Lots of news right now about two Bushies — Rove and Roberts, and that’s as it should be, but sometimes when this happens you fall into a kind of news overload; two important stories can take up all your attention span. So I wanted to give a short update on some of the other things going on in the world of gay news.
Let’s see. There’s the story of a gay teen who was forcibly sent to a Tennessee camp to change his sexual orientation. His father has now come forth to admit that, sure, he sent his kid to that camp. Why not? Who wants a gay son? Why not give the child the worst summer of his life instead of some love? Never mind that no health care professional believes this can happen; even conservative psychologist Martin Seligman, in his excellent book What You Can Change and What You Can’t, states that sexual orientation is fixed. But who cares about reality?
Out of Michigan comes the story of a pizzeria in Ann Arbor with a gay pride rainbow sicker on its front door. A customer, and member of a catholic student parish, is now leading a boycott against the pizza parlor because he finds the rainbow flag offensive. After all, isn’t it Christian to try to destroy one man’s small business because you don’t like the fact that he’s tolerant of others?
Then there’s the story from D.C., where a prominent black leader has been demonizing gays and lesbians in his sermons — Rev. Willie Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church, warns that… “Sisters [are] making more money than brothers and it’s creating problems in families…that’s one of the reasons many of our women are becoming lesbians.” Wilson added, “Last year my son tried to go to the prom. He said, ‘Dad, I ain’t got nobody to take to the prom because all the girls in my class are gay. Ain’t but two of ’em straight, and both of them ugly.’”
Meanwhile, Rick Santorum, perhaps the most intolerant member of the Senate, turns out to have a gay chief of staff/communications director. When asked how a gay man could speak for someone with Santorum’s record of homophobia, Robert Traynham said “Senator Santorum is a man of principle, he is a man who sticks up for what he believes in.” Hmm. There has to be word for a gay Uncle Tom. Uncle Bruce? Mr. Traynham wins the weekly Uncle Bruce award.
And a piece of interesting news: Although critics of gay marriage say it threatens the institution of marriage, it turns out that the divorce rate is increasing for other reasons. Steven P. Martin, Ph.D., a professor of sociology at The University of Maryland-College Park, has just completed an exhaustive study of marriage and divorce; it shows that divorce is directly correlated to a lack of education. From 1970 to the 1990s, divorce rates declined by approximately one-half among recipients of a bachelor’s degree. By contrast, divorce rates were high and remained essentially constant among women without a bachelor’s degree. It’s not about homosexuality. It’s about education.
By the way, the one state in the US where same-sex marriage is legal — Massachusetts — has the lowest divorce rate in the country.