Ray McGogney of Shaler on homophobia in minority communities:
One can spout anti-gay epithets with impunity and cloak the bigotry in religious and moral overtones.
Unfortunately, too few leaders are willing to risk offending their ethnic or religious base by taking a stand against homophobia.
Ray writes in response to Tony Norman's recent column on the furor around an African-American actor's usage of the term “faggot” to describe a fellow (gay) actor. You may have heard something about it.
A perfect example is Superbowl bound coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Tony Dungy, who is accepting honors from anti-gay Indiana Family Institute. This is the local affiliate of big Daddy Jimmy Dobson and his merry band of Focus on the Family bigots. This group makes no bones about their opposition to homosexuality, period. We are diseased beings who need to be cured and kept away from the children.
There's no discernible homophobic reason for Dungy to ally himself with this organization, according to OutSports. Dugy isn't on the record as being openly anti-gay, but he is very clear about being a Biblically based Christian.
“Whenever I'm asked to talk about it I make sure people understand my affiliation as a Christian, that I follow Christ and Christ's teachings according to the Bible,” Dungy said in 2002.
Uh oh. Those are ominous words for us homos.
We can infer all we want, but my real point is that Dungy is using his good name to raise money for a group that wants to strip homosexuals of our civil rights in the name of religion.
Here's the take from an Indiana LGBT blogger, Bilerico:
But Tony's prominent appearance before this group, as a representative of a major sports institution in Indianapolis, sends a chilling message. All of us shared the grief that Tony and his family experienced a year ago when his son took his own life. I understand that stories about a connection to sexual orientation were unfounded, and I would defend Tony's right to consider that a private matter. Still, there is an irony many of us in the LGBT community know well: The number of LGBT youth who have taken their lives because of self-hatred and homophobia is much above the national average. Organizations of the IFI variety cannot escape the fruits of their helping to foster the myths and resulting bigotry which contribute to those grim statistics. Surely Tony doesn't in any way support that; so why is he lending his celebrity and role model status to such a group?
Point well made. It doesn't look good so I'll be cheering for Chicago.