Syrians were once again split amongst themselves—not between public supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime, nor between those calling for external military intervention and those hostile thereto, or anything of that nature. Rather their partisanship transcended their dispersed political persuasions, to a dispute over those standing in solidarity with homosexuals, and those rejecting them.
The twenty-seventh of the current month of June, Facebook pages were under a full invasion of rainbow colors—an expression of solidarity with gays; while on the other side of the blue social netowrking site, others retained their normally-colored photos, in an adamant refusal to acknowledge the occasion.
That day also witnessed the Supreme Court in the United States, issuing a historic decision to grant the right to marriage for homosexuals, in all states.
Homosexuality—In Syrians' Eyes
Some Syrians were utterly confused: Was Friday a day of solidarity with gays? Or was it an routine annual day to flaunt homosexuality? Or was it a celebration of the American Supreme Court's decision?
On this note, Syrian Khaled Harbash answered by saying: "By the way... This days is not in solidarity with the recent US decision; June 27th is the International Day of Gay Pride. At least now, all of you 'homophobes' can at least know what you will whine about."
Mustafa Dabbas, residing in Germany, commented on the Gay Pride Day and in response to anti-homosexuality: "On the first Gay Pride Day in Europe, only 70 people came... They were pelted with eggs and tomatoes. Today in Berlin alone, around 500,000 people of all religions, sects, and sexual orientation are celebrating... So, it is not an issue if some here on Facebook choose to bemoan and complain."
On the other side, Yasmin Binshi commented: "Call me underdeveloped... Call me ignorant... I will not display solidarity with something God and the sanctity of religions forbade... I will not change my opinion on the issue of gays, that some consider an issue of emancipation or a sign of civility... Anyone who does not know the difference between male and female... Will definitely not know the difference between man and animal... This is digusting, so help me God."
He wrote a young Syrians: "Many people look to the topic as an aberration brought about by sexual excess while it, in reality, is a pathology beyond the control of man... And while I, personally, can never bring myself to accept it psychologically or mentally; I cannot, at the same time, reject it on a humanitarian basis, as cases that may beg for compassion. God knows."
There still another viewpoint, which attacked the activists on the basis of exposing their own contradictions and hypocrisy. Assaad Hanna wrote, for example: "Not long ago, he slapped his own sister and prevented her from going to university, when he learned that she was in love with his friend; now he's a gay rights advocate? Open your mind, man!"
The Revolution's Flag Has its Own Position on the Issue!
After the rainbow color invasion of Syrians' profile pictures in solidarity with gays; other Syrians had a different position. Rather than await Facebook's management to provide them with a profile picture coloring application; they imbued their profile pictures with the colors of the Revolution's flag.
One of those Syrians was journalist Naji al-Jarf, who colored his Facebook profile picture with the colors of the Revolution's flag, writing the Hashtag "#therevolutionflagrepresentsme." Firas Al-Ali, who also changed his picture to similar colors, also commented: "Between one color and the other, it is a different situation altogether."
So, Will We benefit From this Experience?
Homosexuals in America obtained this landmark decision, after a protracted conflict with the authorities, initiated by Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay politicians in the United States. The conflict continued for years, with homosexuals coming out victorious; which was confirmed by US President Barack Obama when he said the decision was "a victory for America and the triumph of love."
Yet, despite all the differences in Syrians' opinion about this issue, and the sharp chasm in the street surrounding it; is there any way of deriving some benefit of this experience, and applying it to the benefit of the Syrian street?
In this vain, Ali Diab formulated his own rhetorical question: "If only we had learned from their [the gays'] struggle for their cause, to take advantage of the experience... If only a quarter of those who today advocate gay marriage would have fought a similar battle in their own Arab countries to legalize civil marriage... Perhaps we would have laid the first building block in the elimination of the same sectarianism that is killing us all today."