For those of you not aware, June is LGBT Pride Month. And, incidentally, there has also been a lot of news with regards to rights for same-sex couples. The California Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional, and legal same-sex marriages will start being performed later on this month. Governor Paterson issued a directive that New York state agencies need to start adhering to a NY court ruling that mandated legal same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions be recognized in the state.
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court rejected challenges to its ruling. And even the talk that NY Republicans were going to fight Paterson’s directive has thus far turned out to be untrue.
Which of course means that it’s time for us to see some crazy-ass backlash.
The incident has exploded on local TV, on talk radio and in the blogosphere and has touched off a debate over public displays of affection in generally gay-friendly Seattle.
“Certain individuals have not yet caught up. Those people see a gay or lesbian couple and they stare or say something,” said Josh Friedes of Equal Rights Washington. “This is one of the challenges of being gay. Everyday things can become sources of trauma.”
As the Mariners played the Boston Red Sox on May 26, Sirbrina Guerrero and her date were approached in the third inning by an usher who told them their kissing was inappropriate, Guerrero said.
The usher, Guerrero said, told them he had received a complaint from a woman nearby who said that there were kids in the crowd of nearly 36,000 and that parents would have to explain why two women were kissing.
“I was really just shocked,” Guerrero said. “Seattle is so gay-friendly. There was a couple like seven rows ahead making out. We were just showing affection.”
On Monday, Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said that the club is investigating but that the usher was responding to a complaint of two women “making out” and “groping” in the stands.
“We have a strict non-discrimination policy at the Seattle Mariners and at Safeco Field, and when we do enforce the code of conduct it is based on behavior, not on the identity of those involved,” Hale said.
The code of conduct – announced before each game – specifically mentions public displays of affection that are “not appropriate in a public, family setting.” Hale said those standards are based on what a “reasonable person” would find inappropriate.
Guerrero denied she and her date were groping each other, saying that along with eating garlic fries, they were giving each other brief kisses.
So what we have here are bigots who believe that their own rights are so very grand and the rights of those they look down upon so very few that they can dictate all behavior in their presence, regardless of how incredibly harmless. They’re cowards, who apparently can’t even bother to talk to the “offending” individuals themselves and instead hide behind those in places of authority as a means to enforce their bigotry. And then, we’ve got those in a position of authority who are actually willing to appease the bigots!
For all of the cases where very real complaints involving imminent danger are ignored and mocked by authority figures, it seems that those same authority figures are perfectly willing to bend over backwards to appease those who engage in completely pointless whining. My first inclination is to ask how we got to this point, but that’s a red herring which involves supposing that there is some sort of contradiction. There’s not. In both situations, response and non-response, the interests of the dominant class are upheld, and the kyriarchy wins.
The worst part, of course, is that this particular incident is in no way shape or form an isolated one. And the basis upon which ignorant fucks argue their right to take out their ignorant fuckery on other people endlessly fascinates me.
Web sites have been swamped with blog postings for and against Guerrero and her date. And the story has people talking in Seattle.
“I would be uncomfortable” seeing public displays of affection between lesbians or gay men, said Jim Ridneour, a 54-year-old taxi driver. “I don’t think it’s right seeing women kissing in public. If I had my family there, I’d have to explain what’s going on.”
“It all depends on the degree,” Mark Ackerman said as he waited for a hot dog outside Safeco Field before Wednesday’s game. “Even for heterosexual couples.”
[. . .]
In 2007, an Oregon transit agency chief apologized after a lesbian teenager was kicked off a bus when a passenger complained about her kissing another girl.
Also in 2007, a gay rights group protested a Kansas City, Mo., restaurant they said ejected four women because two of them kissed, and a Texas state trooper was placed on probation in 2004 for telling two gay men who were kissing at the state Capitol that homosexual conduct was illegal in Texas.
“There’s a double standard. That’s the bottom line,” said Pat Griffin, director of the It Takes a Team! Education Campaign, an initiative from the Women’s Sports Foundation to eliminate homophobia in sports.
Now, I’ve made it fully clear that this is an issue of outright homophobia (and that should be apparent without my help anyway). But arguments in favor of discriminatory behavior are never isolated, and you’ll hear the same exact kind of arguments running around in support of all kinds of public censorship. This “what will I tell my kids?” crap comes up a lot. One example is the “Hoohah Monologues” circus. The woman who complained was very upset that her niece, who was old enough to be able to read the sign, asked what a “vagina” is. And the woman had to answer it! Oh the agony those damn liberals cause by making innocent people engage with reality!
Like with the girl who wanted to know what a vagina was, if your kid asks you why two women are kissing, and you feel the need to provide an explanation beyond “well, probably for the same reason that most people kiss, because they like each other,” one of two things is going on: 1. you’re a shit parent and probably also a homophobic asshole or 2. your child is very young, you were therefore going to get to the “sometimes boys like boys, and sometimes girls like girls” talk very soon, and you should appreciate the teaching moment. If you’re upset by the development of having to provide an explanation, you can take #1 and double it.
Dan Savage (one of my favorite people; you have to love a newspaper editor who will say “fuck you” to a reader in the comments) has called for a kiss-in protest at Safeco Field — but without any current explicit plans, I’m not sure about his seriousness. It does sound like fun response, though.
Your thoughts on the asshattery?