"The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world"
The value of life and the lives of others plays an effect on how we treat others. The idea that someone's life is worth more or less because they're gay, straight... white, black or brown... Mormon or Non-Mormon is an idea that haunts my thoughts. We allow ourselves to be unkind to certain groups of people believing that they're, in fact, worth less than others.
How did the slave owners allow themselves to treat their slaves in that way? Because they believe that slaves' lives were worth less than the slave owners' lives. From being beaten into submission, those slaves gradually believed that their lives were also worth less.
Religious views were brought up; quoting the bible to allow for slavery to happen and flourish. Societal propaganda was used to teach that slaves were inferior. Some taught that mulattoes were infertile like mules but were better workers so it was okay to have sex with a slave and have that slave give children. Why? Because the children were part white and thus superior.
But they would compare them to animals.
How did the Nazis go about treating groups as inferior? Propaganda. Teaching children the "truth" about them. Treating Jews and other inferior groups (homosexuals or the disabled as groups) who didn't deserve life. One was proud to not be one of those groups because it meant your life was protected and worth more.
How do we allow ourselves to be unkind to someone based on their sexuality? We often times use religion as a basis.
"God doesn't approve!"
"It is a sin!"
"With God, all things are possible!"
"It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!"
Or we use biological methods...
"Gays cannot have children biologically!"
"Marriage is between a man and a woman. That's how it has always been. That's how things fit together!"
"If two of the same sex were supposed to be together, they'd be able to have children!"
Or we use societal fears...
"Homosexuality will be taught in school that it is normal!"
"Homosexuality will have to be taught in sex-education classes!"
"Would you want your child converted to that lifestyle?"
All of these methods are used to hurt, disparage and hate others.
Some will say "But its different with blacks and Jews... hating them isn't right because it is something they just ARE!"
Sexuality, as far as I can tell, is an inborn trait. I don't believe that it is a choice. I think there might be societal issues as well. But I was raised in a very sheltered atmosphere and didn't even know what gay people were, but I remember my attractions from an early age.
The biggest problem with believing that some are superior to others is that the "inferior" believe it about themselves. One thing I hate hearing is "WHY should there be a gay pride? Why not a straight pride?!?!"
Well, when you've been told your whole life that something you cannot control decides your worth... when you're told that you're nothing... that you're worthless... THEN you can have a straight-pride festival as a means of balancing the hate from society.