As recently as 25 years ago, an openly gay mayor would have seemed inconceivable to most people in Houston. A lot can change and we are now in the third term of Mayor Annise Parker,
the only one of the few openly gay mayors in America (Editor Note: as pointed out to us by readers, this is incorrect). Last week, it was announced Parker and her longtime partner, Kathy Hubbard, were married in Palm Springs, California, where it is legal.
There were years when Parker was on City Council and had the longest successful relationship of her peers, all of whom were straight. This included Rob Todd and Bert Keller, two ultra-conservative council members who found themselves embroiled in scandal when, in 2000, it was revealed Todd was sleeping with Keller's wife.
Today, we know the place everyone goes to vent about such things is social media. Predictably, those who oppose gay marriage -- and gays in general it would seem -- acted out online when they heard of Parker's nuptials. Just like those who used racial slurs to describe Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks after his post game rant on Sunday, there was plenty of fodder to be found criticizing the Mayor and her partner that was of a derogatory nature. Name callers have become so commonplace online, they are merely background noise at this point. But, there were others trying as hard as they could to push the same tired arguments about gays and same-sex marriage as well. The more of them I read, the more bizarre and antiquated they sounded.
This is the simplest and most childish of retorts to all things homosexual: it's gross. It would almost be elegant in its simplicity if it didn't sound like something that was uttered by a five year old. And given the massive amounts of porn floating around the Internet, sex tapes, violent horror movies (the most slasheriffic of which are referred to as "gorno"), nevermind the literally thousands of videos on YouTube of people popping pimples (yes, those exist) and doing all other manner of stomach-churning activities, I would think that two women getting married would be WAY down the list of things people would find "gross."
Think of the children!
There has been a long-running gag on The Simpson's where a woman in virtually every crowd where public policy is being decided yells out, "Won't somebody please think of the children!" It is a common rant coming from parents innocently trying to protect their children, yet it can go overboard. This is a collective delusion that parents share, believing they can someone "protect" their children from all the evils of the world. But, if your children are on the Internet, chances are, by now they know more about sex than you do, so your point is moot.
It's all part of the "gay agenda."
Conservative State Senator -- and former talk show host -- Dan Patrick was one of the first to call Mayor Parker's marriage a part of her bigger "agenda," a word conservatives have used for years to attempt to cloak gays in some sort of illuminati conspiracy, hell bent on turning everyone gay like. But, if this is truly some sort of plot, it is literally the least effective one ever devised. In most parts of the world, gays have barely any rights at all, something that has been highlighted by the Russian stance on homosexuality as we approach the Winter Olympics. In some countries, being gay is punishable by death. Clearly, this "agenda" has failed miserably as a strategy or we'd all be gay by now.
If you can't make babies, you shouldn't be married.
This one seems most parroted by older folks who grew up in a time when people still had lots of children. When my grandparents were growing up, they lived on farms. Their families literally needed help to keep them going. Kids were free labor. In the last 100 years, the birth rate per couple has dropped dramatically and there are an increasing number of couples who choose to remain childless. By the above logic, they should not be allowed to marry, which is why it shouldn't be considered logic in the first place.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
What's next, sex with hamsters?
Polygamy, pedophilia and, yes, even bestiality are all on the table when gays get their way, according to some. Not only is this offensive in its very suggestion, it's the same kind of ridiculous projection that infects pro sports' "on-pace" guy: "JJ Watt got four sacks in the first game of the season. He's on pace for a 50-plus sack year!" The same follow-an-act-to-its-logical-conclusion argument that says marijuana is a gateway drug. Of course, that would require that every weed smoker eventually end up a heroin junkie, and last time I checked, that wasn't the case.
Read the Bible!
This has been debated and bandied about so much, it isn't really even worth the discussion. The fact is, some people believe it and some don't. Some think the Bible is the incontrovertible word of God while others think it is just a really, really boring book (no offense, Deuteronomy). But, as many others have said, if you truly want to believe everything in the book, you can't dismiss the stuff you don't like -- eating shellfish is an abomination just like homosexuality, so stay away from the shrimp, Gulf coaster! -- while supporting the things you do. That would make you a hypocrite...or just an idiot.