Host Waymon Hudson sits down with Law Professor Anthony Niedwiecki to discuss the anti-gay myth that has been blocking LGBT equality progress for decades: the dangerous and debunked “Save Our Children” argument that gays are somehow dangerous to children. It is a narrative that we see far too often in political discourse, cultural issue debates, and current legal fights.
But first, as a community still struggling for equality, it is important to always check in to see what our opponents are saying even as momentum continues to move our way. In doing so, we can shine a light on these “dispatches from the wrong side of history…”
In this segment, we take a quick look at televangelist Pat Robertson as he recently weighed in on the possible lifting of the Boy Scout’s ban on openly gay scouts and leaders. Using his platform from the Christian Broadcasting Network, Robertson claimed that if the Scouts lift the ban on gays, we will see “predators as Boy Scouts, pedophiles who will come in as Scoutmasters.”
Leave it Pat Robertson to so perfectly embody the anti-equality voice from the wrong side of history on this episode’s topic so perfectly…
Looking at the just how deeply ingrained this damaging “Save Our Children” narrative has become in our culture proves just how much more work needs to be done in our fight for LGBT equality. The idea that our community is in any way harmful to children not only affects every issue facing us, from marriage to employment discrimination, but it also dehumanizes us and devalues our families.
While we have seen fast and dramatic movement in both public opinion and political action when it comes to supporting LGBT equality, we also still see the red herring argument continuously pop up in political and cultural debates on our rights, from amicus briefs filed in the current Supreme Court cases to media segments discussing the Boy Scouts.
A new report from Political Research Associates called “The Right’s Marriage Message: Talking Tolerance, Marketing Inequality,” reveals the impact of the “Save Our Children” argument used by equality opponents and how we can continue to weaken its efficacy. The report showed that during California’s 2008 Prop 8 campaign and Maine’s Question 1 campaign in 2009, nearly every anti-LGBTQ advertisement warned voters that legalizing same-sex marriage would force public schools to discuss LGBTQ relationships and sexual behavior with children- arguments that propelled both anti-equality ballot measure to victory. Yet in the fall 2012 election, fewer than half the ads in the four state ballot measures featured “Save Our Kids” messaging, and often as only a side note to the main theme- and all of those campaigns lost.
This clearly shows that our civil rights struggle isn’t just about the important fight for passing laws and pushing court cases, but also about educating our fellow Americans about our lives, our families, and our values. We MUST continue to point out and combat this long ago disproven narrative with our own stories of love. Only with constant vigilance, continued political and legal pressure, and perhaps most importantly, VISIBILITY can we relegate this offensive and damaging narrative to the dust bins of history, where it belongs.
And that’s Waymon’s Wrap Up.
You can join our discussion and ask me questions on twitter with the hashtag #WaymonWrapUp and on our “Critical Thinking” Facebook page, where you can see exclusive behind the scenes photos and information about our show. And be sure to join us here on Gay TV on Go for new episodes of Critical Thinking and other great shows for the LGBTQ community.
As always, I’m your host Waymon Hudson reminding you that when it comes to LGBT politics, you can always use a little more Critical Thinking.”