Yes, homophobes, your straight neighbors are Doing It

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 14:25 EDT
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The Sexist reports on this story that PFOX (a major “ex-gay” organization that exists primarily to hoodwink people, especially conservatives with gay relatives, into thinking that it’s a choice) is pushing about a woman who is filing a complaint because her daughter’s “innocence” was destroyed because the girl’s teacher not only married a woman but didn’t hide this fact from her students. In other words, the teacher behaved as if she was equal to straight people, and allowed to be out of the closet about her marriage. From the PFOX press release:

Our first-grader astonished her father at the end of the past school year as he dropped her off at our local Washington DC public school, Horace Mann Elementary, where he had attended school in the early 60s. She relayed to him that her teacher announced her impending marriage—to another woman—to the class. Following her revelation, this teacher encouraged questions from the children…..

Most parents would not consider a Q&A session with first-graders about homosexual marriage as an “age-appropriate” discussion. After our daughter’s revelation, we lodged a complaint with Chancellor Rhee’s office, requesting an investigation, and asking what department in the DC Government we can appeal to for restoration of our child’s sense of innocence? We are still awaiting feedback from the school on whether there is a Teacher’s “Code of Conduct” and what D.C. policy is on “age appropriate” sexuality education.

This entire story causes non-nutty people to ask a basic question: How does knowing that there are same-sex couples out there ruin a child’s innocence, when the existence of heterosexual couples doesn’t? There are a number of possible theories. The woman in this case references the belief that gays recruit, which implies that she now thinks her daughter will give into the urge to be gay now that she’s been made aware that it’s an option (since hysterical homophobes seem to think the only thing that keeps people straight is ignorance or an act of will, probably so they can congratulate themselves for it, which is like congratulating yourself for breathing). Or perhaps she just means that gay people have an obligation to hide away, so that their kids don’t question their parents’ claims that gays aren’t real people. In this case, “innocence” is a euphemism for a child’s compliance with parental bigotry. But the woman also indicated that she believes that knowing that there are same-sex marriages like there are opposite-sex marriage constitutes a form of “sexuality education”. Setting aside the question of whether or not it’s so great to keep children ignorant of the existence of sex (leaving them vulnerable to sexual predators), one can at least point out that this is the traditional use of the word “innocence”. But if that’s what this woman really means, then you have to ask the question: how is a gay marriage teaching kids about the existence of sex when a heterosexual marriage isn’t? Is there something just more sexual about two people of the same sex being together? If you believe this, do you keep your children ignorant of the existence of locker rooms, public restrooms, and platonic same-sex friendships? No, I don’t imagine that’s what it is.

There’s only one possibility left: Social conservatives don’t believe in sex after marriage.

We know they’re against sex before marriage and outside of marriage. And they claim that they support sex within marriage, of course. But obviously, they don’t really believe that it happens that much, or else they’d believe that traditional, opposite-sex marriage is as much a sexual institution as same-sex marriage. But gay people are this foreign, scary group of people whose sexual behavior obsesses social conservatives, and so they’re forced to get that same-sex couples who marry probably Do It. Unlike apparently themselves. So same-sex marriage is sexual in a way that opposite-sex marriage is basically chaste, with very infrequent and shameful encounters to create the children whose innocence must be protected.

Clearly, the solution to the opposition to same-sex marriage is simple: Break the silence. Married straight people, it’s time to speak up. Let the homophobes know that you have sex within your marriages. Let them know that there’s nothing asexual about many heterosexual couplings, and indeed those sniggering jokes at weddings about the honeymoon aren’t about all the crazy photographs you’ll be taking of each other in front of tourist attractions. Apparently, homophobes were unaware that those Victoria’s Secret ads encouraging men to buy their wives lingerie aren’t doing so with the intention of making sure said wives lay down a nice foundation for their adorable outfits, and that some men regularly see their wives naked. Perhaps some statistics could be crunched to show that a great deal of contraception is used by married couples, proving that they have sex for pleasure, and not just to make innocent children. It’s time to let conservatives know that queen and king size beds sell so well not just because some people like to spread out, but because actual heterosexual married couples sleep together.

Indeed, the world is swimming in sexual heterosexual marriages, and somehow, the children are just fine. If only social conservatives knew, they’d drop their objections to same-sex marriage, right? If not, I’m forced to conclude that this “children’s innocence” crap is just a ruse, and that they are nasty people who are using their children as cover for their bigotry.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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