Is the word “homosexual” a term invoking hate or derision?

The question arises after a homosexual attorney fighting against a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages was infuriated when called “homosexual” by opposing lawyers.

Attorney John Rawls insisted he was not a homosexual, but, rather, a “gay” man.

In a hearing Friday before Louisiana District Judge Mike Caldwell, Rawls, according to published reports, lost his temper, his face turned red, and he lunged at the attorney defending traditional heterosexual marriage.

“No one calls me the H-word,” Rawls said in defense of his outburst.

The incident did not go unnoticed by pro-family advocates.

“The suggestion that a legitimate descriptive word can be transformed into an epithet simply because one feels offended is ludicrous,” said Stephen Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Association’s Center for Law & Policy. “It is also a sobering indication of where we are heading if the radical homosexuals have their way with hate-crimes legislation.”

“Homosexual activists leave no room for free speech. They arrogate to themselves the authority to determine who may and may not speak, and what language they must use,” he added.

Brian Fahling, a senior trial attorney for the CLP, said, “The term ‘homosexual’ is the proper term for an individual such as Mr. Rawls, who admits that he is sexually attracted to persons of the same sex. Mr. Rawls, like New Jersey Gov. McGreevey, apparently thinks he has his ‘own truth’; let us hope that they do not succeed in redefining truth for all of us.”

McGreevey, a Democrat, last week announced he would resign his position after having a consensual homosexual affair with a member of his staff, an allegation the male staff member denies.

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