Discussion of a bill in the California Assembly devolved into personal attacks and acrimony yesterday. Here's where I stand. I support everyone's right, if they so believe, to disagree with and politically oppose what they consider "a homosexual lifestyle." I do not support a right to discriminate against homosexual persons. It is a fine line, but it is a very clear one. It reminds me of a discussion Tucker Carlson was having with a principal of a middle school in California that I caught one day on tv. Carlson asked the principal whether a student who said to a gay student, "I think what you're doing is sinful" would be protected speech. The principal said yes. I would have said no, that there's a difference between protected speech and harassment and bullying. When someone uses speech to defame or otherwise torment an individual based on their individual characteristics, it's harassment. One is free to opine about the legitimacy of a concept, but criticisms of someone's life choices can be excluded from the first amendment in certain contexts, such as school.
School is a place of rigid standards and rules of behavior. One is not as free in school as out of school. One expects to submit to rules of behavior and conduct when entering a school. School is more like the military than the public square. Certain restrictions to ensure cohesion must and should be expected. Criticisms go both ways, too. Since everyone is sinful, pointing the finger right back would be a natural response to being called a sinner. Everyone loves to spot a hypocrite. I'm sure that there are skeletons in the closets of those assemblymen, or their colleagues. It is to the gay assemblymen's credit that they didn't indulge in such recrimination.