…you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military… –Rick Perry
As a Tejano, I shouldn’t be surprised by many of the things that Perry says or does, but the last few months have even me scratching my head (and somewhat ashamed when friends remind me that he’s the Governor of Texas). I mean, how many dumb things can someone say and still expect to sit in the Oval Office (oh, never mind, I forgot about the Governor of Texas that preceded him)?
If you’re anything like the 685,000+ people who have made Rick Perry’s ‘Strong’ one of the most ‘Disliked’ videos (ever) on youtube, you probably also said something like, “Wait, did he really just say that?” after hearing his opening pitch. Personally, I was just dumbfounded that people are still this homophobic and heterosexist in 2011.
Aside from Perry, there’s also Rick Santorum who believes that same-sex marriage is partly to blame for the drop in marriage rates. Michele Bachmann is another candidate who, honestly, kind of scares me. To her, anyone that is not heterosexual suffers from some kind of sexual identity disorder. I kinda wish she could have repeated that to this eight-year-old kid.
I could go on about each GOP candidate and their views on LGBT issues, but I think you get the idea (Perry, Santorum, and Bachmann, sorry to have only picked on you all, wink). You could make a strong argument that there are more pressing issues that these candidates must tackle (like our economy, budget, Afghanistan, Iraq), should they find themselves in the Oval Office. Maybe a particular candidate isn’t the most understanding/tolerant of non-heterosexual sexual orientations, but that won’t necessarily make her/him a bad President, would it?
Maybe, maybe not.
Perhaps the most telling of all of this, is that it really has a lot to say about us as a society, and how much work we still have to do in regards to heterosexism. Imagine one of these candidates talking about race the way they do about sexuality (and yes I know they’re two completely different types of identities). None of them would still be in the running for the GOP Presidential nod, yet these candidates still have a chance. They are, after all, simply echoing what many in this country believe to be true.
As a young child, I was shocked when I first learned that there were once laws prohibiting a Black person from marrying a White person. Why the heck did the government care if two people from different races loved each other and wanted to marry? It just didn’t make sense to me at the time.
Decades from now, I think my kids will say the same about same-sex marriage. They may not believe me, but if they don’t, I’ll have plenty of articles and youtube videos from the 2012 Republican Presidential candidates as proof.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.