10: ‘It’s Not Hate to … [Say] That Gay Sex Leads to Hell’: Contesting Hate, Reiterating Heteronormativities

This chapter cites evidence from Ireland to examine how heteroactivists try to challenge references to hate in accounts of their activities by casting it as supporting moral values and, indeed, a sign of their love. The chapter first sets out the key tenets of heteroactivist ideologies and practices. Then, drawing on a participant observations and newsletter emails, the chapter explores how heteroactivists frame objections to sexual and gender equalities while pushing against or working to avoid accusations of ‘hate speech’. The chapter shows how they frame their arguments as motivated by love and related representations of themselves and those who agree with them as innocent citizens subject to the dangers of both formal sanctions and the social and political consequences of being associated with and perpetuating hate speech. It finishes by suggesting considerations ‘beyond opposition’.

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