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October 13, 2005

Should Americans burn gay flags?

Flags are some of the most endearing symbols known to man. Consequently, that symbolism in America carries great moral, emotional, psychological weight. This poignant point was made when African Americans protested the Confederate flag as a symbol of racial oppression. PBS's roundtable discussion and African American race commentator Julianne Malveaux both express the divergent views surrounding the public flying of the Confederate flag.
Understandably, it pressed the lastnerves on both sides of the issue. I defend the right of Confederate descendants to fly the flag. That's first amendment free expression. Did the flag oppress or offend me personally? No, but I can understand that it is viewed by some blacks as a symbol that perpetuated and encouraged the oppression of our people for quite some time.

Perhaps then, I can also understand the anger that two teens had in Bloomington, IN who took down a homosexual store owner's gay flag and burned it. I don't defend or support theft (that's how they got the flag) but I do think as a former homosexual that burning the gay flag is a right of free first amendment expression. To me the homosexual flag represents a lifestyle that enslaved me, lied to me and tried to destroy my life.
I am personally offended when I see it.

Like in the case with the confederate flag, blacks objected vehemently to the flag being flown on government,not private, property. Again, right on. The government shouldn't encourage symbols of hate and oppression by allowing them to be flown on government property with government approval. I feel the same way about city and county governments flying homosexual flags. Its a property owner's right to fly the gay flag if on their property, but the government crosses way over the line when they get involved.

In most instances, officials say something politically stupid like Beverly Calender-Anderson, director of Bloomington's Safe and Civil City Program. "We do value and honor the diversity in our city and do not condone discrimination or any kind of acts against people because of their sexual orientation, gender, race, class, or anything else." I wonder if that loving commitment to "diversity" would apply to the confederate flag supporters?
The burning of flags has raised a lot of ire mainly because of some terrorists who want to (and have) burned the US flag. And its not necessarily a "liberal" supported cause. In both Texas vs. Johnson (1989) and the U.S. vs Eichman (1990), Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who is arguably one of the most conservative of the nine, agreed that US flag burning was a protected free speech right. So, give me a break! Is the gay flag more important than the US flag? Hardly. As treasonous as it us, if burning the US flag is protected free expression, then no one should blink an eye if we burned gay flags. Should we burn gay flags because they symbolize sexual oppression? I think we should. Related:

  • Citizens Flag Alliance
  • Gay flag burned in Ohio, protester not guilty
  • 15 comments:

    Scott said...

    Have at it DL.

    Buy yourself a gay flag and burn it on your own property.

    Don't steal one (theft)
    Don't burn it on public property (illegal in most places).

    Knock yourself out.

    RadicalPurple said...

    I agree with scott. Go ahead, burn all you want. But to equate being gay to being a slave is twisted. I am sure you don't think thats what you're doing, but thats what I see.

    As for flying the flags/banners in St.Augustine, it was on the Bridge of Lions, not City Hall. It was for the the celebration of June and Gay Pride Month. And so far the only people I have ever heard of that are offended by the gay flag because it makes them feel oppressed is . . . uh . . . you. The confederate flag offends, because of oppression, many, many people, whether black or otherwise. Maybe when there is a Confederate Pride Month they can fly their flag, OK?

    And please, where exactly did anyone say the gay flag is more important than the US flag?

    I do have to agree with your statement that: "if burning the US flag is protected free expression, then no one should blink an eye if we burned gay flags," except that, at least here in America, while the US flag is burned in protest, the gay flag is burned in hatred.

    DL Foster said...

    ...at least here in America, while the US flag is burned in protest, the gay flag is burned in hatred.

    This sounds a bit like you graduated from thought police school. When did you learn that such espressions of free speech are always an sure indicator of hatred or protest? Or vice versa?

    RadicalPurple said...

    This sounds a bit like you graduated from thought police school.

    Pot, meet Kettle.

    Maybe you could tell those of us who are less informed, when flags have been burned that WEREN'T in protest or hatred?

    Anonymous said...

    I'm in total agreement with scott and radicalpurple on all counts here.

    And one doesn't have to have graduated from "the thought police school" to learn that "espressions [sic] of free speech are always an [sic]sure indicator of hatred or protest?"

    If someone is setting fire to a "gay flag" it's likely to be motivated quite literally out of a "burning hatred" of gays. After all, this is a relatively marginalized group with little to no power, unlike the government that influences practically every aspect of your life. I mean, can you possibly explain it otherwise?

    As for burning the US flag, well that's another matter. Personally I think it's silly and offensive, but whatever. It's usually done to provoke and/or to express outrage. It's a juvenile stunt for the most part and frequently just demonstrates how bitterly disappointed people are in their country and what it sometimes represents to their mind.

    Equating the two is pretty lame.

    Scott said...

    Not to mention there would be a royal right wing media hissy fit if a gay group started burning Bibles.

    DL Foster said...

    They already intentionally thrown them in trash cans at Stephen Bennett's Provincetown outreaches. So...they might as well go ahead and burn them. Free expression right?

    Scott said...

    Bennett came to a town to harass gay residents.

    If anyone handed you copies of the Advocate outside of your church, what would you do DL?

    DL Foster said...

    If anyone handed you copies of the Advocate outside of your church, what would you do DL?

    If it was a current copy, Id read it or maybe look through it. No different than some gays who look through the bible, or read it. My church is socially aware. And let's get real, the advocate is not on par with the Bible. Although burning a bible would not upset me. Plus its been done before.

    Stojef2005 said...

    Personally, I thinking burning or defacing any flag is ridiculous. You can't decide that it is okay to destroy this flag but not okay to destroy that flag, whether it be the American, gay pride, Nazi, confederate, etc. Feel free to protest the hanging of a flag - any flag, anywhere.

    As for burning or throwing away Bibles or any other sacred text - absolutely no way, no how. I'm not a religious person at all. Not really a big fan. But I have a big problem with people destroying a religious object that is sacred and holy to another person/group. It shows a complete disregard for that person/group. I don't give a flying turd if you felt harassed by the person who gave you the object. If you don't want it, wait until that person walks away and simply place the object someplace where it won't get destroyed.

    DL Foster said...

    stojef, that's sensible and I agree. However,After numerous reports Ive read it seems like gays are trying to make their flag the holy grail. I was simply saying if we can burn other flags --especially the US flag-- and it is seen legally as free expression, then there shouldnt be the automatic "hate crime" cloud when the gay flag is burned.

    Stojef2005 said...

    DL

    I don't burning any flag should be considered a hate crime. It may be offensive and hurtful and yes, even hateful, but I don't think they should be considered hate crimes.

    However, I do believe in hate crime legislation. I know a lot of people like to say that a hate crime punishes thought and that all hate crime legislation should be wiped off the books, but I think that would be much more dangerous.

    If a person is going to commit a crime for the sole purpose of harming and intimidating a particular group of people simply because they are opposed to that particular group of people, then the crime must be treated more severely.

    DL Foster said...

    If a person is going to commit a crime for the sole purpose of harming and intimidating a particular group of people simply because they are opposed to that particular group of people, then the crime must be treated more severely.

    Well, I understand your view, just that from the cases that I have heard of (hate crimes) there was no reasonable intent to send some sort of message to the larger group of people. A homosexual being murdered can be an isolated situation without it being automatically linked to other crimes as part of systematic expression of hatred.

    For instance, it cannot really be proven that Mathew Shepard's killers set out to intimidate the larger gay community by killing him. To superimpose that over the crime is pure thought police action.
    If we really wanted to be honest, Hate crimes laws ,imo, are really like gay marriage amendment objections.
    1. There are already sufficient laws on the books to deal with any type of murder.
    2. GM opponents claim that gay marriage is already against the law in the states passing amendments.
    Same argument. Whether it will stop advocacy for either remains to be seen.

    Stojef2005 said...

    "For instance, it cannot really be proven that Mathew Shepard's killers set out to intimidate the larger gay community by killing him."

    I don't think the two men who killed Shepard set out to intimidate the larger gay community. However, they did kill Shepard because he was a homosexual - which in turn does intimidate the larger community and make us realize that if Shepard had been heterosexual, this crime would not have been committed, seeing as the two men who killed him pretended to be homosexuals looking for a good time.

    DL Foster said...

    So the killing of one homosexual man in a small rural area, causes gays all over the nation to quiver in fear believeing they are next? Im sorry but that sounds like either a bunch of chicken sissies or a peice of the gay agenda puzzle revealed. Doesnt make sense at all. Its illogical because the dynamics do not play out other than through rhetoric. And secondly, the "they kiled Shepherd because he was homosexual" myth has been debunked. Didnt you watch the ABC report on it?