Social Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Do you feel as though there's more homophobia in the Southern States?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9289 points ) May 18th, 2012

There are a heck of a lot of Christians/conservatives down there. I checked out a group on Facebook called One Millions Moms. They’re awfully homophobic, Christian and I would say that a majority of them are from the South.

Thoughts?

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34 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

Homophobia, racism, pick something is just more open in the South. It is alive and well in the north, but Northerners have learned to try and hide it. Sometimes, the South is refreshing that way. You know straight up who doesn’t much “care for your kind.”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

There’s ignorance everywhere in the US. It gets so discouraging.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Mama_Cakes, how can you tell that the majority of the members are from the South?

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Well, the majority who posted are and I could tell by clicking on their FB page.

bkcunningham's avatar

Oh, you clicked on the people who posted comments and it shows where they are from?

Mama_Cakes's avatar

For most, you can see where they’re from when you click on their FB page.

Charles's avatar

There is more religeousity in the south which may drive more of this hatred.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Yup.

The Guardian recently posted this really cool interactive infographic that shows gay rights laws by state. The southeast (or what we here are simply calling “the South”) is by far the worst, granting GLBT people almost no rights.

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t see the interactive map, @Aethelflaed.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s there. How disgusting.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@bkcunningham It’s not a map. It looks like this.

bkcunningham's avatar

The northwest and midwest looks pretty much like the southeast on that graphic, don’t you think, @Aethelflaed?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@bkcunningham Sure, except for all the extra coloring rights.

bkcunningham's avatar

Except for the extra what, @Aethelflaed? I don’t know what that means.

chyna's avatar

Who made that graph? Is it correct? Laws are made by politicians, not by the people that elected them. I don’t see any way to measure this.

FutureMemory's avatar

Way to go Utah, Mississippi, and Michigan!

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Yeah, I showed my g/f that chart and she was shocked. She’s from Michigan and had no idea that it was that bad.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

There’s homophobia everywhere, including out here in California. You only have to look at the rancor over Proposition 8 and the number of donors to know that there’s homophobia in every area. I agree with @Kayak8, though; Southerners are just more open about it.

It’s the same with racism; while it’s far more virulent in the South, racism exists (and existed) outside the South as well, it’s just generally more subtle by comparison.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Oh, Canada, how I love thee.

rooeytoo's avatar

I used to play tennis with a mormon lady, one day the chatter on court was about the son of another member who had just come out. The mormon lady said she would rather her son be dead than homosexual. That was in NY state. So it certainly isn’t only in the south.

I was curious too about many who say Canada is such a panacea so I googled racism in Canada (whatever did we do before google) and according to the number of hits, it is alive and well there too.

DominicX's avatar

I have only been to New Orleans, Miami, and Orlando and didn’t see any of it there. But Florida is hardly the South (as the least the Southern part isn’t, which is ironic) and New Orleans is a nutty place. But, based on what I’ve heard from speaking to LGBT kids from the South, yes, there is quite a bit of homophobia there and a lot of it is second nature to a lot of the people there. I have nothing but negative associations with the so-called “Bible belt”.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

@DominicX, the urban South is more moderate than the rest of the South, and Florida around Miami and Orlando is what passes for “liberal” down there; it’s the rest of central Florida and the panhandle (especially the panhandle area) that blends in well with the rest of the South.

jerv's avatar

Take a look at where most of the crazy anti-gay laws are being passed and you’ll see that the South is not a good place to be unless you are white, Christian, Conservative (though not necessarily a Democrat; there are quite a few Dixiecrats around), and heterosexual.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen plenty of homophobia and other intolerance in the North, but it’s more of a grumbling and seething than outright blatant bigotry backed by legislation. Some may like the South’s honesty in that regard, but I prefer a bit of lying over a lot of lynchings.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale @Kayak8 I disagree. Yes, homophobia is everywhere. Yes, covert bigotry is particularly hard to fight. But, no, it’s not to the same levels everywhere (covert bigotry is itself a concession that a particular type of bigotry is, in fact, bad), and I’d rather have legally enshrined rights and covert bigotry than open bigotry and a lack of rights.

@chyna Some laws are made by politicians, though others are ballot measures. But all those politicians got elected by the people. Seems like if the majority of the people in the South, even in just one state, really wanted GLBT rights, they’d elect some politicians for it. And the chart was made The Guardian.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

@Aethelflaed, never said they were at “the same levels”; ”...far more virulent in the South…” indicates a different level.

That said, I do agree with you I’d rather have legally enshrined rights than a lack of rights. The problem is though, do people respect enshrined rights? Do they uphold what’s currently documented as legal? Court decisions the last couple of decades or so (especially SCOTUS decisions) leave me rather troubled about all this…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I grew up in Virginia and spent the last 20 years in Memphis, Tennessee, both in the US Southeastern region. When I was a hotel inspector, I traveled all of the southern states. What I have witnessed is that, in general, Southerners are slow in changing their views. For some reason, they love to cling to old traditions. One example is the number of Confederate flags that still get put out for display.

Over the years though, the South seems to have gotten a little less homophobic. Heterosexuals have become more accepting of people in the GLBT community. When they learn that a family member or co-worker that they care about is gay, it usually dawns on them that any fears are unfounded. The needle has moved slightly in the proper direction over the years.

The biggest challenge is that Christianity is still running strong here. The nickname “The Bible Belt” is still very applicable. While Southerners may have become less homophobic, they still (again, in general) feel very strongly that marriage is only for two people of the opposite sex. It is a huge deal to them to protect what they consider the sanctity of God’s word. Getting them to change their mind is a really difficult battle, but in some cases, it can be done. I’m attempting to do my part a few people at a time.

jca's avatar

I think there are more religious conservatives, and fundamentals in the South. I think with the religious fundamentalists and conservatives, they’re into bigotry, homophobia, all that stuff.

Nullo's avatar

More traditional values, which are not popular now and so are being branded as evil.
Why should they get extra rights? Can I have extra rights, too? Can I have the right to start open-carrying my rifle unmolested?

@jca It’s that God’s rather clear about not approving of homosexuality, not bigotry or “homophobia.”

DominicX's avatar

@Nullo And you don’t think that some people translate that “disapproval” into a right to treat LGBT people like dirt? It doesn’t matter if that’s not what you’re supposed to do, the fact is that is what happens. And it happens a lot. You’d be surprised by the amount of people I’ve met who use Leviticus 20:13 as their defense of their homophobia. This kind of thing isn’t uncommon at all.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No but I do believe people are more comfortable there assuming most everyone around them thinks homosexuality is fringe, something for the big coastal cities.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Nullo Dear friend, the GLBT community isn’t asking for additional rights. They are requesting equal rights. Please explain to me what the harm is in that, because, quite honestly, I don’t understand it.

While I do understand why many Christians feel that God is rather clear about not approving homosexuality, not all Christians feel the same way. If it helps, here are three examples, all coming from people who are from the southeastern US:

1.) Several of my friends, who are both Christian and homosexuals, attend a local Presbyterian church, one that is recognized by their sect, because the minister, staff and congregation can look past what is written in parts of The Holy Bible by humans and truly understand God’s message and Jesus’s desire to look upon each person as an equal.

2.) A college friend, who is now a Lutheran minister and living in Virginia, was recently asked (by me), “Would you be willing to perform a marriage ceremony for a same sex couple? Would you be willing to perform my wedding ceremony, knowing that my partner is an atheist and I am agnostic?” His response was that he would perform either marriage if it was legal and both parties involved held a desire to become Christians or already were.

3.) This is a response from a lifelong friend when I asked him if he knew that the Boy Scouts of America was against homosexuality. It also included how is father, a devote Christian and former Boy Scout leader, was handling the marriage of his other son who happens to be gay.

Yea, I knew that already. I remember discussing it with D., K., etc. back when we were in Scouts. The Scout Oath, which we had to recite every meeting, ends with “and morally straight”.... At the time, Dad was homophobic so he believed that. He’s come a long way. There are several other families in the church who have gay kids so that’s helped him. Plus he really likes D. (the spouse) and he knows C. (the dad’s son) has a good heart. Mom said at one point, he made a list of all the people he suspected were gay and he decided he really liked all of them and that helped. He and mom both made pretty touching speeches about how happy they are for C. and D. after the wedding.

If you are a true Christian, then I beg you to watch the documentary Lord Save Us From Your Followers. It is about a Christian who was disturbed by the fact that there was such a rift between people in the US when it boiled down to certain Christians and everyone else. He set out to find out why, and that he did. While the insight didn’t change his faith, it was an eye-opening experience regarding this issue.

Linda_Owl's avatar

The ‘southern states’ (including Texas, I know because I live in a small town in Texas & I grew up in Texas) wear the Bible Belt like it is a Chastity Belt. They pick & choose what to believe/practice out of the Bible & in general that comes down to ‘women are worth less than men’ & homosexuals (either gender) are forbidden by GOD & a great many still think that the “sons of Ham are SUPPOSED to be the slaves of the sons of Abraham” (straight out of the Bible). Many who live within this Bible Belt are more than willing to keep a foot placed firmly on the neck of gay individuals & non-white individuals to keep them down & they seem to be making a full-on war to keep women ‘in their place’.

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