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02/25/2008

We're shocked we can even write this headline without needing to go f**k something

by Jeremy Hooper

200802111227-1Earlier this month, we told you about a new book from anti-gay Texas governor Rick Perry, and we showed you some queer-antagonistic excerpts from the pages within. Well over the weekend, The NY Times Magazine ran a brief interview with Perry, in which he further elaborated on his unfortunate views regarding gays and the Boy Scouts. Check it out:

TIMES (Deborah Solomon): Which has been fighting the A.C.L.U., to keep gays out of the scouts. Why do you see that as a worthy cause?

PERRY: I am pretty clear about this one. Scouting ought to be about building character, not about sex. Period. Precious few parents enroll their boys in the Scouts to get a crash course in sexual orientation.

TIMES: Why do you think a homosexual would be more likely to bring the subject of sex into a conversation than a heterosexual?

PERRY: Well, the ban in scouting applies to scout leaders. When you have a clearly open homosexual scout leader, the scouts are going to talk about it. And they’re not there to learn about that. They’re there to learn about what it means to be loyal and trustworthy and thrifty.

TIMES: But don’t you think that homosexuals might also be interested in being loyal and thrifty?

PERRY: The argument that gets made is that homosexuality is about sex. Do you agree?

TIMES: No.

PERRY: Well, then why don’t they call it something else?

Okay, first off -- he's being disingenuous in regards to the scout's ban. It's not just against the leaders. Openly gay (as well as openly atheist) scouts are also banned under the short-sighted policy. So when Perry positions the barring as only applying to adults and frames it around the idea that kids would be confused if there was a 'mo in charge, he is overlooking the truth about the scouts' discrimination. Boys who talk about the "hot" girl in the blockbuster movie and all the smooches they'd like to give her are totally at home within the scouts' ranks, while boys who proudly objectify George Clooney's fine ass are kept at bay. This distinction is not insignificant.

But moving past Perry's misrepresentative ways and onto his heteorsexist outlooks: How DARE he suggest that the context clues in the word "homosexuality" imply a stronger connection to sex than do the ones within the word "heterosexuality." By what sense of irrational logic can he make such a suggestion?! We're talking about a four-letter difference between the two words, with "sex" not being the part that is altered. What, does the word "etero" have an etymological root meaning "love, companionship, and morals" while the word "omo" has a historical connection to "groups orgies in a backroom bar"?! Gee, we must've missed that in our study of Greek and Latin word history.

It would be unfortunate if anyone were making stigmatizing comments like the ones above. However, when you consider that this is a man who has been put in place to govern our nation's 2nd largest state, the words come across in a mind-numbingly painful manner. On the obvious level, Perry is encouraging his populace to keep gays in a marginalized box (in which they will do nothing but schtup each other all day). On an almost more enraging level, however, he is also encouraging irresponsible, unreasoned outlooks in the most aggressively ignorant of fashions. Even though we live in a world where Playboy and Maxim are heterosexual male staples and straight reality show contestants give BJs on camera (we're looking at you, Natalie from "Big Brother"), Perry is seriously suggesting that it's the gayswho are automatically, by virtue of both their nature and nomenclature, sex-crazed obsessives who would grant little kiddies their merit badges in proper lube usage. This sort of mindless bias is not something that should only be protested by the LGBT community. It is a cretinous view that should be loudly resisted by ANYONE who thinks a society is stronger when it uses its brain.

Troop Leader [NY Times]

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Your thoughts

I was in the Boy Scouts before I came out as transgender to my parents. It was something my Dad always wanted me to do. In those years before I came out, I didn't know at the time that the Boy Scouts were so closed-minded. I didn't even know they kicked out scouts that were gay, or otherwise 'displeased' them. However, looking back... This attitude was apparent in the leaders, and in the parents. I served as the troop leader for 6 months (my Mom asked me too)... The only reason why I was SPL was simply because no one else wanted to be it... And as an outcast as I was... No one wanted me to be the troop leader because I was ear marked as the 'different' one, but didn't know what that meant for me at the time.

The Boy Scouts, as a youth organization, needs to support all youth... Instead of ramming 'morality', God and heterosexuality down kids throats. But it's also the parents fault too.

Posted by: Kira | Feb 25, 2008 12:09:02 PM

I went through the whole Scout program as a youth, leader, volunteer and employee. The truly sad thing is that the organization can do so much good for so many boys, (I certainly did for me,) but their exclusionary policies are leave many kids behind. It's like a fly in an ice cream sunday.

The sad truth is that Scouting Executives view the organization as a business. Many of them don't really believe gays will be more likely to abuse scouts or be bad role models. They just don't want to alienate their biggest customer: The MORMON Church.

The Mormons have already set up their own parallel program to use in countries where "the values of the Scouting organization" do not match those of the church. They don't want to pull out of Scouting in the U.S., but the organization knows that they can and will if the Scouts get too "liberal" for them.

Posted by: GayMormonBoy | Feb 25, 2008 12:36:37 PM

This homophobic gubernatorial cracker nonsense could be ended if we would simply return ownership of Texas to Mexico, on or after 1-21-2009. Crawford resident and soon-to-be-ex-president G W Bush would be included in the bargain, as well as the state's judgmentally moronic governor.

Posted by: E | Feb 25, 2008 1:33:22 PM

"The argument that gets made is that homosexuality is about sex. Do you agree? ?"

Apparently being stupid is a requirement for being governor of Texas. I read this post about three hours ago, and I can't stop thinking about it, and it's not pleasant thoughts that I am having. The people that make that argument are the one's on the side of those wingnuts.

I don't call myself homosexual. I refer to myself as being gay or queer, but usually I don't use any of those terms. I'm just me. Yes, I am a man who is attracted to other men, but I cannot ignore the emotional aspect of my life. My partner snores like a buzz saw, he talks when I try to read, and he would forget his name if I weren't around to remind him. I think the bedroom floor is a hamper, no one has seen the top of my night stand in a decade (because of the stack of books), and he thinks that I'm the world's worse driver. If it were just sex, we would have killed each other several years ago. The fact that we love each other has prevented the mayhem. So yes Governor Perry, it is about sex, but it's also about so much else.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Feb 25, 2008 2:49:16 PM

Mike: If you're of a certain mindset, Perry's comments really are unbelievable. But what's extremely annoying is just how many people won't understand why they are so offensive.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 25, 2008 2:53:19 PM

"PERRY: Well, then why don’t they call it something else?"

And if he wasn't so think in the head, he might have realized that was a big reason for using GAY.

Posted by: Robguy | Feb 25, 2008 9:33:17 PM

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