The official reason that the anti-gay movement has come up with for opposing the televising of the Prop 8 trial is that they don’t want the evil gay people to assault the witnesses for the homophobic side by refusing to give them money. Oh, there were mentions of how the lack of privacy that comes with going public against gays brings death threats, but mainly the fear of boycott has been the big issue. But I’d argue that actually, it’s the humiliation of having absolutely ridiculous arguments that really concerns them. For instance, advocates for Prop 8 introduced a stunning new argument about why heterosexuality should be a precursor to marriage:
Then last week they came up with a novel defense: “We can also agree that men can’t breastfeed, and breastfeeding clearly has benefits for children in that it provides sources of immunity that are beneficial to children.”
As many fine folks on Twitter and Facebook pointed out, if the argument here is that breastfeeding is a mandatory part of parenting, and parenting is the reason that marriage exists, then this is an argument for why men need to be excluded from marriage, which leaves the door open for lesbian marriage but could arguably be used to suggest that straight marriage should be discouraged. Perhaps the state should reward you with rights depending on how many breasts for breast-feeding are in the marriage. One woman=two breasts=50% of marital privileges. Two women=four breasts=100% of privileges. Two men=no breasts=0% of privileges. Of course, under this system, marriages would also have to be based on whether or not children are produced, something you can’t know until after it actually happens, so I propose that no one be allowed to marry before giving birth. Mere promises to procreate shouldn’t be enough, since people renege or find themselves unable. Unfortunately, this new breast-based justification for marriage is going to run into some problems with the pink ribbon people, who will rightfully point out that while it may seem fair to only allow lesbians to marry, in the interests of children, it seems more than a little unfair to tell women who’ve had to have mastectomies that this should cut them off from marriage rights. Even people who believe sexual orientation is a choice won’t say that breast cancer is.
Sure, a breast-based system of marriage seems way more complicated and even more unfair than the current system, but better than causing the sexually immature to suffer the pains of knowing that married dudes do it to each other in the butt, right?
All tits and ass jokes aside—and don’t worry, this is Pandagon, they’ll never be dropped forever—this sort of non-argument is all the homophobes have left. No wonder they’re embarrassed! Of course, most people experiencing this level of shame at their own intellectual vapidity just fold up shop and move on. But, in the immortal words of many, many mortals, haters gotta hate. Even apparently at the expense of their own dignity, though they clearly hope by not airing this trial, they can cling to what’s left of it. Unfortunately, those who honestly feel they have a right to say completely foolish things without being held accountable were, unshockingly, too stupid to realize that merely blocking the airing of the trial wouldn’t be enough. For one thing, there’s literate people who can write down the stupid things they say. But this showdown is happening in California, which is the home to more folks per square foot who are experts at communicating without any need for audience literacy than anywhere else in the country, and therefore there’s going to a series of YouTube videos reenacting the trial, performed by actors. And that breastfeeding line will be one of those that an actor is going to enjoy saying a lot more than the asshole who initially thought it up.