Emails are flying and phone calls are being made to sponsors about Rick and Bubba's anti-LGBT Pride rant. Some are questioning what the big deal is, after all, its a free country and we have freedom of speech here.
No one denies that. Let the phobic minority spin the scriptures and rally their armies all they want. That's not the real issue.
On the other side of the country the closing arguments in the Prop 8 trial took place yesterday. By all counts, Ted Olson hit a home run, and the Prop 8 defender Charles Cooper struck out.
I kept up throughout the day by following the closing arguments on Prop 8 Trial Tracker where live blogging by several fast typists kept me informed.
Kate Kendall from the National Center for Lesbian Rights was in the courtroom, and in her remarks afterwards, she made a very good point.
"...Yes, people feel uncomfortable about gay people. Yes, people may be nervous about, gosh, if their kids think its ok for gay people to marry maybe they'll think about being gay. But you know what, we just have to deal with all those issues. We have to have those conversations. We have to show them real data. And people have to understand, it's OK to be gay. And that was really the central thrust of what Ted Olson was saying....The entire push behind Prop 8 was to say that being gay is not OK. Its bad, its something to be afraid of, its something we don't want our kids to be exposed to. and it was that motive, those emotions, that voters brought with them to the ballot box when they passed Prop 8."
Hear her comments following the closing arguments, including the part I quoted.
That pretty much explains why combating Rick and Bubba is important.
Attitudes in this state need to change. People here in Alabama agree with the 2008 voters in California.
It is not OK to be gay.
And Rick and Bubba perpetuate this message. Rick Burgess may claim that the message was to his like minded Biblical World View Christians.
But the airwaves reach mom's of gay children driving in their cars. Quite possible a questioning kid is in the back seat hearing it. "It's not OK to be gay", the mom and her son hear. The son decides to hide his feelings from his mom. He has no one to turn to.
Whether one is a progressive Christian or is not, we should not accept the hurtful (notice I said "hurtfull", not "hateful") message of religious right wingers to spread their message unchallenged.
Changing the conversation from, "It's not OK to be gay", to "It's OK to be gay," is the name of the game. And Rick and Bubba win the game, if we don't fight.
And if we lose the fight, the young man who feels that he can't talk to his mom, may end up like Bobby did in Prayers for Bobby. (A true story)