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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Political Media: Giving the Crazy Social Conservatives a "Voice"

An Anti-Gay Voice:
U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R—Iowa)

A week ago, I watched CNN anchor Piers Morgan interview Michael Reagan—Republican strategist and the son of former President Reagan. Morgan interrogated Reagan about his views on gay marriage as expressed in an op-ed piece that Reagan wrote for the Ironton Tribune titled: "Churches: Time to fight back."

Morgan questioned Reagan's political tactics as expressed in the op-ed to equate same-sex marriage to polygamy, beastiality, and even murder. Reagan poorly defended his "slippery slope" argument against gay marriage in the interview, but the fact that people actually believe that gay marriage is similar to these abhorrent, criminal things is horrifying.

As a lesbian myself, I vehemently disagree with this bigoted, uninformed "slippery slope" argument that results in the assumption that gay people, like me, will end up marrying the Eiffel Tower?! Just so you know what I mean about "Eiffel Tower marriage"—click the following link to a YouTube video of Tamara Scott, a hardcore social conservative and former advisor to Michele Bachmann's 2012 campaign: Tamara Scott: Gay Marriage leads to Eiffel Tower Marriage

Like this video, right-wing views on marriage and their opposition to same-sex marriage can be comical and infuriating at the same time for social liberals like me. What's infuriating to me is that media outlets give those with anti-gay views equal speaking time to those who support gay equality—as if there's a compromise to be made somewhere in the middle?

I see gay rights as a civil rights issue, and while many people agree with that stance, there are plenty that disagree with me. If someone sees this through the lens of "civil rights" than the right thing to do is grant gays full equality. This is my main issue with the media and its portrayal of gay rights as an issue that has two "reasonable" sides that just happen to oppose each other. The media feels the need to equate, relate, and compare liberal views to conservative views, which establishes a sense of false equivalency. Some media outlets assume that there is a magical sweet spot in between arguments on the left and right to cure what ails politics these days, whether the issues are social, economic, or international. There is always a gray area for a media outlet that thrives off of false equivalencies. Can't some things just be black and white?

If you see gay rights as civil rights, the only proper course of action is to expand the benefits of marriage to gays and lesbians.

Yes, it's frustrating to see political media outlets like CNN give equal speaking time to those who oppose gay equality. But to be honest, maybe it's a blessing in disguise; it's becoming increasingly more difficult to argue against gay equality when it's one of the fastest moving (in support) social issues with the public.

With gay marriage in the spotlight due to the current Supreme Court cases (Proposition 8 and DOMA), elected Democratic officials have "evolved" from opposition to support at a rapid rate. Even Republican Senator Rob Portman from Ohio said he's evolved, with the assistance of his out gay son, and now supports gay marriage. As of today, there are only three Democratic Senators who have not yet evolved. Senator Portman is the first and only Republican in the U.S. Senate to vow support for gay marriage. Maybe he'll get the Republican side start to evolve...

So what's it going to take for our government officials to support gay equality? Well, using Senator Portman as an example, maybe everyone needs a gay son or daughter in the family to change their mind—however silly or sad that may sound. I believe that the more gays and lesbians come out, the more people who oppose gay marriage will be able to see the humanity in gay family members, friends, and neighbors. Once people see that gay people are normal human beings, just like them, they will start to head towards being supportive of gay rights.

I'm hopeful, and from personal experience, I know that my coming out encouraged people around me to get involved. My mother now interns for MassEquality—a gay rights advocating group. She's just as opinionated as I am on this issue (perhaps even more), and I am so proud of her. We need more of this, and I believe a more prosperous, equal future is coming to other gay people like me.

-Mikayla Galvin


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