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Proudly Out: Homophobia's Idiocy and Duplicity

Proudly Out: Homophobia's Idiocy and Duplicity

I don't know which one is worse -- the idiocy of homophobia or the duplicity of it. Oklahoman homophobes -- who are also, sadly, congressmen -- objected to gay Rev. Scott Jones invocation of openly gay representative Al McAffrey. And Sally Kern puts her conservative two cents in.

I don't know which one is worse -- the idiocy of homophobia or the duplicity of it.

For embarrassingly idiotic behavior, we just need to go to Oklahoma. Recently, at the Sooner State House, openly gay representative, Al McAffrey, a Democrat representing Oklahoma City, asked the Rev. Scott Jones to deliver the invocation. Jones is the openly gay pastor of Oklahoma City's United Church of Christ Cathedral of Hope and keeping with custom introduced the people who were with him--notably, his "loving partner and fiance, Michael."

Well, that's all some members of the legislature needed to hear. They turned a deaf ear to the lovely prayer Jones delivered. Because he's gay and invoked the notion of family in the most inclusive way possible, numerous members of the House voted against placing Jones' remarks and prayer into the chamber's official record.

They could have been gracious-but no. Homophobia is never gracious. Instead, idiocy ruled the day and a number of politicians--all Republicans, of course--got on their high horse to politicize the situation. One legislator called Jones' introduction of his partner "an attack on the beliefs of a whole lot of Oklahomans." Another said that a Christian family was a man and a woman and that was just the way it was.

It turned into a parliamentary procedural nightmare with points of order flying this way and that. Never before had anyone objected to a prayer being put on record. At first, Rep. John Wright raised the procedural point that prayers were only voted upon on Thursdays. That in itself is just too funny and just as revealing. He later came clean and said his actions were motivated by faith--his version of it at any rate.

Sally Kern, another representative from Oklahoma City, also sputtered and stammered trying to find the best way to vote down the prayer. This was par for the course for Kern, a self-proclaimed Radical Christian Right homophobe, who has said that homosexuals are the "biggest threat to our nation . . . even more than terrorism and Islam." Will someone please buy her a copy of "Religion for Dummies?"

What's so embarrassing is that these legislators weren't embarrassed by what they said--they think their comments were perfectly within reason since they also think that Oklahoma is a Christian state, a radical Christian state that is. They weren't embarrassed but I'm sure their 64 colleagues who voted to include the pastor's prayer had plenty of chagrin to go around.

Now let's turn our attention to the newly minted California-Utah political pipeline. We all know that the Mormon Church pressured, cajoled, and even threatened their members to give money to support Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that turned back time as well as justice last November by making marriage equality illegal in California. The latest reports show that of the $20 million that came from Mormons, $2.7 million was contributed by Utah businesses and individuals. The church really must have put the pressure on because $2.5 million came in the last three weeks of the campaign. The Church, itself, contributed more than $180,000 in in-kind contributions.

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The business and individual contributions were legal--both are well within their rights to support or oppose ballot initiatives. The Church's contributions came under scrutiny because they didn't report them in a timely manner.

However, it seems that it is the reporting of all of these contributions that have come into the spotlight. Thanks to the Watergate scandal, all political contributions have to be reported. It's all a matter of public record. Those fund raising lists have become political gold mines.

In their inimitable way of always playing the victim, even in the face of victory, the folks who spearheaded the Yes on Prop 8 campaign sought an injunction to stop the public dissemination of the names and addresses of those who supported adding discrimination to California's state constitution. This is where duplicity comes in.

They contended powerful homosexuals would target Prop 8 supporters by boycotting their businesses, or making threats against them. Now, I think it's counter-productive for us to act like the thugs who continually harass us. However, economic boycotts-that's well within our rights. After all, the American Family Association routinely boycotts businesses that support the LGBT community. If a business or two go under because of their homophobia, so be it.

Whether it's stupidity in Oklahoma or duplicity in California, the one thread here is that none of these folks want to take responsibility for what they do.

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Libby Post