It’s another sign of an increasingly oppressive world and diminishing freedom. On February 9, Swiss citizens voted by a large majority – over 63% – in favor of the bill that will punish “homophobic discrimination”.
Now, this language is perfidious. Of course it is only sane not to discriminate against a person on the basis of any characteristics such as race, religion, sex or sexual preference. This happens only in totalitarian or fanatical states, and to greet such discrimination with satisfaction would be to advocate totalitarianism or fanaticism. But discrimination of persons and treating different types of relationships with distinction are quire different things. Moreover, there is a different between sex and sexual preferences. And even more, holding that the sex of a person coincides with his or her gender, and that sexual preferences are subjective choices, attitudes, fashions, mental constructions and ideologies that can and should be judged — especially when they have public relevance — is yet another thing. I will continue to teach my children that to discriminate against someone else because of their being male or female, or simply because they are homosexual, is an abuse that should not be tolerated; but I will also continue to teach them that homosexual acts are wrong, even a sin — and there is not the slightest contradiction between these two teachings. I will never teach my children to discriminate against a homosexual because of that person’s sexual orientation, but I will continue to teach them the freedom to consider homosexual activity morally wrong. In fact, I’m not a “homophobe” and I don’t want my children to grow up “homophobic”. But does “homophobia” even exist?
What, in fact, is homophobia? If the term only means discrimination against or mistreatment of a person because of his or her sexual preferences, this is discrimination aimed at the person and as such it must be prevented and punished. In fact, the sexual tastes of an individual are no more relevant than the color of the skin, the religion in which he or she believes, or the ethnic group to which the person belongs: he or she is still a person, that is to say an individual with inviolable rights, and nobody can discriminate against him or her precisely because he or she is a bearer of those inalienable rights. So, no homosexual person should be discriminated for his or her sexual preference, just as no person should be discriminated for any other characteristic. But nevertheless, belief that homosexual actions are wrong, which many hold as a religious tenet, must be allowed to be states with total freedom on the very same score: because no one should be discriminated against.
But if, on the other hand, “homophobia” simply means this kind of negative judgment given to homosexual actions and activity, then the label is a serious abuse, an instantiation of “thought crime,” a gag imposed on freedom of belief and expression. After all, why should a homosexual person be free to wave the “pride” flag, even to propagate the homosexual lifestyle, but those who believe homosexuality is wrong not be equally free to express their beliefs?
In Switzerland, the gag won. Only homosexual Swiss citizens, or those who agree with them, will have full freedom to do and say what they want; whereas Swiss citizens who believe homosexual behavior is wrong will not have the opportunity to say it. This is an obvious abuse, but one that the world we live in seems to like more and more: it is a world less and less free, and in fact more and more discriminatory.
Those who now bask in victory say that the Swiss vote is a barrier erected against hatred. In fact, the opposite is true. Complacency is the proverbial characteristic of bullies, and the Swiss case is no exception. Saying that homosexual relationships are wrong, even a sin, is still no incitement to hatred (as it distinguishes between acts and persons); whereas reviling those who have a different opinion with frightening words like “homophobia” could very really be seen as an incitement to hatred. Why is it not hatred to accuse those who think differently of obscurantism, backwardness, fanaticism, maybe even fascism? Why today does the defense of the freedom of belief and expression include only some people’s beliefs?
Freedom is all or nothing. Why does the LGBT + community, which labels as “homophobic” those who think differently just because they think differently, want to impose on all the world this despotism of curtailed freedom? Why is it considered so threatening that someone may be free to say that homosexuality is wrong? Is this not just a fear of freedom?
I do not fear at all the freedom of a homosexual person to do or say as he or she likes. Instead, I fear the anti-freedom of those who want to impose an idea on me and my family, those who want to restrict and compress our liberty and impose a single way of thinking. I fear this dogma and “religion”: the dogma of uniformity and the religion of conformity. Yes, I would like homosexual people to fight for my right to be free to criticize homosexuality just as I recognize and fight for the freedom of homosexuals to be free of discrimination and have their own inalienable rights respected rather than contingent on a behavior, a fashion, a mental construction, an ideology, or even simply a desire. This would be a fairer world… but I suspect that it is not the world hoped for by those who, instead of confronting one another on the field of ideas (and perhaps data), resort to using the language of intimidation, excommunication, ostracism, exile, the rod, and the power to police.
It’s just a hunch, but I have the feeling that most of the Swiss who voted “yes” in the referendum did so in the belief that they were seriously preventing discrimination against homosexual people; but in reality they are only restricting the freedom of disagreement, as all who shy away from confrontation want to do.