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Why Announce Your Heterosexuality Before Supporting Homosexual Rights?

Yesterday, Jenna over at Camp Bitchalot asked an important question in response to the political button you see here (I’m Straight Not Narrow): “How come straight people who support gay rights often feel the need to say that they’re straight as a precursor before talking about gay rights?”

Straight Not Narrow buttonHere’s what I wrote in response to her question.


There’s an attempt by extremists on the right to claim to speak for heterosexual America – but the truth is that they don’t. They speak for a part of heterosexual America, a shrinking part.

It’s important for people in the constituency that they claim as their own to contradict them, especially on the issue of marriage equality. The right wing argues that same sex marriage will destroy heterosexual marriage. When heterosexual married couples point out that it’s no skin off their noses if gays and lesbians marry, it strongly undermines the right wing’s arguments.

Let me put this in the context of another issue. I’m a non-Christian, and I strongly believe in the separation of church and state. I’m extremely concerned about the many ways in which Christianity has insinuated itself into federal, state and local government. However, I also know that the majority of Americans are Christian, of one sort or another. Therefore, I welcome it when I see a message like “Christians for Separation of Church and State”, because that message contradicts the assumption that the Religious Right depends upon, which is that all Christians are pro-theocracy.

It’s not that it’s necessary for a straight person to declare being straight before supporting GLBT causes. On the other hand, such statements have an important place.

We have a lot of items for marriage equality, and other GLBT issues, that aren’t predicated upon someone being straight first. But, we think that this button is an important one to have in the mix. People need to know that a lot of different sorts of Americans support equality under the law, even if they’re not part of a particular group that’s being discriminated against.


For just a few of those other items that don’t include a precursor of being straight, see us on Skreened, CafePress, as well as our own button shops here and on the Irregular News server.

14 thoughts on “Why Announce Your Heterosexuality Before Supporting Homosexual Rights?”

  1. le pelerin says:

    Can a majority be considered extremist or are they the norm?

    1. J. Clifford says:

      You’re assuming a majority exists, where there really isn’t one. Look at the polls – the support for inequality is shrinking.

  2. le pelerin says:

    Inequality of what? No one is unequal when being chaste. That’s the norm in marriage and out of marriage. Anything else creates disfunction. You’re right, this majority no longer exsists but a majority of people still know what’s good for families and therefore society even people who behave differently. Now, marriage equals self pleasure but hopefully soon people will understand that marriage equals love and self-sacrifice. Gays would not be clamoring for self sacrifce if they and culture understood the real reason for marriage, protecting children!

    1. Jim says:

      If the “real reason for marriage” is children, then why should infertile couples be allowed to marry?

    2. Peregrin Wood says:

      le pelerin, you do know that same sex couples have children together, don’t you?

      1. le pelerin says:

        “Why would infertile couples be allowed to marry?” Maybe because men live longer and are healthier when married to a woman. The sacrement of marriage has a spiritual dimension I won’t go into here.
        “Same sex couples have children together” You don’t need marriage to have children.

    3. Cathy says:

      le pelerin – your comment “Now, marriage equals self pleasure but hopefully soon people will understand that marriage equals love and self-sacrifice.” is abhorrent to any married couple who married for love and continuously work to maintain a loving and giving partnership. You make it sound like anyone who gets married (gay or straight) is only doing it for base animalistic reasons. No one needs to get married to achieve “self-pleasure”. Marriage is a committment of love and honor; not merely a way to justify having sex. Who are you to make such an insulting assumption?

  3. Jacob says:

    le pelerin,

    Although we have some major theological differences its nice see someone on my side on here…

    1. Jacob says:

      By my side I mean His side… you know what I mean 😉

      1. Jim says:

        Yes, yes I do.

  4. EcoCrafty says:

    Uh, except she specifically said that she wrote the piece about spoken communication, not about the button.
    You’ve misrepresented her words. There is a world of difference between wearing a button, and interjecting “oh, well I’m straight but…” into a conversation about gay rights.

    1. Jenna says:

      Thanks for looking into the original context of my blog entry. Regardless of the misinterpretation, I think it’s a positive thing to open up communication on the subject and I take no offense to jclifford’s words or the button itself.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jenna is such a LOSER !

  6. Marcia says:

    You demand to be proud that you are gay…we heterosexuals are proud that we are not gay.

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