Monday, April 20, 2009

Why the Miss USA controversy is a STUPID issue

Oh God no.

There is a dumb controversy brewing over the Miss USA pageant that took place last weekend.

Apparently in the question and answer segment, Miss California stated her opinion that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

So batten down the hatches because here comes a whole lot of nonsense.

I should have known it couldn't last. For the past weeks, the lgbt community was on a unparalleled streak of good fortune. Iowa, Vermont, the mocking of NOM - we were hot.

Then this happens.

Now we are going to be distracted by a non-issue that only has the potential for us to look like bad guys.

You know what? I don't care what this woman said. It was her opinion. She expressed it. She didn't win the crown. Big whoop.

She will probably benefit from the controversy by becoming the newest religious right cause celebre. I can just see the spin now - "She was denied the crown because she stood up for the American family."

The optimist in me (I ate an optimist for dinner last week - you know us gays are also cannibals. Paul Cameron said so) sees a silver lining to this potential cloud.

If anything, maybe this controversy will teach my lgbt community not to canonize lgbt celebrities.

Gossip columnist Perez Hilton was a judge during the competition and since the controversy took place, he has been consistently rude to Ms. California and basically acted like a damn fool.

Way to go, Perez. Expect to see your vapid self in One News Now or on the Americans for Truth webpage as indicative of the entire lgbt community.

For the record, Hilton is simply a gossip columnist and a very immature one at that. I don't give a crap how many interviews he does or how many youtube videos he presents on the issue, or how often he is in the public eyes in general, Hilton does not represent the entire lgbt community.

And while some of us may be distracted and momentarily angry at Miss California, it's not a good thing to take crucial time away from the big picture of lgbt equality to talk about a single incident in a beauty pageant that will most likely be forgotten in a year.

Let this be a lesson to us all. Just because someone is an actor, singer, or gossip columnist and just happens to be gay does not mean that person shoud be taken as a sort of a spokesperson for the lgbt community.

We owe it to ourselves to adhere to a higher standard than that.
Monday midday news briefs

There has been a very interesting update in my last post. Check it out

Mormon Scion Matthew S. Holland Quits the NOM Board - And the hits keep coming to NOM.

David Mixner: Rick Warren Badly Needs A Private Retreat - Ya think?

Uganda’s Anti-Gay Vigilante Campaign Is Now In Full Swing - This ain't good AT ALL!

Too young to vote. Old enough to be publicly condemned by LaBarbera - Peter is now picking on children. Big man he is!

Mocking "Gathering Storm" from start to finish - Go ahead. You know you want to check out the link.
Anti-Day of Silence video creator alleges gay conspiracy

(Editor's note - This post has been updated. See below)

The Day of Silence has come and gone. Now it's time for the so-called counterpart - The Allied Defense Fund's Day of Truth.

Haven't heard anything about it? My point exactly.

On Saturday, I talked about a video put out about it by Capitol Resource Institute which claimed that Day of Silence supporters were "threatening" pro-family groups.

The video uses negative phone messages, alleged emails of a threatening nature, and footage of Proposition 8 protests in an attempt to twist the argument of lgbt teen safety into a semantic one about tolerance (i.e. claiming that while Day of Silence supporters want tolerance and safety for gay teens but they aren't capable of showing tolerance themselves.)

All in all, the video does a poor job of connecting the Day of Silence to any acts of violence.

This weekend, I spoke to the self-described creator of the video (on youtube, he calls himself the Dark Lord of Debate). I asked him specifically about the inaccuracies of the video, most specifically its attempt to link the Day of Silence with the Proposition 8 protests. This is what he said:

Regardless of the exact connection of each event in the video to the Day of Silence, I believe the video is illustrative of the intolerance of those advocating the gay agenda to silence all who disagree with them--of which the Day of Silence is only a small part. The message was that those of us who believe in traditional marriage and sexuality are not going to allow our voices to be silenced the way they have been in other countries where the gay agenda has been more successful than in the US. In Canada, Australia, and several Scandinavian countries pastors have been imprisoned for merely preaching that homosexuality is immoral. We won't stand for that, and if you are as tolerant as your side claims I hope you won't either.

My answer to him was short but to the point:

You speak of anecdotes taken out of context. Also whatever the case is, these situations happened in foreign countries - countries that do not possess the same laws or constitutions as America. The error in your statement lies in the belief that there is some worldwide conspiracy on the part of gays and lesbians. And that notion simply isn't true. The situations that you allege happened in Canada, etc. have nothing to do with the situations in the United States because they do not have the same "cast of characters," so to speak.

All in all, your statements are extremely debatable but what is not a debatable point is:

1. You unfairly generalized about all of those who support the Day of Silence - not to mention all gays and lesbian in general

2. Your video is so over the top that its credibility is questioned - the footage of alleged violence has nothing to do with the Day of Silence. And the phone calls and emails are equally questionable.

The semantical argument you put forth regarding "tolerance" is merely a dodge. And it's a sad one.

The "Dark Lord" didn't answer me back as of yet, but his first message is interesting.

To him, the video was not about truth or accuracy but about fighting the "alleged gay agenda."

I personally fail to see what the Day of Silence has to do with alleged incidents in foreign countries. And anyone with good sense would fail to see the connection also.

But those on Dark Lord's side of the argument aren't necessarily known for their good sense.

UPDATE - Dark Lord answered me back and admits to a degree of exaggeration:

To a certain extent I agree with you. I know full well that not all gay activists are like those portrayed in the video, and to that extent the video is somewhat of an exaggeration, though no more than any typical political attack ad, which is basically what this video was intended as. The video is however accurate in exposing the fact that not all gay activists are as tolerant as they claim, and are fully capable of engaging in hateful behavior themselves, which is important to counteract the common view of conservatives as hateful bigots and liberals as paragons of tolerance.

I also disagree that there is no connection between the Day of Silence and prop 8. CRI is a Californian organization which also worked for the passage of prop 8, and you can bet many of the people making those calls and sending those emails (which were all authentic, btw) were the same people protesting prop 8. The Day of Silence and the response to prop 8 are very much connected the way I see it.

As far as the idea of a gay conspiracy, I fully recognize that there is no organized conspiracy of gays against Christians, but the gay lobby worldwide does have a fairly unified political agenda and both in other countries and the US that has included silencing any dissenting voices which object to homosexuality as normal. These other countries were also western democracies, and their laws started out as "hate crimes" legislation like we have in the US. Sure we have a constitution that protects free speech, but that only works as long as the courts are willing to follow it, which is why I'm not convinced the same thing can't happen here, and why I will continue to oppose all efforts to silence our voice.

At any rate, I know I'm not going to convince you, but maybe that will at least help you understand my perspective in making this video. I'm sorry you disagree with it, but that is your right. See you around.

Now I could go on a tangent like he did but I want to zero in on something that bothers me. This is my return message to Dark Lord's newest email:

You are going all over the place with these tangents regarding hate crimes and the alleged worldwide gay conspiracy. But I won't follow you up on it.

What bothers me basically is your admittance that the video is exaggerated. Don't you think it's bizarre to accuse gay activists of being hypocritical because some don't practice the tolerance that they claim to espouse when you aren't practicing the Christian tenet about truth that you want to portray yourself standing for?

Aren't you guilty of the same hypocrisy you have accused them of?

How can you defend Christian beliefs through a video which you have admitted makes exaggerated claims? Just when did it become appropriate for those who follow Christ to get their point across via cynical attack ads?

Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the light." He didn't say "I am the way, the truth and the light but feel free to exaggerate in my name when you are trying to talk to sinners."