When gay rights trump religious beliefs: A response

Koos van der Merwe says not everybody has to accept everything, as long as they leave you alone

Dear Mr. Bullard,

I would like to compliment you on your most excellent article "When gay rights trump religious beliefs."

Overall you remind me of that Shirley Bassey song - "love you, hate you, love you hate you..." but this specific article of yours is truly good.

To set the tone: I myself have batted for the pink team for as long as I can remember. I have been in a monogamous relationship for 18 years and in a civil union with my life partner since 2007. Both of us are bulky Afrikaners, with greying beards, approaching 50, and if we drove Toyota Hiluxes you'd think we were farmers from Ventersdorp (although we don't do khaki or vellies - the colours clash with the décor just a tad, you know...)

I am exasperated ("fed up" is sooo monosyllabic) to the hilt with all the hysteriabunnies bleating away about how they are suffering discrimination and rejection in this horrible homophobic hellhole of ours - which, as we all know, has one of the most liberal constitutions in the world regarding gay rights (although sadly this is not supported by the majority of the population.)

For fuck's sake - get over it, the same way you always tell straight people to do. Not everybody has to accept everything, as long as they leave you alone. We as gay people are 10% of the population: of course, like the rest of humanity, we should have certain basic rights and freedom from persecution (the horrors that many black lesbians go through come to mind) but in the same way that there are many gay people who are racist / heterophobic / anti-Whatever (oh yes there are - no good getting your pearls in a curl now, GlitterTits) we surely in turn have to accept that a proportion of society never has and never will accept us. They too have a choice, you know... even if it is the choice to be a homophobic doos.

When my life partner and I picked a wedding venue, we shortlisted five establishments (expecting rejection from most) and we told them all that it was a gay wedding and asked if they are they OK with that - not one of them said no. We have three straight neighbours, two of whom braai and watch rugby with us while the third told me to my face that he hoped "there weren't queers moving in" when we set up house and I went around to introduce myself to all of them many years ago. He hates us, we hate him, his kids throw rocks into our pool, while the rest of us kuier together. The other neighbours also hate him - he is a doos in general, who also happens to be a homophobe. So fucking what. I have some strong and unshakeable views of my own that will cause a lot of bleating in various sectors of our society, but as Ouma always said: "As hulle nie daarvan hou nie - fok hulle." Which sums up my approach to my gayness and homophobes quite nicely, by the way.

My two cents worth, and thanks for giving the vocal minority a bit of a dressing down for once. Ons is nie almal so nie, jy weet...

Best regards,
Koos van der Merwe*

* A nom de plume

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