Saturday, February 25, 2012

Civil rights in short supply; gays haven't suffered enough violence for a full share

This week the Maryland General Assembly approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act which allows same-sex couples to marry, much to the distress of Emmett C. Burns, Jr., a member of the House of Delegates and Baptist minister. Burns knows, as Maryland legislators who voted in favor of the bill do not, that civil rights are in short supply and must be allocated to only the most civil rights-worthy minorities. According to Burns, gays and lesbians simply don't qualify for full civil rights since none have suffered the amount of violence blacks have.

It is unclear from Burns' comments why the many documented cases of gays and other sexual minorities being murdered because of their sexual orientation, including the murder of Glen H. Footman in Baltimore, don't qualify as points towards full equality for same-sex couples. (Note: Although generally not clear from the reporting, as Burns points out, all the individuals who are members of the GLBT community are "whites.")

While there are many scales for measuring the relative suffering of various minorities to determine if they qualify for martial equality and other civil rights, it appears that Burns may be using "The Bible Says Gay Sex is a Big Sin" (TBSGSBS) scale which requires all evidence of violence against gays to be excluded from the computation of civil rights eligibility. Use of this scale probably means that even additional murders of gays will not increase their civil rights eligibility score.

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