Scott Brison, a member of the Canadian Parliament, sent out a Christmas card to his constituents. The card shows Brison and his husband, Maxime St. Pierre.
The Globe and Mail posted the card on line and then shut down their comments section over what they called “an overwhelming number of hateful and homophobic remarks,” explaining “we can’t allow our site to become a platform for intolerance.”
I would like to welcomeThe Globe and Mail to the internet. They opened up a comment section to find out what people thought about the card. A good rule in life and internet communication is “Don’t ask questions when you really don’t want to know the answer”.
This intolerance of intolerance only serves up more intolerance. The only way to get rid of a bad idea is by openly exposing the idea to ridicule. Now that the comments have been censored, I have no way of deciding for myself if the remarks were hateful or homophobic. If I had a disagreement with a statement, the opportunity to disagree has been removed.
Fighting homophobia with censorship only feeds the hatred. The comments on the internet about the homophobic views are littered with dehumanizing adjectives such as troglodytes and trolls. Homophobes can now claim they are being persecuted for their views because only popular views are allowed to be expressed.
Putting unpopular views in the closet doesn’t make the views go away because you can’t confront what you can’t see.