"Cognitive dissonance" sounds like what goes on in my head a lot of the time...
That leaflet is brilliant. I think that would go a long way with a lot of people.
As a recent straight convert to the support of gay rights, I'm musing on the things which have made the most difference to me as I've been wrestling with this issue over the last few months, and I'll share them with you, in case it helps when discussing with others:
1. It all started with a sense of justice ("I don't see what's so wrong with it"). That was what prodded me, after a searching conversation on my guinea pig forum (it's a garrulous place!) made me realise that my half-held views on homosexuality didn't mesh with my own sense of justice. That had more effect on me than any amount of rhetoric (on either side) would have.
2. I then discovered there were a lot of very compelling Biblical arguments in favour of homosexuality as an aspect of God's creation, and sound analyses of the texts used to condemn it (esp. the one on truthsetsfree.net). I discovered my own Biblical knowledge on the subject was patchy at best. Sometimes perhaps it's a good idea to take the Bible back to the bashers - though there is always the problem of those who revere the KJV not wanting to listen to arguments based on questionable translations, as most of these are. "It's in the Bible so that's the way it is!" - even if the word "Homosexual" never existed in Aramaic or Greek.
2. The discovery that there were people who honestly and prayerfully held the belief that their homosexuality was totally compatible with their faith as a Christian - and that they were not all theological liberals - made a difference, as I had had a vague view that in order to see practicing homosexuality as compatible with Christianity, you had to "remould" your Christianity first. It became clear that was not true. You just had to have an open, thoughtful view of issues, which I was happy with. Of course, many are not.
3. When I come across statements from people who are not themselves gay, and therefore have no "vested interest" in the issue, proclaiming the importance of equal rights for LGBT people, that has had a big impact. Eg. the Quakers, or the activists who speak in the above leaflet. That shatters the concept of the "radical gay agenda", as if people who are straight are still moved to speak out, it becomes clear that this is an issue of objective justice, instead of, as some make out, an issue of one minority pressure group seeking world domination.
4. I have been very moved and distressed by accounts of the violence and intimidation that many LGBT people encounter in their lives, by the horrific effects of some "ex-gay" ministries, by accounts of rejection by the church and family. I know that these things do not logically bear on the question of the legalisation of gay marriage, but as a human being, when I look at both sides in an argument and I see one side acting inhumanly towards the other, that's not the side I want to be on.
I don't know if that's helpful, but my thinking is that some of the things which worked on me, might work on others.
Edit to add my good wishes to you, SolInvictus, I hope things get better, and will be thinking of you in my prayers
Last edited by Catt of the Garage; 11-09-2005 at 11:50 AM.