Via Shakesville, the fallout over Prop 8 continues in California, particularly in Hollywood, because of the large gay population in the entertainment community. Some people have lost their jobs or have been under pressure to resign as a result of donations made to the Yes on 8 campaign; there are boycotts of both local and national businesses; and there are questions as to whether people should be blacklisted because of their Prop 8 support.

A big part of the difficulty with this debate is that it rubs up against the boogie-est of boogiemen, religious belief. Look at this response, for example:

Condon, the gay writer-director of "Dreamgirls" and a Film Independent board member, offered this retort to what he calls the "off-with-his-head" crowd: "If you're asking, 'Do we take discrimination against gays as seriously as bigotry against African Americans and Jews?' ...the answer is, 'Of course we do.' But we also believe that some people, including Rich, saw Prop. 8 not as a civil rights issue but a religious one. That is their right. And it is not, in and of itself, proof of bigotry."
Condon is wrong here, plain and simple--religious belief and bigotry are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, I would say that in this specific case, they are inextricably connected. Mormons--along with many other religious groups--preach bigotry against the LGBT community from their pulpits and we shouldn't pretend otherwise. That it is bigotry dressed up in religious garb does not excuse it--in fact, I think it makes that bigotry more dangerous, because it usually provides, as we see in this case, social cover for offensive positions, and makes it that much harder to challenge said positions.

It becomes more difficult because we have, in this culture, a bias against criticizing religious belief. It has been a get-out-of-jail free card--all you have to do is wave your God card and you can be a bigoted piece of crap toward certain groups of people. That used to be the case with race, but not so much anymore, because somewhere along the way, we decided as a society that we wouldn't accept it as an excuse anymore. That's where we need to get with religion on the way we treat the LGBT community. We have to stop allowing gay-haters to hide behind religious belief as an excuse for their bigoted behavior. And that means we'll have to criticize religious institutions and people, and point out that we're talking about civil and human rights when we talk about same-sex marriage.

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