Well fetch my smelling salts! A new study adds strong evidence that people who demonstrate the greatest antipathy toward LGBT people have strong same-sex attractions themselves. The research, which will be published the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, was conducted in the U.S. and U.K. and used four different experiments. The authors of the study note:
Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves… In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward.
Consider this the latest gospel in the Ted Haggard memorial bible of There But For the Grace…
While it’s easy to be smug about this further evidence that the bigots have some serious rainbow garments hiding in their closets, this study also goes to show that
- as long as our government continues to create second-class status and separate-but-equal laws for LGBT citizens
- as long as our schools refuse to take a strict stand against bullying and allow students to treat their peers as lesser people
- as long as we allow “religious exemptions” to civil rights, giving bigotry the force of law
we continue to set up a world where far too many people believe that their own same-sex attractions are something to fear and hate. When that toxicity bubbles over, everyone suffers, especially those who are able to be happy with who they are. That irony must end. Let’s hope this new evidence finally moves our society to embrace all people equally and helps those with doubt to find the strength to love themselves so they can stop hating others.