As I anticipated, a high-spirited and lengthy debate ensued. Towards the end of the discussion, it became apparent that even the hypothetical question of expressing any views related to homosexuality or gay marriage can be seen as homophobic and bigoted, according to one of the more emotionally engaged participants in the discussion.
Also, it is apparently taboo to refer to homosexuality as a "lifestyle", thereby implying that it is a choice rather than having a "biological foundation". This too will earn you the moniker of "bigot". And that should effectively end the discussion as far as that debater is concerned.
I find this rather frightening, because if we are not even allowed to discuss this anymore without being labeled a bigot, then just who is doing the discriminating? And who is losing their rights?
Of course anything meant to vilify or put down any segment of the population is not to be tolerated, but if we can't even have a discussion about where freedom of speech ends and hate speech begins, aren't we in real trouble?
However, the ultimate lesson I've learned from all this is that some people have their own peculiar code of tolerance for ending a debate - If all else fails, call your opponent names.
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Update: There must be an awful lot of "bigots" in the States!