Ronald Reagan said “My eighty percent friend is not my twenty percent enemy.” I was thinking about that while bumping into yet another rant about Orson Scott Card being a “huge homophobe,” and decided to see how it might play out. So I came up with 10 statements (one divided into two) that I could make about gay people (GLBT if you prefer, although I’m not certain all will apply as well to the BT folks as they will to the GL) which I think most GLBT advocates would agree with, and that would be useful in determining percentage of friendship a la Reagan. Here’s what I came up with:
- Gay people should not be subject to violence due to their orientation.
- Gay people should not be subject to discrimination in employment due to their orientation.
- Gay people should not be subject to discrimination in parenting due to their orientation.
- Gay people should be able to engage in civil unions which bring them the same legal protections for their partners that heterosexual people have for their spouses.
- Homosexual orientation is not a matter of choice.
- Homosexual orientation is not primarily about sex.
- Gay people should be welcome in regular LDS meetings, regardless of their membership status.
- Gay people should be able to function as leaders in Boy Scouts of America on the same basis as straight people (ie, subject to criminal background checks).
- Gay people should be allowed to marry their same-sex partners
- in the temple
- Gay marriage/civil unions should be recognized by the LDS Church for the purposes of the Law of Chastity as equivalent to heterosexual civil marriages.
Now, I recognize that not all of these statements would be weighted equally by the hypothetical GLBT advocates mentioned above, but I don’t think those differences in weighting are so huge as to totally invalidate their usefulness.
Speaking just for me, I can agree with almost all of those statements. I can’t go with #10, and I could probably go with #9.1 at some point, but don’t see #9.2 happening ever. That would put me at a 80-85% score. From more extensive reading of OSC than the average person (ie, I have read more than Ender’s Game and his columns opposing Same Sex Marriage), I think he would reject #9 and #10, and I have 50% confidence he would agree with #4 and #7, and reasonably confident he’d accept the remainder. This would put him at 60-80%. That might be high — he might be at 50% or even 40%.
And what does this mean? Am I an 80% ally, or a 20% homophobe? Or am I just 100% homophobe because I don’t whole-heartedly agree with SSM and reject the Church’s standard for sexual behavior? There are Mormons who will be uncomfortable with my support for #8, and with me even suggesting #10 as a possibility, although agreeing with 100% of these statements would not make me ineligible to hold a Temple Recommend.
I do believe in the principle that we need to accept those who agree with us most, or even some of the time as at least partial friends as opposed to constant and total enemies. I’ve never found anybody I agree with 100% of the time — not even myself.