Who are the real bigots?

Not long ago I tried to examine just what sort of person thinks Richard Littlejohn is a serious social commentator, and today I’m going to just copy and paste one comment from underneath his column today:

The Government can’t tell us what we should think, as much as fascist labour would love to control our minds. You can’t force people to like Gays, you can’t someone who they should allow in to their homes even if it is run as a B&B, right of admission is at the discretion of the business owners. I have nothing against Gays, but I am really sick of many of them thinking they are special and deserve special treatment, they are special and should get on with life like everyone else has to.

– Kerry, Cheshire, 6/4/2010 7:32 Click to rate Rating 2

Kerry, wants right of admission to be at the discretion of the owner, meaning they can refuse to accommodate gay couples for the night if they wish. Yet, somehow, gay couples wanting to be treated exactly the same as other couples, in not being turned away for the night are in Kerry’s eyes wanting ‘special treatment’. The whole point of this current debate is whether B&B owners have the right to discriminate against gay people, seeking equality is not the same as seeking ‘special treatment’ and turning away someone based purely on their sexuality is discrimination.

Littlejohn tries hard to push his liberal credentials throughout his column, but lets himself down when he refers to Ben Summerskill as ‘the hate-mongering bigot who runs the homosexual pressure group Stonewall’. The whole piece is focused on the ‘hate-mongering’ left who want to force us all to accept gay people, or as Littlejohn phrases it – again: ‘I have often argued in this column that those who force ‘tolerance’ down our throats are among the most intolerant bullies on Earth.’ Yet, this kind of argument ignores the real problem: which is intolerance. If people were more tolerant then we wouldn’t need pressure groups or legislation to force people to treat people equally.

You might not like gay people, you might find the idea of them staying in your hotel distasteful or whatever, but that should be irrelevant: you do not have the right to discriminate against them. Littlejohn argues that he thought the B&B owners were wrong in not letting the couple stay, yet he then attacks anyone who tries to force the B&B owners to have no choice but to treat people equally. So what he is basically saying is that he is on the side of gay people in theory, yet in practice he doesn’t want ‘tolerance’ forced down his throat. Ideally it seems, he supports the ideal of tolerance, but only as long as no practical steps are taken towards achieving it.

As soon as you actually try to take practical steps towards tolerance or equality the same old accusations are wheeled out – you’re a ‘diversity nazi’, you’re the real fascist for taking away our fundamental right to be bigots. Those seeking equality become the real bigots – as Littlejohn describes Stonewall on a regular basis – and the groups affected by the arguments are labelled as seeking ‘special treatment’, when all they are really seeking is equality.

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