Here is another defense of homosexuals. The defense of the right of a certain group of people to have the exact same rights, privileges, opportunities and protections that their haters do. NO EXCEPTIONS! That includes non-discrimination in hiring, in the workplace, housing, college admission, marriage and any other perk of democracy that heterosexuals take for granted.
Here are two stories, from highly divergent sources of the print media and the Internet, that expose the deep animosity toward gays still held sacred by too many so-called “Americans”, especially those in the Deep South. I’d also like to throw in an anecdotal narrative of my own.
Let’s start with a confession. I visit the website TMZ daily. It’s a gossipy string of tabloid fare, almost always involving the ‘Biebs’, the Kardasians and some reckless rapper. Yes, it’s candy for the mind. A break from the locals who, politically, are close to impossible to stomach. One of the features in Monday’s TMZ revealed some statements made on a show entitled “UK Celebrity Big Brother.” The show is a version of its American and Canadian cousins and is arguably the worst reality show of all time, featuring little more than empty conversation, fake confrontations and T & A.
Former heavyweight boxer, Evander Holyfield, he of Mike Tyson ear-munching fame, was a resident of the UK Big Brother (BB) house. The Holyfield observation that captured the BB producers attention, was “Being gay is no different than being handicapped…because a doctor can fix both.” Yes, adult humans actually think that way. The statement was part of a response to a question from the host who asked him if there were any gay boxers in the sport. Ignoring the question, Holyfield skipped to referencing the bible in insisting that homosexuality is NOT a choice. That’s when he followed up with the handicapped and doc thing. The interviewer respectfully disagreed and moved on. That was far from the end of the flap.
TMZ reported that BB’s producers took Holyfield into an office and ripped him for his beliefs, calling the comments inappropriate because they aren’t the views that are held by a large section of society. On some of their more controversial celebrity stories, TMZ will let visitors vote their opinions on certain matters. One of the votes was headed, Evander’s views: The choices were; “He’s Insane” and “I agree.” The count at the time I visited was 61% checking the ‘insane’ box; 39% agreeing with Holyfield. A second option was “Shame on them” apparently referring to the producers for giving Holyfield well-deserved hell; or you could vote “Good for Them.” Ironically that vote was 60% for “Shame on Them”, 40% “Good for Them.”
If I read this thing correctly, voters were put off by Holyfield’s comments, but defended his right to express them. These reactions pretty much followed the same path as the similar gay-hater views of Phil Robertson. Frankly, such comments are the social equivalent of yelling ‘fire’ in a theater and carry the same societal weight of uttering the “N” word. Such an utterance is only appropriate (if then) when used within the African-American community among friends and acquaintances, certain not to be offended or they could be said in anger. Any other circumstance, especially involving whites, is off base.
One further observation for Holyfield’s edification. As reported by HuffPost, there is a gay boxer ‘out’ there. He’s Orlando Cruz, a native of Puerto Rico, who came out in October of 2012. He’s a tatted-up, macho-looking veteran of countless ring wars who doesn’t look like the kind of guy you’d want to eff with. He’s comfortable wearing rainbow-striped shorts and is also sensitive to other causes, having worn pink gloves in a fight in support of Breast Cancer awareness. Cruz, a featherweight, was in fact tough enough to fight for the WBO world title in October of last year. Unfortunately, he was TKO’d in the seventh round. But he’s still the guttiest and one of the baddest fighters around.
Closer to home, local panties are all in a wad over a University of South Carolina Upstate program that requires all incoming freshmen, as part of the English 101 curriculum, to read “Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio.” As reported in the local paper, it’s a number of essays written by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community living in the South. It gets considerably worse for Phil Robertson and Evander Holyfield fans. The panel in charge of such things then requires these young innocents to attend activities such as events featuring speakers, attending movies and actually engaging in conversations on the topic of homosexuality and society. OMG!
A university spokesperson possessed of gray matter, tolerance and a full understanding of the constitution, said the selection of the book was made of the basis of the timeliness of anti-gay events in Russia and a recent Supreme Court decision. There were actually a couple handed down last year that were surprisingly liberal, though I may have spoken too soon as Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who holds jurisdiction over the area, just issued an emergency order on behalf of the Supremes blocking any additional same-sex marriages in Utah after 900 gay couples had exchanged wedding vows. Two lower courts had declined to do what Sotamayor just did. An appeal to the 10th Circuit is dead ahead as soon as the case is considered. The 10th was one of the two original courts allowing marriages to go forth. We’ll see.
Back to the locals. You just knew some Baptist preacher would dive into the middle of the controversy. Pastor Hate’emahl groused that a university supported by public tax dollars has no right to require students to participate in curriculum that disagrees with their faith. OK pastor, we’ll be sure to direct your little brainwashed darlings to Creationism and Intelligent Design classes. That’s where real Christian learning can take place, not this nonsense that homosexuals are living breathing human beings with rights. Here’s a dated, albeit, entertaining look at some Louisiana classes as tracked by Mother Jones back in August of 2012.
A local state legislator claims the school is infringing (whatever that means) on the students by “forcing” them into the class for a grade. This lady, with the ‘reason’ part of her brain cemented shut, happens to be communications director for the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. Holy Kris Kristofferson! The only thoughtful church response came from a pastor of an Upstate Baptist Church, who rightfully observed, “We can’t expect the state to advance the agenda of the church.” I’m leaving his name and church location out for obvious reasons.
Anecdotally, I know of male gay partners who are moving to Birmingham, Alabama. One of the partner’s place of employment transferred him to the Birmingham branch. It seems that within the city limits, itself, especially on the South side, gays have few problems. It’s only when you set foot (even one foot) outside those city limits that local Bubbas start getting nasty to the point that homosexuals might feel a bit like they’re traversing dusty Ugandan roads, arguably the one country that hates gays even more than the Deep South (with the notable exception of USC Upstate).
States that make their hatred of gays constitutionally and statutorily indelible still encourage the aforementioned hateful reactions. Elect Democrats. It’s the only answer.
Raised rural & small town, then lived in N.Y., Chicago & LA. Widely traveled. Returned from world wandering to pursue media life of anchorman/reporter and major, medium and small market talk radio. Highly active in politics. Once worked as orderly & security in Mens Lock Ward for the Criminally Insane at a state institution. Much more rational population than current Teapublicans. Great concern for country run by and for the extreme wealthy. The inhumane current running through this country has no precedent in modern history.
Follow me on Twitter @demwriter