By not accepting homosexuality, aren’t we being intolerant or discriminatory?

Those who suggest that homosexuality is wrong are typically called “intolerant”, “hateful”, “bigoted”, “right-wing”, “ignorant” or “discriminatory”. On the contrary, homosexual activists are hailed as champions of “tolerance”, “diversity”, “equality”, “progressiveness”, “freedom”, and “love”.

Ironically, in countries where there is now greater acceptance of homosexuality through anti-discrimination laws and legalized same-sex unions, there is great intolerance of those who disagree with the homosexual lifestyle and agenda.

Tolerance isn’t agreement. A person who is tolerant is someone who believes that his own views are true and that another person’s views are false, but even though he disagrees with the other’s viewpoint, will still respect the other person and the other’s right to disagree with him and believe something different. In recent times, however, society has taken on a different understanding of “tolerance”, such that no one should ever say that anyone else’s viewpoints are wrong, because it would be “intolerant” to do so. This has led to fear of expressing disagreement (especially with popular trends, culture and ideas) lest one is negatively labelled. 1

If there were no difference in views to begin with, the first person would actually be agreeing with – not tolerating – the other person. Tolerance is required only where there is a difference of opinion, and it would be intolerant to not believe that others have the right to disagree.2

A truly tolerant person is one who, despite disagreeing with the homosexual lifestyle, nonetheless respects the homosexual person and his/her right to make his/her own choices.

Tolerance does not mean we have to agree with, much less endorse and promote, homosexuality. Being tolerant towards homosexuals is not the same as being pro-gay.

Tolerance isn’t necessarily good. There are times when it is important to show intolerance and take a stand on an issue. For example, a responsible and loving parent would not tolerate disrespect from their young child; conversely, should the child show disrespect, the parent would still love and accept him. Thus, it is possible to accept a homosexual person and their differences without approving of their homosexual acts.

Discrimination isn’t necessarily bad. Discrimination against anti-social behaviours (e.g., mistreatment of animals or reckless driving) is necessary to show that they are unacceptable. The Singapore government has loosened controls over forms of entertainment and material with sympathetic homosexual characters when in the past, more caution was exercised lest homosexuality is portrayed as a natural and acceptable form of sexuality. This seems to have led to more positive attitudes towards homosexuals as well as greater acceptance and celebration of homosexuality in Singapore.3 However, eliminating discrimination against unnatural sexual acts will eventually lead to complete indiscrimination, where no one outcome is considered better or worse than another; all behaviour is equally good. This argument is being used by LGBT activists to advocate for similar recognition of paedophilia.4/5

We should distinguish between right and wrong even while being non-discriminatory.

1. I on Singapore, Tolerance and “Tolerance”: Two Versions of Tolerance (I on Singapore, 15 January 2013)
2. Ibid.
3. Benjamin H. Detenber, Shirley S. Ho, Rachel L. Neo, Shelly Malik and Mark Cenite, Influence of Value Predispositions, Interpersonal Contact, and Mediated Exposure on Public Attitudes Toward Homosexuals in Singapore (Asian Journal of Social Psychology September 2013, Vol 16(3), pp181-196)