Friday, May 25, 2012

If We Are Like You

Check out this video of CNN’s Brooke Baldwin interviewing Tony Perkins, the president of the American Family Association:

I could write a long post countering his bullshit arguments about same-sex marriage being a matter of public policy and how it forces us to redefine marriage (news flash: marriage has been redefined so many times that even cataloging the changes in the last 2,000 years could take up an entire post), and his even more pernicious argument that kids grow up best with a mom who is a woman and a dad who is a man; there are plenty of peer-reviewed studies by reputable psychologists that demonstrate that theory is bogus. But what’s interesting in this video clip is Mr. Perkins’ response to Ms. Baldwin’s questions about whether or not he has ever been in the home of a same-sex couple or what it is about us queers that gets him all oogie. I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve studied enough theatre and human nature to know body language to a fault, and in this video Mr. Perkins is, for lack of a better term, breaking out in all kinds of flop-sweat when he’s asked those personal questions about his own reasons for being so adamantly opposed to gay people. It goes way beyond public policy and school curriculum. You can practically hear his colon clenching.

Now I am not about to suggest that he’s harboring some secret about his own sexual orientation. For one thing, not everyone who has a knee-jerk revulsion to Teh Gay is a secret self-loathing queen. (These folks go around saying that gays have to be recruited into the “lifestyle.” Frankly, I think we should have an admissions committee so people like Ted Haggard and Larry Craig could be kept out. We need higher standards.) And it’s not always about sex, even though people like Mr. Perkins and Rick Santorum have an unhealthy obsession with gay sex. I know teenagers who don’t think about sex as much as they do. For some reason, though, Mr. Perkins refuses to see gays and lesbians as people. To him we’re some kind of one-off of the human race without the dimensions, senses, affections, and passions that come with being human. It makes it easy to marginalize us, to see us as nothing but fund-raising fodder for his hate group. Mr. Perkins has never set foot in the home of a same-sex couple for the simple reason that to do so would be to admit that we have normal homes, normal lives, normal cares and joys and hopes that make up so much more about being a person and a citizen than what we do on occasion in the bedroom.

And if he did that, he would have to find something else to obsess about.