|SC Sen Mike Fair|
And it doesn't bode well for the state.
Originally, the controversy was about the SC State House taking away $70,000 collectively from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate. The amount adds up to the how much the two colleges spent on the gay-themed books which they assigned students. The legislators claimed that the books, Fun Home and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio doesn't represent SC community value and were pornographic.
But now the situation is centering around a now canceled lecture at the University of South Carolina Upstate. The lecture titled, “How to be a lesbian in 10 days or less" is a satirical and comedic one-woman show by Leigh Hendrix which dealt with coming out.
However, lawmakers raised a fuss about the lecture, claiming that it was "recruiting" students to be gay. One lawmaker in particular, Sen. Mike Fair of Greenville, had this to say:
“That's not an explanation of 'I was born this way.’ It's recruiting.”
So now, thanks to Sen. Fair, various nationwide media have picked up the story and few, including the Huffington Post, are tongue-in-cheek with their coverage. The majority of them are focusing on the ridiculous notion that a lecture could actually make someone gay.
And Sen. Fair, not unlike the main character in the fable The Mischievous Dog, continues to publicly comment about the lecture and homosexuality, totally oblivious as to how ridiculous South Carolina looks every time he opens his mouth.
Recently, he was interviewed by a local independent newspaper, The Free Times. During the interview, Sen. Fair had some very interesting things to say about lgbt South Carolinians:
Fair — a staunch religious conservative who believes homosexuality is morally wrong — says that while Americans have inalienable rights, glorifying homosexuality at taxpayers’ expense is not one of them. When Free Times pointed out that homosexuals pay taxes, too, as do the families of gay college students, Fair suggested they are also lawbreakers. He pointed to an antiquated state law against “the abominable act of buggery.” While the law is not enforced and homosexuality is not exactly illegal, Fair admits, he says it is still immoral and unhealthy.
Believe it or not, Fair continues:
Doesn’t morality extend to teaching tolerance of homosexuality in a free society? Isn’t that what USC Upstate and the College of Charleston were trying to accomplish? “I don’t believe that,” he says. Actually, he said, homosexuals “lack security in their conviction that what they’re doing is okay.”
When Sen. Fair talks about "what homosexuals are doing," he is talking about sex. Or more specifically, what he imagines sexual intercourse is between two men because usually when folks like Sen. Fair start hinting about "gay sex," men having sex with each other seems to always be the direction they head to. Apparently to them, lesbians never have sex.
And when folks like Fair hint that "gay sex" is "immoral and unhealthy," they are usually speaking in vague terms about either cherry-picked Centers for Disease Control studies from anti-gay sites or junk studies - usually from the same sites - involving anal sex, poop, and gerbils.
That's right. I said gerbils.
That's what this issue is all about - someone's fevered idea of man-to-man sex and the indignity of having your life reduced to cater to that fevered idea.
If you really gave it some intelligent thought, Sen. Fair's classification of lgbt South Carolinians is not only unfair and insulting. It's downright bizarre. I mean is that what he thinks of a segment of the population he has sworn to serve? That somehow in between wild, passionately immoral, unhealthy bouts of sex, gay male South Carolinians go into a state of suspended animation while normal things such as working, paying the bills, taking care of our families and children, or handling general crises is taken care of for us by robots?
Okay, I admit that's taking Sen. Fair's comments too far but it serves to prove my point. In this entire controversy, none of the fault lies with the colleges, the gay-themed books, lgbt South Carolinians, or even the canceled lecture.
The fault lies with Sen. Fair and those who have his mindset. Certainly Sen. Fair and the rest of the warring legislators have a right to their personal religious beliefs. But that right shouldn't shield the from criticism when their behavior makes them look like a bunch of braying jackasses and brings mockery on the state.
And there is something more which needs to be said. When any legislator has such an ugly and warped view of any portion of the people he/she has sworn to serve, he/she needs to be called out on it.
I seriously wonder does Sen. Fair or any of his colleagues know any South Carolina lgbt families? Have they spent time with these families? Do they talk to these taxpayers like they would heterosexual taxpayers?
The rest of the nation may be laughing at South Carolina, but I'm not. I don't like it when those whose salaries are being paid by my money aren't looking out for my interests because they are busy playing God and judging my life based upon their own ignorance.
Whether or not that ignorance is religiously based is irrelevant. It's still ignorance and it's wrong.
The only good thing that will come out of this entire situation is maybe folks will understand the need not only for the gay-themed books at the heart of the matter, but also the lecture.
Because now people can understand what lgbt South Carolinians have to deal with.