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Video: Bill Gates: Boy Scouts should ‘absolutely’ lift its anti-gay ban ‘because it’s 2013′

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  1. Bill Cameron 15 Mar 2013, 8:20am

    Excellent quick-fire response, without batting an eyelid :)

  2. Sounds like a good guy.

  3. My respect for this man grows every time I hear him make supportive comments of the LGBT community.

    It would have been great if he had turned it round and asked the presenter for his opinion too.

  4. Gentlemen, we have a real man here. Put out your lamp Diogenes of Sinope, we found what you were looking for.

  5. It’s a good, positive response, but I would question why it being 2013 is a reason to reduce levels of inequality. I’m certain that this was definitely not what he meant, but linguistically it suggests that if it were not 2013 then it would be acceptable to maintain levels of inequality (as though it is right to make people wait to be treated fairly). Good intentions, but inarticulate reasoning.

    1. John Roberts 16 Mar 2013, 12:22am

      “It’s a good, positive response, but I would question why it being 2013 is a reason to reduce levels of inequality.”

      It’s a rhetorical device. It’s a semi-polite way of saying “we used to believe stupid things, but we don’t any more” or “advances have been made that rendered that thing/idea obsolete.” For example: “Why don’t cure diseases with bloodletting any more?” “Because it’s 2013.” or “Why don’t we implement slavery as way to lower labor costs?” “Because it’s 2013.” It’s a way of being intentionally dismissive of a ridiculous idea using a few words and without going into what should be an obvious and unnecessary explanation of “why.”

      1. I was totally aware that he had the best of intentions in what he was saying. I do know it’s a way of saying “we used to believe stupid things, but we don’t any more”, but I don’t think it should be applied to things where it was never really acceptable practice, such as homophobia and slavery. It would make sense to use such a response to a question about why we don’t use bloodletting. Bloodletting was perhaps the best known practice until something better became available, whereas with slavery and homophobia there was always something better available. There was a time at which it became possible to make bloodletting obsolete, but it’s always been possible to make homophobia and slavery obsolete. So it’s the temporal content, not the device itself, that feels slightly (unintentionally) negative to me.

        I do respect the intentionally dismissive nature of it, however; it’s positive to make it clear that homophobic actions are ridiculous and that it shouldn’t need explaining why.

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