The next two minutes of your life will contain perhaps the most coherent, rational, and measured response to the gay marriage debate that is raging all over the Western world right now.
Brendan O’Neill, who identifies as a liberal, and who has a long history on the Left of British politics, found himself in Australia to debate the issue which is currently one of the country’s hot potatoes.
But instead of the usual, glowing praise from the liberal Left, O’Neill offers something a bit more interesting: intellectual honesty.
He says, “Here’s what freaks me out about gay marriage. It presents itself as this kind of liberal, civil rightsy issue but it has this really ugly, intolerant streak to it. Any one who opposes gay marriage is demonised, harassed… we’ve seen people thrown out of their jobs because they criticise gay marriage. We’ve seen people ejected from polite society.
“Two hundred years ago if you didn’t believe in God, you wouldn’t have a hope in hell of getting ahead in public life. Today if you don’t believe in gay marriage, you don’t have a hope in hell of getting ahead in public life. There’s a real ugly element to this.
“You really see it with the whole cake shop phenomenon. This whole thing around the Western world where people are going to Christian, traditional cake shops and saying to them ‘Hey you stupid Christians, make this cake for me’ – and if they don’t they call the police, there are equality cases, shops have closed down. It’s like a 21st century form of religious persecution. It’s horrendous.”
“Of course some people support gay marriage and that’s absolutely fine, but what is extraordinary and unacceptable is that they cannot tolerate the existence of people who do not support gay marriage. And I think we sometimes fail to understand how extraordinary that is.”