Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Hurting Your Own Cause

Marriage equality protester Ali Hogg caused a scene in Melbourne over the weekend when she confronted Tony Abbott at a cafe as he dined with a journalist.

Ms. Hogg, with the help of several supporters, shouted slogans at the Opposition Leader, accusing him of bigotry and homophobia.  The activists continued to chant outside the cafe's window after being forcibly removed by staff.

It does the gay marriage movement no favours when protesters act in this manner, ambushing targets and disrupting the lives of bystanders (Mr. Abbott was not the only patron present in the cafe).  Far from spreading sympathy for her cause, if anything Ms. Hogg will have hardened the hearts of anyone who was present over the weekend.

This incident betrays the immaturity and closed-mindedness of many gay marriage activists.  Those who speak out with the loudest voices, forming the public image of the movement, often seem to be those who have devoted the least effort to understanding any positions that may differ from their own.  In Ms. Hogg's opinion, anyone who disagrees with her must be a homophobic bigot.

You do not change minds and win hearts by bullying dissenters and rudely disrupting peoples' lives. Ms. Hogg is promoting a good, worthy cause, but her juvenile behaviour over the weekend could only ever have been counterproductive.

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