Saturday 6 October 2007

Not embracing diversity

Residents of a gay retirement community in America are worried the special ambiance of their “private oasis” could be ruined by an influx of straight people.

RainbowVision, billed as the “first community of its kind”, opened last year in the New Mexico desert offering resort-style comforts and promising its mainly gay and lesbian retirees “the experience of people being together and sharing in the same values”.

But now a glut of empty properties is prompting fears the community’s composition, which is currently 80 per cent gay, could alter dramatically.

Roughly half the 120 units are up for rent or for sale and some worry that the depressed property market will mean owners seeking to offload their homes will sell or let to whoever they can, regardless of sexual orientation.

And they are completely free to do so as New Mexico outlaws any housing discrimination based on sexuality.

It is a concern for some of the residents who say they have spent their working lives “closeted” and do not want their new-found freedom compromised.

“It does not matter how friendly they are,” Roger Bergstrom, 77, a retired school teacher who shares a RainbowVision condo with partner Barry Baltzley, 57, told the Los Angeles Times.

“If straight people are in the majority, it’s different. It’s not what we came here for. It’s not where we want to live out the rest of our lives.”

Interesting. The residents of RainbowVision appear to prefer to live alongside people with whom they have certain things (lifestyle, cultural and moral values, etc) in common. One wonders whether they are, therefore, wicked intolerant bigots, guilty of the sin of refusing to embrace and celebrate diversity? After all, that is the label often applied to those of us who object to the flooding of our country with people (particularly Muslims) whose lifestyle and cultural and moral values are completely alien to us.


Anonymous said...

They're not the only ones:

Yorkshire Miner has left a comment expressing a little schadenfreude at these Arabs. I feel sorry for them.

JuliaM said...

"“If straight people are in the majority...."

Eh..? It said 'roughly half' are up for sale, even if they all went to heteros, how would that put them in the majority. Is this chap a bit educationally-challenged?

"....Roger Bergstrom, 77, a retired school teacher..."

Ah, I see....