Very few things piss me off more than seeing desperate propagandists looking to monopolize on the people that they generally denigrate or ignore. This is often done with queer people these days, as LGBT citizens continue to gain mainstream acceptance and it becomes less acceptable to simply demonize them (though Rand Paul’s two forays into inter-racial relations is another good example). So instead, they’re used as props when it’s convenient to some other cause.
Perhaps the best example is the whole existence of groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans, which I’ve written about before and serve as little more than living embodiments of the Appeal to Worse Problems. No matter what matters to gay people, LCR and GOProud’s argument is always that they should suck it up and deal because jobs and guns and freedom and stuff. The arguments are often laughable, silly, and completely divorced from any awareness of even recent history. These groups don’t actually care about the rights of gay people, they care about giving members of their party the ability to say, “I have gay friends” when they say something particularly homophobic.
Now, with the gun rights debate still raging pretty hot, we have, of all organizations, Fox Nation and The Daily Caller writing about how the proposed legislation might limit the rights of gay gun owners because if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage, it’s more difficult for them to transfer ownership to their partners.
Take a minute to really let that sink in.
Equality Matters has this to say about how genuine the concern for gay gun owners seems.
Fox Nation has a history of demonizing LGBT equality, including attacking President Obama for calling on the U.N. to protect victims of LGBT violence. It previously criticized an immigration judge for halting the deportation of a gay man who is married to an American citizen, and when Obama announced his support for marriage equality last May, Fox Nation warned, “OBAMA FLIP FLOPS, DECLARES WAR ON MARRIAGE.”
The Daily Caller’s sudden support for LGBT equality seems no more sincere. The publication typically concerns itself with LGBT issues only when they can be used as an excuse to advocate for anti-gay causes and politicians. Earlier this month, the Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher suggested that marriage equality might lead to fathers marrying their sons for tax purposes.
This is, of course, absolutely correct. Both conservative outlets have, like almost every conservative outlet, derided and degraded queer people for years. They are against every single other right that a queer person may have except for the right to transfer their firearms to one another at will.
Now, any sensible person would look at this ridiculous argument and say, “Well, if you would simply allow same-sex marriage, the problem with legal gun transfers is solved and you can still require universal background checks.” But that wouldn’t fly at Fox and the DC, because the LGBT population is not composed of people, to them. It’s composed of props that can bear whatever characteristics are necessary to score political points with their ever-shrinking demographic. And when I see pathetic attempts to use the hard work that myself and people much better than me have done to foster queer acceptance in the mainstream culture in order to play to the sympathies of people who are not as rigidly homophobic as the writer, that makes me righteously furious.
I am nobody’s Hail Mary pass. Just because appealing to the care and concern that so many people have died to achieve might make you think it’ll get people to your side on this one issue does not mean that the vast majority have forgotten your previous rejection of that care and concern. It’s a cynical exploitation of people who have suffered at the hands of these montebanks, and nobody is buying it.