Having grown up in an ultra-conservative corner of the American South, I have learned the hard way that trying to have a "constructive dialogue" with fundamentalist Christian bigots is utterly pointless. When figures like Richard Mouw deny large swathes of humanity their basic human rights and dignity, the only proper response is to tell them they are wrong, and to point them in the right direction. It should be obvious to anyone with a libido that the gender you are attracted to is not a matter of choice, and that people who are gay can only live full and happy lives when their partnerships are accepted by the wider community.
I don't much believe in heroes, but if I had one, Martin Luther King would be at the top of my list. His reaction to calls for greater patience on the part of black people who were being denied their civil rights are relevant to the debate over gay rights today:
'We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."'
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