Here’s what happened:
The other evening after tacos my sidekick Stingray and I were lounging around slurping down an extra bottle of wine. Whereupon, as is inevitable with that level of saturation, two developments transpired.
1. I Spotified Madonna and started busting a move
2. LGBT politics became the topic of conversation
Stingray mentioned a fun fact that, because I am feckless nowadays and don’t read as much button-pushing Internet news as I should, I hadn’t purposely considered. She said, “you know how the noses of all right-thinking progressives in the US are out of joint about the highly publicized anti-gay legislation in Russia?” and I said, “yeah,” and she said, “well, surprisingly few of these disjointed probosci have so much as batted a jaundiced eye at the eerily similar laws on the books in many American states.”
“Wait a second,” I said, shaking my groove thang pretty prodigiously. “What eerily similar laws? I mean, obviously marriage equality is still pending here and there, and privatized anti-gay bigotry is still quite the hobby in many dickheaded circles, but what about Lawrence v Texas? Didn’t the Supremes rule back in 2003 that discrimination based on sexual orientation was unconstitutional?”
O, how soon we feckless news-ignorers forget. Lawrence did strike down the sodomy law in Texas, and by extension, all the other US sodomy laws, as unconstitutional. However, discrimination, bigotry, and statutory marginalization all remain totally legal. For example, the very sodomy law “struck down” by Lawrence, though ostensibly rendered unenforceable by the court decision, remains pretty glaringly un-repealed by the great state of Texas. My medieval home state also bans same-sex marriage and, with the exception of a few metropolitan areas, is perfectly content to permit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Oh, and good luck getting a hate crime prosecuted here. And don’t even get me started on the abortion thing, which, since a shit-ton of women are gay, is also a gay rights issue.
Anyway, Stingray, it turned out, had been cribbing from an article in Think Progress or possibly the Washington Post — recollection was murky — both of which claim that 8 (or 9, depending) states have, regarding sex ed in schools, Russia-esque “gay propaganda” statutes on the books.
I wish I were more surprised, but it’s not like gay panic — along with rattlesnake roundups and Cowboy Churches — isn’t a wildly popular pastime in rural locales like Cottonmouth County. Why shouldn’t the hate-virus spread, via infected evangelical rats, to conservative hell-holes the world over?
According to Mother Jones, American hatavangelicals have been infiltrating Russian “Sanctity of Motherhood” pro-birth-rate rallies to Pump. It. Up. Because when you allow homos to run loose through the countryside without beating them up, all the straight people instantly stop reproducing. And everyone knows gay people never have kids. The population will plummet. Gays will singlehandedly destroy the motherland.
On the second morning of the [Moscow] conference, the only American in attendance, a tall, collected man, stepped up for his speech. Larry Jacobs, vice president of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families (WCF), an umbrella organization for the US religious right’s heavy hitters, told the audience that American evangelicals had a 40-year track record of “defending life and family” and they hoped to be “true allies” in Russia’s traditional values crusade.
US evangelicals and Russian birth-rate-berserkers: different alphabet, same belligerent jingoes. I mean, for crying out loud, the Arizona ledge has just passed (although the gov has yet to sign) a bill “allowing businesses to refuse service to gay couples in the name of religious freedom.” Because god forbid you should sell a hamburger to a couple of queers. You’ll catch the gay cooties and your woman will turn into a slutty Grace Adler and stop reproducing.
These deluded godbangers are pretty wack. Sometimes I feel like I’m just about the only somewhat civilized atheist yokel in the whole Southwest. It’s lonesome out here on my limb.
A propos of the globalization of hateriffic American family values, here’s an entertaining game we like to call “Spot The Russian Law.” Of the 3 following actual statutes, one is Russian and the others are Texan and Arizonian. If you can tell which is which I’ll eat a Cool Whip taco.
No district shall include in its course of study instruction which:
1. Promotes a homosexual life-style.
2. Portrays homosexuality as a positive alternative life-style.
3. Suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.
Prohibits distribution of information that is aimed at:
1. The formation among minors of nontraditional sexual attitudes
2. Attractiveness of non-traditional sexual relations
3. Misconceptions of the social equivalence between traditional and non-traditional sexual relations
4. Enforcing information about non-traditional sexual relations that evokes interest in such relations
The materials in the education programs intended for persons younger than 18 years of age must:
1. Emphasize sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage as the expected standard in terms of public health and the most effective ways to prevent HIV infection, sexually transmitted diseases, and unwanted pregnancies
2. State that homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense under Section 21.06, Penal Code
Number 1 — Arizona. Number 2 — Russia. Number 3 —Texas. Note that in its item #2, the Texas statute references the illegal but still unrepealed law characterizing “homosexual conduct” as a criminal offense. The eyes of Texas are upon you.