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Friday, April 20, 2007

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I think you nailed it in two words: "irrational fear".

PS: your analysis of what said fear might be grounded in really made me laugh - good grief, Pet Shop Boys till 4am, no wonder people are afraid lol!!!

I wonder whether they asked a follow-up question to find out whether those people knew for sure whether they ever HAD lived near/next to gay/lesbian/bi neighbors. And if they asked questions about various forms of frequently frowned-upon straight sexual partnership. (I reject the parallels out of hand, but people who dislike the idea of GLBT neighbors might also dislike the idea of folks in open marriages, folks with an S&M habit, etc.)

I also think you're a little too kind about some of these folks. It's not irrational fear, it's hate, that makes them answer these questions this way.

Damn.

I read this too, and was surprised it was so high. What they are afraid of, I suspect, is paedophiles. Homosexuals = gay men. And gay men = paedophiles.
I do think people have more of an abhorrence for gay men, whereas there's that icky 'can I watch' response to women.

Delurking to say I wonder whether it is just plain ignorance. Kind of like people who hold stereotypes of particular races, except the individuals that they know. I'm always amazed at how people generalise.

Kate

I happen to have gay next-door neighbours (women, for the record) and you'll be unsurprised to hear that there is nothing different about living next door to a gay couple than any other couple. But then, I didn't have a problem to begin with, so ... I guess there's slightly less boofy masculinity coming from next door when they have (really quite sedate) parties than there might otherwise be on a very suburban street.

I'm plumping for fear of the unknown plus a dollop of bigotry for the reasons behind the survey results. I am very surprised at that percentage, though. I wonder how the questions were worded and then interpreted?

I've just put a link to the full text of the paper in the post above - hyperlink in "the paper"; it addresses some of the questions raised in comments. Women tend to be less bigoted than men and especially when it comes to homosexuality, it seems, which provides something of an answer.

The day after this story was published, the front page headline of the central Queensland newspaper The Morning Bulletin (locally known as The Bully’ dated 20/4/07) read, “Daytime antics shock riverside residents GAY SEX ROMP IN ROCKY PARK” and yet another gay witchunt driven by Queensland Police and local government… The gay witchunt (again) coincided with the inaugural screening in Rockhampton, on that same night of a selection of films from the Melbourne Queer Film Festival… who said the Queensland police state culture went away, post Fitzgerald? Seems the more things change, the more they stay the same in the smart ass state.

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