Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Because I Don't" Isn't a Good Enough Answer

Homophobia and bigotry take many forms. Stupid, usually White, usually Male, usually wrapped in an excess of body fat and usually in utter denial about reality, removed from anything remotely resembling a logical argument or objective reality but quick enough on the draw to accuse the other side of these very same flaws.

This isn't to say that all homophobic bigots are White, or even Male. Case in point - Karen Handel, the recent ex-Vice President (*punt* get the fuck off my cloud) of Susan G. Komen. Handel is a former Senator from Georgia - so if that doesn't practically spell the upcoming problem in large, neon pink letters and hang a billboard-sized sign around it, I'm not sure what to say.

Komen is notorious for recently earning Planed Parenthood something along the order of a metric shitton of dollars for defunding the organization. Also, they're known for those pink ribbons and giving the illusion of caring about women's health. Of course you can't care about women when you're part of the Pro-Coathanger Brigade. It's stupid to even hold the illusion that you do.

Now, there are some parts of the internet that think Handel had something to do with it. After all, she's only a typical anti-life, anti-human repulsive salsa of dried enemas and garbage - you know, the typical Right-winger - but the cynic in me doesn't feel that she acted alone. Sometimes I love to tell the cynic to go over in the corner and play with blocks, but today, I can't help but think that hie's right. I suspect that the rest of the board at SGK had something to do with it. Which is fine; I can't think of a more expedient way to basically cut your own throat than doing something like this. And they helped PP along the way - everybody won!

Except, of course, for Handel, who stepped down from her position and decided "You know what? Screw this, I'm not taking this severance so I can go strike a martyr pose on television and pretend like I was persecuted by SGK and those mean old bastards in that Liberal Media."

Handel is a piece of work. She was interviewed NBC 11 (live in HD!), and much to my pleasant surprise, the interviewer asked something that resembled tough questions. Handel is a rampant homophobe in addition to be an all-around pleasant person - observe:

Handel:  (The Log Cabin Republican check is) certainly not a membership.  And I don't think going to an event constitutes membership, nor does it constitute agreeing with everything they have to say either.

That's right. Just because you walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk doesn't mean you're an actual member of the Log Cabin Republicans. You have to have been born in a Log Cabin, gnawed on bear meat with your bare teeth, killed a moose (those suckers are dangerous) with your bare hands and pissed off the top of the world while screaming how virulent and manly you are because you're carpeted like a fucking Wookie with the skull density of elemental osmium. Only then do you pass for membership. But for the love of God, bath first. You've got pieces of shit hanging from the fur in your back.

But you don't have to agree with everything they say. Because unless you're Han Solo, I don't think it matters - you won't understand anyway.

Masculinity is Log Cabins and chopping wood. You know those fucking liberals never chopped a piece of wood in their life. Neither have I - they don't let me do that in the trailer park - but I'm still more manly than them liberals because I fantasize about it.

Okay, alright. I'll move onto something with more substance to make fun of, then...

Q:  You have said that you are -- you're against gay marriage, right?
A:  Mm hm.  Absolutely.  Marriage is between one man and one woman.  And I've been very very clear about that.  And the record is clear about any of the other issues like domestic partner benefits or anything like that.  In fact in Fulton, I voted no on domestic partner benefits.
Q:  Are you against civil unions for gays?
A:  Yes.  I think that's not an issue that has come forward in Georgia.  We have the constitutional amendment against gay marriage, and I don't want to see any taxpayer funding going toward benefits etcetera for a couple that is not married.  In our state and for me, marriage is for one man and one woman.
Q:  Why is that?
A:  Why is marriage between one man and one woman?  (Laughs).  Are you serious?
Q:  Yes.  Well why -- do you view committed gay relationships as being less legitimate than committed heterosexual relationships?
A:  As a Christian, I view relationships and marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Q:  But what about the legitimacy of the relationship?  Do you have any gay friends?  Do you know gay couples?
A:  Of course I do.  Are we going to spend our whole day talking on this issue? 
Q:  I want to know how you feel about this.
A:  I've been very clear.  And you know, as a Christian, marriage is between a man and a woman.  I do not think that gay relationships are -- they are not what God intended.  And that's just my viewpoint on it.  Others might disagree with that.  But I would also hope that if you look at what is happening in our state, we've got issues we need to be focused on in Georgia.  We have a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.  And it's something that I supported wholeheartedly.  We have that, and let's get dealing with the other issues that we also need to deal with in Georgia.  And the press can help with that.  (Laughs).
Q:  Frequently, folks in the legislature kind of threaten to -- there are always rumblings in the legislature that they may outlaw gay adoptions.  You're against gay adoption.
A:  I am against gay adoption.  But remember -- I mean, if there is legislation on  that, certainly I will follow that and look at it.  But in the end, ultimately courts are going to be the ones to have to make the decision on that and it's always in the best interests of the child.  Do I think that gay parents is in the best interest of the child?  No.  But we do have our court system that deals with many and most of those issues.
Q:  Would you favor outlawing gay adoptions?
A:  Yeah, I would consider that, absolutely.
Q:  Do you know any gay couples with children?
A:  Not that I'm aware of.
Q:  So you think gay couples are less qualified to function as parents than straight couples?
A:  I think that for a child to be in a household -- in a family in a household with a situation where the parents are not married, as in one man and one woman, is not the best household for a child.
Q:  Is it better or worse than a single parent household?
A:  Doug, I'm really trying to be straightforward with you but I'm not going to debate all the nuances.  I've made it abundantly clear that I think that marriage is between a man and a woman.  And that's what I believe, and I don't know what more you would like me to add to that.
Q:  I guess I want to know why you think gay parents aren't as legitimate as heterosexual parents.
A:  Because I don't.
Q:  (Pause)  Well, I realize that.
A:  Well, Doug, we're not going to spend the whole day discussing this issue.  And you know, it 's really kind of disappointing -- we invited you on this (leg of the bus trip).
Q:  I know. 
A:  So we're going to need to move on. 

Marriage is one man and one woman. And if you ever say anything about the mistress that my first husband got caught with...

You can trot that dead horse out because it still stands up with pipe-cleaners holding up the legs. But use all the smoke and mirrors you want - that horse is still dead. It was DOA. Just like any "argument" you can make against marriage equality.

She voted no on domestic benefits. That means one partner with a really good job cannot share those benefits with their other parent. That's fine, because with people like her running Fulton County, the best job you likely have is being a one-toothed banjo player, and it's my understanding that dental is horrible and the benefits suck. Georgia has a constitution amendment that bans gay marriage - it's about time the Feds shot down that amendment, then, ain't it?

(Laughs) Are you serious? You're actually going to ask a question I don't have an answer for? What the hell, media? Where'd the softball questions go? Well, see, it has to do with her name-dropping Jesus and cherry-picking from the Bible. You kids today call this "Christianity." That is, worship of Mammon and the antichrist's interpretation of the Bible. You mean you're actually going to, for once, live up to the name "Liberal media"?

No, not really. But hey, I can dream.

She repeats herself a lot doesn't she? Why do you view marriage as being just between a man and a woman? Well, because marriage is between a man and a woman. Therefore, marriage is between a man and woman. Oh, and did I mention I'm Christian? Because I am. Oh, but she knows gay people. I bet she has gay friends, too.

I've been very clear. I'm repeating myself - what about that isn't clear? Here, let me state it a few bajillion more times because sometimes, if you wish realllly really hard, your dreams can come true. You too can fly to Neverland, where we'll never grow up and be mentally lodged at the age of 13 for the rest of our adult lives. I know others disagree with me. I don't care about that, because let's talk about issues I'm never going to do anything about in the state of Georgia. I can see you're not going to let me snowball my way through this, so I need to get this conversation over to "fiscal responsibility," where there are still some Americans stupid enough to think that Republicans like myself have the upper hand. I need to do this like, yesterday. And you can help too, by asking me some fucking easy questions. WINK. WINK.

I'm against gay adoption because gays make bad parents because they can't get married. She states this with a clear conscious having spent the last two responses rambling on about who the whole state of Georgia loved homophobia so much they enshrined it in their Constitution.

I'm really trying to be straightforward here. Can't you tell by my circular logic? Damn it, Doug, if you'd just shut up and stop asking these hard questions and just agree with what the hell I'm saying, we wouldn't have this problem, now would we?

I believe that gays should be allowed to marry, but to hell with what I believe. I don't matter, I'm just some peon who has empathy and cares about people, isn't given to circular logic or lies, and, y'know, really cares about the future of humanity. Their beliefs deserve enshrinement in law. Everyone else? Nope. I don't give a flying racoon's tail if you believe that mongooses are type of fish. beliefs are not the basis for laws. There is no legitimate reason to keep gays from marrying the people that they love. None. There's no substance to any of the arguments, which boil down to "The Bible says so." To hell with the Bible. I don't care what it says. It doesn't form the foundation of civil law.

Now, aside from lies about pedophilia and other nonsense bullshit slippery-slope arguments copied directly from the American Family Association webpage, what the hell else do you have to stand on? I'll save you the mental loop-de-loops: nothing.

You don't think gay relationships are on par with heterosexual ones. Why not?

Because I don't.

But why? You didn't answer the question. You dodged it. "Because I don't" isn't a reason. "Because I don't" isn't an explanation. "Because I don't" is a thought-terminating cliche; similar to what parents tell their children - "because I said so. I don't have to give you an explanation." Your life would be a lot better if you could explain why you feel that way, but you can't because you know exactly where it'll go: I don't like gay people. I feel they're icky and gross and stuff. So I won't say it - "Because I don't." What a fucking cop-out. What a fucking joke.

Again, I ask why? Why do you find these questions so hard to answer? These are not hard questions. Now c'mon, we can't spend all day talking about this topic. You've got me backed in the corner and I can't get out of it. We have to move onto something else. Let's hurry now, before you make me look even more like a fool. It's really kind of disappointing because you're asking me all these questions, and I don't feel I have to answer them. I'm above you plebeians. Deal with it.

This whole interview was really nothing but a series of collective thought-terminating cliches. "I'm a Christian" is not a sufficient answer for anything except for "what religion do you identify as?" "I don't believe..." is never how you begin questions dealing with policy because frankly madam (or sir), I don't give a rat's flying ass how you believe. Give me facts. Give me figures. Give me ethical arguments that aren't restricted to "OMG TEH GHEY IS SO GROOOOSSS" (of course, they don't because they can't). "I've been very clear" and the variations of it are nothing more than patronizing, conceded assholery with the sole intention of making the interviewer look like a fool for asking you questions that you're not answering. "Are we going to spend our entire day discussing this issue" is a way of saying that "hey, I've got nothing other than patronizing, conceded, assholish thought-terminating cliches that I can respond to your questions with and eventually one of these stupid fucks out here voting for me will catch on. Let's move on before that happens."

That "because I don't" gets under my skin, in a way that very few other things said by the Anti-Equality Right have said in the past. I am not a fucking child. Gay adults are not fucking children. I - they, we, us - deserves an answer that's actually legitimate. If you can't give me one, then get the hell out of my way: you're wasting my time and yours. This "because I don't" sums up everything that is wrong with the modern Right-wing: You have packed in that statement the patronizing notion that what they should go unchallenged in their beliefs, because they have authority. As such, to call it condescending is to call the sun's corona "hot." You are not my parent. You are not my mom. And even if you were, I'd never let you get away with saying it. Packed in there is the notion you're not supposed to question me, you're not supposed to press any further, and you're supposed to accept what I'm saying as the last word in the matter.

"Because I don't," is bullshit. It's bullshit of the highest order.

I'd like, just once, for these bigots to be called on their bigotry. I'd love, just once, for some reporter to discovery they're the proud owners of a human spine and ask some real questions. Press the issue. Get some real answers. I won't hold my breath.

1 comment:

  1. Amen.

    Personally, I'd rip 'em a new one, if not in twain, but then again, I suffered.

    But we won't go into that, or at least not now. Email me sometime, maybe I'll go into it there. For now though, know that I look forward to the future. :)