Comment: The road to a better future is paved with rainbows

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Devon newspaper the South Molton News recently published an article that claimed overturning a “well founded” taboo on homosexuality will cause the collapse of civilisation.

The South Molton News invited PinkNews reporter Nick Duffy to submit a reply for the next issue of the newspaper, which is reproduced below.

Recently, a video surfaced of 19-year-old Georgia teen Daniel Pierce being kicked out of his home by his own parents for being a “damned queer” – and he is far from alone.

Here are some statistics: young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are three times as likely to end up homeless, four times as likely to self-harm, and tragically, up to seven times more likely to attempt suicide.

Sadly, though it takes millions of people to foster a culture of acceptance to bring those numbers down, it takes only one or two bigots to disrupt the life of another gay teen.

As Mr Grave Turner can’t stomach the thought of ‘coming out’ by putting his name to his own words, he can’t even begin to understand the struggle of the teenagers coming to terms with being what he terms “an aberration”.

A column like Mr Grave Turner’s doesn’t just perpetuate tired old stereotypes about gay people – it feeds the bigotry that makes our towns, our neighbourhoods and even our families less safe.

Luckily, people around the world are slowly starting to wake up to the normality of homosexuality, and to most of us his claims about the destruction of civilisation already look as ridiculous as the claims that allowing women to vote would destroy democracy.

Simply put: the world did not end in 1967 when homosexuality was decriminalised, it did not end in 2001 when the age of consent was equalised, and it isn’t likely to end in 2014, when same-sex marriage was introduced.

The editor has invited me to write this column under the false assumption that fairness means showing balance between two opposing arguments – but people’s right to exist should never be a matter for debate.

Mr Grave Turner likely knows deep down that his long-outdated views are on the wrong side of history – and the South Molton News should hang its head in shame for giving platform to him.

We live in a country that is starting to wake up to the scope of the challenge, and realise anti-gay rhetoric needs to be challenged – but clearly, there is a long way to go.

Homosexuality will not destroy civilisation. It is not corrupting our children. And there’s only really one thing on the gay agenda – equality.
As with all comment, this does not necessarily reflect the views of PinkNews.