Monday, May 5, 2008

The Language of Bigots: Some Greatest Hits

One thing I have noticed during the course of reading anti-gay writings is the.... odd and unintentionally humorous language that bigots use when describing gay people and the dreaded gay agenda.

After a recent example of this I thought it would be most prudent to make a list of some of these "Greatest Hits" in the Language of Bigots.

Here we go:

1. "Open-Mouth Homosexual Kissing"

Lesbian blogger Pam Spaulding recently noted the American Family Association's (AFA) weird and funny call for action against Proctor and Gamble for showing a gay couple kiss during their soap opera As the World Turns.

This humorous headline accompanying the AFA action alert was this:

"Procter & Gamble promotes explicit open-mouth homosexual kissing"

They're a quaint bunch at the AFA, aren't they?

What's even more funny is that despite the fact that open-mouth homosexual kissing is so terribly, horribly, not good the AFA posts a link to view the "open-mouthed" kiss. To be fair, this dire caution accompanies the link:

"WARNING – content is repulsive!"

I always find it odd when anti-gay groups link, and thereby promote, the very examples of pro-gay behavior that they find so immoral and disgusting. This behavior can be likened to those who taste something they think is gross and then immediately say "here, taste this" to a friend. But seriously, the AFA is castigating a media company for showing two men kissing while simultaneously making available a video showing two men kissing. Ironically, it's a video that many AFA members perhaps would have never otherwise seen!

The million-dollar question is whether it is all homosexual kissing that is repulsive or if that label only applies to the open-mouthed homosexual kissing?

2. "ACLU lawyers and their comrades in the Homosexual, Radical Feminist (Abortion) and Porn Lobbies"

This quote is from one of my un-favorite groups Americans for Truth [sic] About Homosexuality. Let's first note how, within the quote, all of these so-called "enemies" of America social conservatives are grouped together into one amorphous liberal blob despite the fact that these lobbies are far from monolithic groups and often, in fact, have opposing stances on issues.

Ironically, this gem of a phrase comes from an article where Peter LaBarbera who purports to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth about homosexuality is lying about an amicus brief the ACLU submitted. Specifically, Peter takes an out-of-context quote, edits it so the meaning is changed, and falsely declares that the ACLU is defending "DEVIANT SEX IN PUBLIC BATHROOMS as a privacy right."

In actuality, if one were to read the amicus brief, one would know that the ACLU was defending the right for a person to, in public, invite another person to have sex in private. That's all. No public banging. Just public asking. "Minor" details.

But more to the point of the quote, we can see how LaBarbera's dishonest propaganda has the potential to create, in the minds of ordinary Americans, an unreal, yet very scary monolithic group of radical, leftist, communist extremists who are out to destroy America, attack Christianity, and have the sodomy with each other in bathrooms in front of The Children (tm).

Good times.

3. Overuse of Scare Quotes

Okay, so this one isn't a quote per se. It's more of a statement on the interesting way that uber-conservative groups use quotation marks. Oftentimes, these groups use scare quotes- which, as Wikipedia tells us, are quotes that are used for purposes other than to identify a direct quotation. They are often used in debate to indicate "scorn, sarcasm, or irony" particularly when the speaker finds another person's word usage to be questionable or wrong. Conservative groups use scare quotes a lot.

Gay people, for instance, aren't gays, they're "gays" in the eyes of anti-gay groups. Everyone knows that gay people are really supposed to be called homosexuals, perverts, or deviants.

Gay marriage isn't gay marriage, it's homosexual "marriage." Everyone simply knows that gay people can't get married because marriage isn't for gay people. That's why whenever conservatives talk about homosexual "marriage," quotes are necessary.

Families headed by same-sex couples aren't families, they're unnatural "families."

You see, scare quotes are a way to own the ability to label people and experiences. It's something anti-gay groups do that tells us, as non-heterosexuals, that our experiences in the world are not valid or legitimate. Our experiences, our families, and our relationships belong between quotation marks because they aren't as real as the heterosexual experience. In their arrogance, these bigots wrongly believe that they hold a monopoly on The Authentic and Legitimate Human Experience.

But, you see, we can play this game too. And, in my bloggings I try to do it as much as possible. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, for instance, more appropriately becomes Americans for "Truth" About Homosexuality. Family values become "family values." Respect and love for the human dignity of all people becomes, more accurately, "respect" and "love" for "all" people.

Good times.

Stay tuned for more "fun" bigot hits.

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