Cecillia Munnik was reported to be suing a member of her church in the High Court for R1, 5 million (+/-$200 000), in damages for an incident that occurred in 2007. It’s alleged that her assailant repeatedly kicked her between her legs until she lost consciousness in an attempt to “convert” her to heterosexuality. During the attack profanities was also screamed at Munnik and she was told she was going to hell for being gay and that she was “ungodly”. The queer thing is that both Munnik and her assailant belonged to the same church and supposedly believed in the same God. Yet, Munnik was called an insult to Christianity. This begs the question, whose behaviour in this incident was more Christian like and who truly was an insult to their own religion?
This incident and a few others made me wonder what the true root cause of homophobia is. Is it religion or is there another social source. Most people’s frame of reference when it comes to morality is religion. Your religion will dictate what is morally right or wrong and provide you with some moral compass by which to live your life. Religions, in some cases, are also a convenient excuse when used as a tool to justify institutionalized discrimination. Just look at Uganda with their proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. When it’s stated by religious leaders that gays are going to hell, it makes it easier for their followers to commit appalling acts with the premise that they are acting in "God’s will", no matter whether their own actions are also condemned by that same religion. This creates a breeding ground for the bigotry we see emerging every day.
Some people don’t need to use religion as an excuse to be homophobic and display discriminating behaviour. As it goes for racism these people, for some odd reason, believe they are superior to others and gay people are unworthy members of society just like black, coloured and Indian people are seen as subhuman. I have experienced some of this myself. I have too heard certain snickers and insults directed at me, mostly behind my back. For some reason certain people don’t have the balls to confront you when they are not supported by a group of people. A few years ago, I had to have a tire fixed and everything was going well. After the tire was fixed and I paid for the repairs and the transaction could no longer be reversed I heard the first homophobic slur made about me by an employee there. It was a hushed taunt and slanderous comment supposedly not audible enough for me to hear – but I did. Apparently, my money was good enough there but as a gay person I wasn’t and this faggot should go back to his part of town. Needless to say, this faggot did not leave it there, and after the incident was reported to their head office I was refunded and received a written apology.
Not all people are homophobic by nature. There are people whose ignorance and lack of knowledge about the gay community promotes their lack of sensitivity and understanding. These are the individuals who are most vulnerable to the influence of unscrupulous groups who fuels homophobia and hate. These are the same groups that make straight people believe that my marriage in some strange way will destroy their own and that my mere existence poses an immediate threat to their children’s mental and moral health. If you think about it, who do gay people hurt by being gay? Do we start wars over infringements of our human rights? Do we start urban violent terror campaigns when ever our community is wronged? Have you ever heard of a straight bashing? Do we picket religious events stating heterosexuals are abominations, unchristian and should be going to hell? Do we insist on taking away the basic human rights of other people? No, we don’t, our fight for our rights is a mostly peaceful one. All we want is to be treated like everyone else and be afforded the same human rights and level of respect.
Having many heterosexual friends I can honestly say there are three kinds of heterosexuals – those who hate you to your face (like the Christian lady who assaulted the lesbian), the ones that hates you behind your back (the tire repair store employee) and the ones that don’t give a rats ass who you sleep with and respects you for who you are. Yes, there are many bigots out there, some sitting in the pews of their church on a Sunday, and others in a store assisting you and some are even world leaders. These are the people that give religion a bad name, make politics a dirty business and at times cause many gay people to wonder what their straight friends really think about our lifestyle.
Hedda Lettuce - Lady Gaga Bad Romance Parody (for the mature audience)