Pride parade pros and cons

Pride Parade, Mexico City 2016 (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)
By Hendrik van der Breggen
The Carillon, June 28, 2018
(Note: Below is an expanded version of what appeared in today’s Carillon.)
Pride parade pros and cons
‘Tis the season for gay pride parades. In a democratic, diverse multi-cultural society such as Canada it’s important to look at pride parade pros and cons. Let’s (dare) do that.
On the pro side: Gay pride parades attempt to show love and respect to persons who identify as LGBTQ as well as draw attention to unfair discrimination and bullying.
Another pro (“pro”): We should celebrate and affirm the (assumed/ alleged) truth and goodness of the various gender identities and expressions thereof: homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, etc.—the list is long.
Many people stop here and expect fellow citizens (and political leaders) to support gay pride parades.
But opposing reasons should be considered, too.
First, a clarification: One can be against discrimination and bullying plus favour love, freedom, equality, respect for all, and—at the same time—not agree with the celebration of LGBTQ as an ideology (set of ideas and ideals about sexuality and its expression). Disagreement doesn’t equal hate. Nor is disagreement always phobic or bigoted.
Okay, what are some cons/ counter-considerations concerning gay pride parades?
Here are six.
1. Many persons hold moral/ religious beliefs that limit the appropriate expression of sexual intimacy to one man and one woman in marriage. These persons (e.g., many Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, etc.) hold such beliefs to be true. These people count, too. And they aren’t all bigots or phobic.
Significantly, in a pluralist society that values diversity, such beliefs are legitimate to hold. So, in so far as pride parades celebrate behaviours or identities one thinks are wrong or mistaken, to that extent the moral/ religious belief—whether opponents agree or not—is a legitimate reason for one not to attend (or support or endorse) such parades.
2. There are reasonable concerns about the wisdom of celebrating and encouraging sexual expression outside the one-man-one-woman-united-in-marriage paradigm for sexual intimacy.
Psychiatrist-physician Miriam Grossman: Compared to the general heterosexual population, persons who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual report “more high risk sexual behaviors, higher rates of infection with HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea, and more mental health problems [anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts].”
Significantly, Grossman adds, these disparities also occur in more accepting, gay-friendly societies (e.g., The Netherlands), so can’t be blamed wholly on cultural attitudes/phobias.
See Dr. Grossman’s book You’re Teaching My Child What?: A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Ed and How They Harm Your Child. (This book is recommended by Nicholas Cummings, a former president of the American Psychological Association.)
3. Gay pride proponents typically encourage redefining marriage from (a) the union of a man and woman who can (at least in principle) reproduce sexually via their union and nurture their biological children to (b) a union of, say, two adults regardless of sexual non-complementarity.
But, according to researcher Ryan T. Anderson, reliable studies from social sciences strongly suggest parenting by married biological parents—i.e., biological mother AND biological father—is ideal for well-being of children. The redefinition of marriage (along with divorce and single parenting) takes society another step away from this ideal.
See Ryan T. Anderson’s lecture at Stanford University: What Is Marriage? (56 minute video). See too the Q&A (36 minute video). Anderson also sets out and develops three negative consequences of same-sex marriage in this 23 minute video presentation. (The subsequent 34 minute Q&A is important, too.)
See also chapter seven “The Victims” of Anderson’s 2015 book Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.
Moreover, stepping away from sexual complementarity also increases demand for reproductive technology such as In Vitro Fertilization. But IVF has problems.
IVF usually creates leftover frozen human embryos, i.e., human beings; often requires “selective termination,” i.e., abortion of unwanted fetuses; exploits women as surrogates and egg suppliers; plus threatens to abolish children’s biologically-based moral right to know and be raised by both biological parents.
4. On the transgender front, all is not well either, health-wise and science-wise. Space does not permit a full discussion here, so I recommend Ryan T. Anderson’s 2018 book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment. See too my columns Transgender ideology and Transtruth?
5. Recent history shows that LGBTQ ideologues tend to be extremely intolerant toward dissenters.
For example, a U.S. baker is facing a fine of $135,000.00 merely for not baking a same-sex wedding cake. Also, Canada’s Trinity Western University’s proposed law school (a Christian school) has been facing years of legal difficulties for holding traditional views on marriage, recently culminating with Canada’s Supreme Court ruling against TWU. Also, two years ago a Steinbach parade spokesperson said those who disagree don’t have a right to their opinion (a threat to free speech, surely).
Moreover, local LGBTQ activists are attempting to use the force of law to promote LGBTQ ideology in public schools (in the academic curriculum of young children), in spite of what dissenting parents think. Also, Canada’s recent passing of Bill C16, a.k.a. Transgender Rights Bill, threatens to compel speech (see my C16 and Forcing Your Religion and my Bill C16 is incoherent—and that’s a concern).
(Personal note: Because I have carefully critiqued LGBTQ matters over the past several years, some LGBTQ supporters have made public calls for me not only to be fired from my current place of employment but also to be stripped of my PhD. That’s in addition to lots of name-calling. This seems to be a growing LGBTQ understanding of “tolerance” of dissenters: if you can’t beat them with respectful use of reason and evidence, crush their ability to make a living.)
Cloaked in rainbow flags and chanting slogans of “diversity,” “tolerance,” and “love is love,” some gay pride paraders promote intolerance.
6. Arguments in favour of LGBTQ matters tend to be seriously flawed from the point of view of truth and logic. Space doesn’t permit me to discuss those arguments here, so please see my relevant articles. For starters, see Untangling LGBTQ arguments (plus see below, especially my replies to critics).
Surely, truth-seeking responsible citizens are justified in refusing to support an ideology that is often based on (and even promotes) faulty reasoning.
Conclusion: Gay pride parades have pros and cons. Whether we celebrate such parades or not, let’s all promote careful thinking and the freedom to respectfully disagree.
Hendrik van der Breggen, PhD, is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Providence University College. The views expressed in this column do not always reflect the views of Providence.
Note to critics: Please read at least a few of my (relevant) suggested readings before commenting. Thanks.

Resources for people who have unwanted same-sex sexual attractions

Online resources, for starters: 

The following books are helpful too: 

Other Apologia columns on related matters, for additional reading

Homosexuality (general) 

Homosexuality (non-religious criticisms) 

Homosexuality (and Bible) 

Same-sex marriage 





Replies to my critics 

Note (again) to critics: Please read at least a few of my (relevant) suggested readings before commenting. Thanks.

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