If I accuse a man of robbing liquor stores, any decent and reasonable society would expect me to present evidence. The evidence would have to be specific: What liquor stores were robbed? When? What is my proof that this particular man robbed those particular stores on those particular occasions? If I were unable to provide such specifics, people would warn me about making false or baseless charges. Further, if when asked to provide evidence, I merely said things like “Well, can the man prove he never robbed a liquor store?” or “Can the man prove an alibi for every liquor store robbery that occurred?” reasonable people of good will would quickly account me a libeling rascal. In a decent society I would be liable to social and even legal censures. The man I accused wouldn’t have to say a single word in his defense unless and until I provided compelling evidence that supported my accusation.
This is as it should be. A child can understand the concept: He who makes an accusation must present his case before the accused needs to say or do a thing. This is why for over a thousand years of Anglo-American law the accused is “assumed innocent”. It’s a no-brainer. If you accuse somebody of something you have to prove the charge.
Unless I accuse a man of homophobia. Or racism. Or sexism. Or any other of a growing list of “…isms” proliferating around here like tattoos at a cougar bar. If I accuse a man of one of these things, no evidence is required. If I call a man a homophobe (or a racist, etc., etc.) the current rules require him to assert he is not a homophobe and then provide evidence to back up his assertion. As a practical matter this evidence is never found to be sufficient. How could it be? The poor fellow is attempting to prove to other people what is inside his own heart. This is not possible. Since it’s impossible, he cannot do it. Since he cannot do it, he has not proved his assertion that he is no homophobe. He is therefore judged a homophobe by all fashionably-thinking people.
This is madness and no good can come of it.