As states like Delaware, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Illinois, and even Nevada march toward marriage equality, and former “ex-gay” stars like John Paulk disavow the movement and apologize for their role in it (and endure the ire of former industry friends), the religious right is pulling out all the stops to stem the tide that will leave them, once again, on the wrong side of history.
With their defeat imminent, their latest attempt to beat back the gay advance is a ham-fisted and ridiculous video produced by anti-gay group Faith2Action that mocks the very coming out process that is such a point of anguish and pain for so many gay and lesbian people. Instead of recognizing the heart-wrenching act of revealing one’s true self to those we love—and facing their possible rejection—the video depicts a man coming out as an (gasp) adulterer. Not just that, of course, but the man wants full acceptance from his wife and family:
“I have these desires, these urges, and if I don’t act on them, I’m not being true to myself,” the man says, invoking phrases often used to describe what it feels like to embrace one’s sexuality.
“If you love me, you’ll support what I do, who I am,” man continues before saying he’s an adulterer.
The cherry on top of this crap sundae is, of course, anti-gay advocate Peter LaBarbera making an appearance at the end to further compare being gay to being an alcoholic.
Those of us who have been on the frontlines of the “gay vs. Christian” debate have long endured the arguments from the religious right that being gay is sinful, but no more sinful than being an adulterer or an alcoholic, or a thief, or a liar—or a maker of bad parody videos.
Which is, of course, the sin committed here, both in filmmaking and theology. As theologians without agendas have long pointed out, there are large differences between homosexuality and, say, adultery in that adultery, by its very nature, breaks covenants and does often irreparable—mental, spiritual and sometimes physical—harm to those involved. Homosexuality, with its struggle to gain entry into marriage and enjoy the right to keep a job and a house despite that classification, seeks to do nothing of the sort. Instead, gay and lesbian people seek to enter into holy covenant with one another. Are there gay adulterers? Sure, but statistically speaking, they’ll always be vastly outnumbered by straight ones—and thankfully, there seems to be no advocacy groups popping up for them.
It’s at once amusing and embarrassing to see the religious right overreaching with a video like this, but it just goes to show that Faith2Action, NOM, and all their cohorts are becoming quite the experts at self-parody.