by Leah Waldron
Perhaps its the presidential election drawing nearer (along with gay marriage becoming a possibility in four states), or the fact that the Fall TV line up is chock full of gay characters and shows. Whatever the reasoning, the anti-gay rhetoric is more incendiary than ever, and even downright comical. The following five statements were made in the past week, less than a month from election day. Is there anything left to say about gays that hasn’t already been said? Apparently, yes:
5. “Gays deserve the death penalty.” On the “The David Pakman Show” this week, Jonathan Phelps said that gays should “absolutely” be put to death, although he would not elaborate on how to do this: “Human government would have to establish that, and since I’m not involved in that aspect of it, I’m not answering that. What I’m partial to is people repenting, that’s what I’m partial to.” The son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, Jon was raised as a full-blown nut job, and after a lifetime of protesting, this may be his most outlandish statement to date (which is saying a lot). But should anyone blame Jonathan Phelps for spreading hate? When you have the genes of Fred Phelps and grew up in his household, its hard to imagine that your childhood was anything more than cult indoctrination.
4. “Sally Ride died because she was a lesbian.” Astronaut and innovator Sally Ride, one of the greatest scientific contributors of the 20th century, died at the age of 61 from pancreatic cancer this summer. But according to “researchers” at the Family Research Institute, Ride’s lesbian lifestyle was a possible cause of death. Citing San Francisco obituaries of lesbian women (although no date was given for the “study”), the FRI wrote this week that lesbian woman are more likely to die in their 60s, while straight women generally live to their 80s: “Sally Ride’s…death fits a consistent pattern suggesting that homosexuality is associated with an early demise.” Perhaps the people at the FRI have grown tired of gay pedophile “research,” and now are positing that we simply die early. I suppose that’s better than calling us pedophiles (or, as one prior FRI study suggested, more likely to get traffic tickets).
3. “This [gay marriage] will be the norm in America. This is what you are fighting. You are on the front lines.” Speaking at a Family Policy Institute of Washington fundraiser in Spokane, special guest speaker Rick Santorum scared up a bunch of opposition for Ref-74, the state referendum that would reverse the gay marriage legislation passed earlier this year. Santorum loves to speak in apocalyptic tones; in 2003, the then-Pennsylvania Congressman called gay marriage a “secular, Godless revolution” that would “destroy the institutions of America’s foundation” and the “American family.” At the Spokane fundraiser, Santorum went on to say that, in terms of the church and the American family, gay marriage is even more dangerous than abortion. But “the norm?” Will gay marriage—a civil right that many gay people will not even take advantage of—ever become “the norm” in America? I guess when the “gay agenda” is accomplished, gays will be “the norm” worldwide. Or, a few of us may tie the knot. Either way, Santorum is still a closeted hatemonger.
2. “I’m homophobic just like I’m arachnophobic. I have nothing against homosexuals or spiders but I’d still scream if I found one in my bathtub!” This week, New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes tweeted a “joke” about homophobia that his followers—both gay and straight alike–did not find funny. The timing, one person tweeted, was also pretty sad (October is anti-gay bullying month). Instead of apologizing for his bad taste (and crappy joke), Spikes wrote back with the following tweet: “PEOPLE !!!! It’s a joke … seriously a JOKE !!! Chill out.” Maybe Spikes’ dreadlocks made his helmet too tight.
1. “Anti-gay marriage opponents are like Jews in Nazi Germany.” The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord George Carey, wins the number one spot this week for comparing the U.K.’s
same-sex marriage debate to the Holocaust. Citing that gay marriage foes are called “bigots,” the 76-year-old had this to say at an anti-marriage reform rally in Birmingham: “Let us remember the Jews in Nazi Germany – what started against them was when they started to be called names. And that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state. We have to resist them. We treasure democracy. We treasure our Christian inheritance and we want to debate this in a fair way.” So, in Carey’s mind, bigots are like the persecuted Jews in Nazi, Germany. Huh. I thought the Nazis were the bigots.
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