Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Brilliant" Warning Flaunts Animus

[TW: Homophobia, gender policing]

Reacting to Gay Days at Disney World, Christian group Florida [Heteronormative] Family Association (FFA) recently paid for an aircraft to fly near the theme park pulling a banner that read: "Warning Gay Pride Day@Disney Today"

David Caton, executive director of FFA then boasted that, according to his group's observations, "[t]here was a defininte, drastic reduction of mainstream families there." The Christian Post article doesn't provide a statement from Disney confirming this alleged reduction. The article also fails to provide a statement from Caton saying what his group's ultimate goal was with respect to the sign. Apparently, why "mainstream families" require such a warning is a self-evident bit of common sense that requires no further explanation.

The head of another "family" group, however, shared his insight. John Stemberger, who called the warning "brilliant" and who is president of the Florida [Heteronormative] Family Policy Council, explains:

"For Stemberger, his problem with Gay Days at Disney is how attendees 'flaunt' their sexuality when children are around, and that Disney allows the event to take place during normal business hours when other groups have to come in after hours to hold their events.

'No one is saying they don’t have a right to do it. The issue is why doesn’t Disney warn the parents and say this is Gay Day? We do that with movies, we do that with records. Why not do it with a theme park?' questioned Stemberger. 'Or they can just close the whole thing off and do it in the evening and let them have unbridled debauchery. They don’t have to do it during the day … where there are thousands of children around that have to be exposed to this behavior.'”

Unbridled debauchery. Lulz. I think anti-gays think most gay people's lives are much more exciting than they really are. Stemberg continues:

“'It’s not just the fact that it’s gay,' asserted Stemberger. 'You have to understand that it is the activity that is going on, the kissing, the inappropriate dress, the immodest and purposely provocative cross-dressing that goes on at the park.'”

Oh, so it's not just the kissing, it's the kissing that's gay that's the problem. And, it's not that the gays are prancing around naked or that the lesbians are engaging in competitive carpetmunching contests on Space Mountain, it's more that some of the people are wearing the clothes that have been arbitrarily assigned by society to the "opposite" sex.

Got it.

On a serious note, I think the FFA did a real service to the LGBT cause with their warning. For one, it warned away homobigots of the "I don't have a problem with gays, I just don't want to see them flaunting it by holding hands, pushing strollers, or kissing each other like how straight people do all the time" sorts of bigots from Gay Days- ensuring a more tolerant atmosphere for LGBT attendees.

And two, it perfectly illustrates the animus behind bans on same-sex marriage and other anti-gay measuers, an animus that professional "marriage defenders" deny exists in the real world.

By their own words, actions, and very large airplane banners, these Nice Civil Christian groups make it abundantly clear that the driving force behind many of their activities is the notion that, because we're immoral, depraved, dangerous, and unworthy of the same human dignity they grant to "mainstream" families, same-sex couples and LGBT people must be stigmatized and avoided by normal people.

No comments: