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COMMENTARY: Ignorance is no “choice” for Tracy Morgan, Rick Santorum and Archbishop Nienstedt

The equal rights movement must be on a bullet train these days because the blowback from the opposition is stinking up the joint this week.

The Christian Right has been vigorously spreading a propaganda campaign globally to demonize LGBT people, finding great success in Africa, and now they are ramping up the lies and the distortions across the United States.

This week, three people who have zero connections to one another, have made headlines for their anti-gay comments. All three believe that being gay is a “choice.” To that I say, ignorance is not a choice.

Gay Inc. and grass-roots activists have focused most of their energy and anger on comic Tracy Morgan for his anti-gay stand-up act, while largely ignoring the equally ignorant and hurtful comments of Republican presidential candidates and the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Homophobe No. 1

Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt is a well-known homophobe. He has described homosexuality as a “result of psychological trauma” and “must be understood in the context of other human disorders: envy, malice, greed, etc.,” according to Wikipedia.

Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI, another homophobe, appointed Nienstedt as archbishop, Nienstedt discontinued the gay pride prayer service at St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis. How odd that he sits on the Roman Catholic Church’s Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

This week, the archbishop defended the Church’s decision to lobby for the amendment that would add a ban on same-sex marriage to the Minnesota Constitution. His lame argument? A gay marriage ban is not anti-gay, not mean-spirited, not prejudicial. Say what?

As usual, the archbishop cited faulty excuses for his beliefs.

“Pastorally, children flourish best in the context of having both a mother and a father. Every scientific study confirms this reality,” he wrote in the Archdiocese newspaper, Catholic Spirit.

It’s clear that Niestedt is not up-to-date on his scientific research. Dozens and dozens of studies in recent years have debunked that myth.
Nienstedt also endorsed the comments of Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, another noteworthy Catholic homophobe, who contends that allowing same-sex marriage in the Empire State will lead to legalization of polygamy and incest. Huh?

Homophobe No. 2

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, another homophobe with unwavering devotion to the anti-gay Roman Catholic doctrine, declared that he would support a federal constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

“I support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. I believe that marriage should be a consistent thing across the country. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” Santorum said.

“Once people realize the consequence to society of changing this definition — it’s not that we’re against anybody. People can live the life they want to live. They can do whatever they want to do in the privacy of their home with respect to that activity,” he said.

“But now you’re talking about changing the laws of the country. And it’s gonna have a profound impact on society, on faith, on education. And once people realize that, they say, you know what, we respect people’s right to live the life they want to lead but don’t try to fundamentally change how society functions by changing that definition,” Santorum said.

Again, this is pure hogwash. States that allow marriage equality are thriving, the sky hasn’t fallen and all those hysterical predictions haven’t come true.

Homophobe No. 3

Tracy Morgan doesn’t think he is a homophobe, but he needs a psychological evaluation quicker than a New York minute.

Here is his statement of apology after being widely criticized for his comedy routine in which he “joked” that he would stab his son, if he had one, if he told him he was gay.

“I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville. I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.”

You are darn tootin’ you went too far and it was so not funny.

When LGBT kids are being bullied and victimized all across the United States and the world, when teen suicide is at an all-time high, when politicians are finally trying to address the issue despite the furious resistance of the Christian Right, and when LGBT people are being MURDERED for just being who they are, your comedy routine is vile, disgusting and irresponsible.

Your lame apology is not accepted.

If you want to amend your monumental mistake, you need to take concrete actions to show your genuine remorse. Go visit a gravesite of someone’s child who was killed for being gay and give comfort to the loved ones left behind with all the unanswered questions. Give money to fight bullying. Or make a public service announcement denouncing bullying and homophobia.

And to Chris Rock. Shame on you for coming to the defense of Tracy Morgan. You have just lost mega respect in the LGBT community. This is not a free-speech issue. This is like shouting “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. It has crossed the line, and we’re not going to take it anymore.