Hate By Any Other Name
Larry Kramer was one of the very first people to recognize the AIDS epidemic for what it was. While the Reagan administration refused to acknowledge the burgeoning epidemic and gay men didn't want to believe it, Kramer helped found the legendary group ACT-UP, whose motto was Silence=Death.
Twenty years later, Larry Kramer has re-ignited ACT-UP to wake us up to another grim reality we'd rather not face. "The needs are different now. Then it was AIDS, and now" he says, "it is utter sheer hate hurled at us right and left."
As blunt and confrontational as ever, Kramer began an open letter to straight people in the Los Angeles Times with the question, "Why do you hate gay people so much?" Put another way, why do those who claim to hate the sin but love the sinner often seem, instead, to love the hate but hate the h word.
For example, when former NBA player Tim Hardaway came right out and said, "I hate gay people," Concerned Women for America immediately issued a press release condemning not his bigotry but his language:
Hardaway's comments are both unfortunate and inappropriate. They provide political fodder for those who wish to paint all opposition to the homosexual lifestyle as being rooted in "hate." It's important to note that Hardaway's words represent the feelings of Hardaway. His words do not represent the feelings of the vast majority of people opposed to the homosexual agenda. . . . Thousands of former homosexuals have been freed from the homosexual lifestyle through acts of love. Hardaway's comments only serve to foment misperceptions of widespread homosexual "victimhood" which the homosexual lobby has craftily manufactured. [from Matt Barber of Concerned Women for America in a press release dated 2-16-07, as quoted in The Advocate, March 27, 2007, print edition, page 52]
It's funny how much "hate" feels like the real thing when you're on the receiving end.