[...] When Mike Johnson, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents conservative politicians and "pro-family" organizations, called Rawls a "homosexual," Rawls charged at Johnson. Rawls' voice rose and his face turned red, and he approached Johnson, pointed his finger at him and labeled him a "homophobe."When did the term 'homosexual' become derogatory? 'Homo' has never been a neutral word, but 'homosexual' is a descriptive term, like its siblings 'heterosexual', 'bisexual' and 'asexual', isn't it?
"I am not a homosexual," Rawls angrily told Johnson. "I am a gay man."
Rawls considers the term "homosexual" derogatory. "No one calls me the 'h' word," he said later.
[...] "He just went nuts. I was shocked by it," Johnson said of the courtroom encounter. "He lunged at me because I used the word 'homosexual.' I thought that was an appropriate term, I didn't know it was derogatory."
The encounter took those in the courtroom by surprise and highlighted the fervor the gay marriage issue has ignited.
"Just as I would expect no African-American to sit silently when he or she is insulted, nor would I expect any woman to stand by silently while she is insulted, nor any other group that traditionally has been denigrated by language," Rawls said in defense of his courtroom outburst. [...]
(For the record, I am against such a ban being written into the Louisiana constitution. And I think gays should stop pushing the loaded word 'marriage'. I was joined with my husband in a city judge's law library with a secretary as a witness, a civil union if ever there was one. Many sects would not consider us married in any sacred sense.)
UPDATE: Maybe it's going the way of 'negro'?
UPDATE II: Since I received no other response, I called my local authority, my gay brother. He sees nothing wrong with the use of 'homosexual', since it has been used for a couple of thousand years as opposed to 'gay', which sprang up about 30 years ago.
UPDATE III: See Sean Kinsell's take here.