O'Reilly Factor, Huffington Post Live, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Raw Story, CNN, CBS, and Howard Stern Danielle is the former Director of Public Relations for American Atheists. She is also a board member of MU SASHA (University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists & Agnostics). Her website is Follow her on Google+ Follow her on Twitter @daniellemuscato Subscribe to her on YouTube at

One comment on ““Homophobia”? No, bigotry.

  1. rocketkirchner
    June 17, 2012

    Agreed . I have also never heard a rational reason as to why Christophobia is rampant either. on the blog dandeloin salad i worte an article called ”Christophobia is as bad as Homophobia”.

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This entry was posted on June 14, 2012 by in Author: Dave Muscato and tagged , , , .
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