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Theirs is a repressive, hateful ideology June 14, 2016

Posted by Ezra Resnick in Equality, Politics.
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After Omar Mateen killed 49 people in a gay nightclub in Florida, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan tweeted “We pray for those brutally attacked in Orlando”, followed by:

It is horrifying to see so many innocent lives cut short by such cowardice. Tonight, and in the long days ahead, we will grieve with the families…

As we heal, we need to be clear-eyed about who did this. We are a nation at war with Islamist terrorists. Theirs is a repressive, hateful ideology that respects no borders…

I’m certainly not going to minimize the problem of Islamist terrorists; and yet, they don’t hold a monopoly on repressive, hateful ideology. Take Paul Ryan, for instance. He has voted against same-sex couples adopting children in Washington D.C., opposed the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy (which barred openly gay persons from military service), and supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. In other words, he has actively contributed to the denigration and demonization of gays in our society, and has helped perpetuate the discrimination and injustice they face. And then, when gays are targeted for violence, he condemns someone else’s hateful ideology.

Perhaps, instead of praying, the Speaker could try doing something actually useful: he could speak up in support of equal rights for all, and against the dogmas that divide us — domestic as well as foreign. Being clear-eyed about one’s own failings does take courage; but Paul Ryan is no coward, is he?

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