What should we tolerate in the name of free speech?

A topic dominating the media in Australia is free speech and anti – discrimination laws, both when talking about multiculturalism and the same – sex marriage plebiscite. Currently in Australia, there are a number of laws in each State and Territory protecting people on the basis of characteristics, such as race, sexuality, gender, carer status, relationship status and other grounds (Racial Discrimination Act (1975), the Anti – Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) 1977, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, among others.The Anti – Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act in NSW, currently prohibit discrimination, harrassment, villification, etc on the gay and transgender community. Tasmania’s anti – discrimination also protects LGBT people from discrimination from public services and employment against the LGBTQ+ community.

Due to issues surrounding multiculturalism, the fear of radical Islam and the dropped case against Archbishop Julian Porteous last year and other events, anti – dupiscrimination laws have come under increased scrutiny. In light of the case against Archbishop Porteous, there have been calls from the Australian Christian Lobby to have anti – discrimination laws that protect the LGBTQ community to be scaled back while the plebiscite debate is underway. Columnist for the Australian, Sharri Markson has publicly condemned the plebiscite, arguing that it was giving a license to spread homophobia.

 

If you asked me ten years ago about this, I admit I would have said unequivocally that under NO circumstances should anti – discrimination laws – including those that protect the LGBT community should EVER be scaled back and NO ONE should EVER be exempt from such laws.

Now?

I’m kind of torn. As a GSM (gender/ sexuality minority) and someone with a disability, I would love it if minorities didn’t had to feel attacked, and, to be honest, I wish the lives of LGBTQ+ people weren’t up for such fierce, and, quite frankly, sometimes hurtful ‘debate’.

However, silencing debate – especially on controversial issues, such as same – sex marriage, I fear, will only backfire. It won’t stop opponents of the LGBTQ community, it will only make some of them bite back even harder. Frankly, I think it’s happened in countries, especially the US, where conservatives felt like the SCOTUS ruling on same – sex marriage in 2015, have bitten back with a vengeance – one notable example is Arizona pastor who said he ‘wasn’t sad’ about what happened in Orlando. There has reportedky been backlash with PayPal, Apple and YouTube cancelling his acounts (YouTube must’ve backtracked because his videos can still be seen on the site – including the one about Orlando.

I’m not saying that the above (and extreme) example is right, or that it is a view shared by most opponents of same – sex marriage. What I’m wondering is whether it’s helpful for the LGBTQ+ if such people like Anderson, or even less extreme examples are silenced by the law.

Should we tolerate such views in a democracy? Can we fight back without relying on the law to help us? And, how much should us in the LGBTQ+ community simply… I guess… tolerate?

What are your thoughts?

 

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Asexuals, Bisexuals, Pansexuals and LGB Language

I was reading a post  on the blog ‘Tge Querrness’about ‘political lesbianism’ and why it’s a flawed concept. I  found a particular part quite interesting:

Lesbian is a term for gay women bi women and pan women lay claim to because it is a term that is used to assert whatone’s sexuality is

Now I’m not here to be some language police. But I’m curious, how many bi or pan women describe themselves as ‘lesbians’ even if they are in a woman/ woman relationship?

I have seen terms kike ‘gay asexual’ and ‘asexual kesbians’ being used on social media, but not in rekation to bi or oan women.

 

Question to those who identify as bi, do you ever use the term gay/ lesbian to describe yourself or your relationship/s?

Question

What is your view on Valentine’s Day? I would especially like to hear singles on this. Do you still celebrate it with family/ friends? If you are partnered, do you celebrate it with your significant other/ partner/s?

Causes of Asexuality: Discussion

OK, I want to point out a theory and get people’s views on it. Scientists currently think that sexual orientation is most likely determined in the womb, depending on the exposure to prenatal hormones. So, for example, a foetus that turns out to be a straight male has been exposed to more testosterone in the womb. Gays, on the other hand, are said to be exposed to more oestrogen in the womb.

Is it possible or plausible that asexual people were exposed to a smaller amount of oestrogen or testosterone while in the womb to make them asexual?

What do you think? Does anyone know any science like this about asexuality?

Being Able To Pass As Straight

There’s this idea in I’ve noticed on certain blogs about being able to ‘pass’ as being straight. That is, when looking at someone, you don’t automatically come across as not cisgender or straight. Even though I’ve never been in a relationship, for years (and for some people, probably even now), most people have classed me as straight. Some bloggers who’ve talked about this have pointed out some privileges that come with that, but I want to focus for a moment on why it can become problematic.

The biggest problem for me is my reluctance to set the record straight (no pun intended), when the topic comes up. When I first realised I was asexual, for example, I was having dinner with two friends and Tge topic of dating and marriage came up. Whilst I did participate in the discussion and went along with it, I felt a bit out of place. And there’s been other times when the conversation has come up and I just went along with it again. In fact, the only times I have mentioned asexuality, the conversation was started by me, often out of the blue.

How do you bring up asexuality if your among a group of friends in those conversations? Is there anyone who does bring if up there and the or do you just go along with it like I usually do?

Is Singleness Genetic Or A Choice?

An article in Britain’s Mail  Online has done an article about a supposed study that suggests that singleness may be at least partly genetic. The theory is that certain genes affect serotonin levels affects how you bond with others and find a partner. I’ve read some Facebook comments of people who are skeptical. But my view is maybe, just MAYBE these scientists may have somewhat of a point. Let me explain.

OK, firstly, I’m a firm believer that attraction, sexual or romantic is at least largely, is not a choice. I do believe that people’s attraction (or even platonic to a degree), can come out of the blue. I also believe that biology does play a large part of whether or not someone is attracted to someone.

The article did acknowledge, however that .environment does also play a part and that genetics are not exclusively responsible. In actual fact, people in the study who did supposedly lack serotonin were only were only 20% less likely to find a partner. There was something about attractiveness in the article and how that plays a part, but I didn’t really look at closely.

So, what do you think?