For years, antigay activists have been making our lives miserable by doing everything in their power to stop marriage equality and any other remotely related LGBT cause. Well, the joke’s on them after the conservative majority Supreme Court put the kibosh on their persecution dreams (not to mention their salaries)! But what happens now that they’ve lost, big time?
Can we just ignore them and move on with our lives? Forgive and forget? Or do we need to stay on-guard to make sure they don’t continue to threaten us or anyone else in the future? Do we demand an apology for impugning and attacking us over generations of hate? Do we hold them accountable for the very real damage their propaganda has inflicted?
Well, the answer is complicated. What’s probably called for is a mix: a little forgiveness, a little forgetting, and a little revenge. Defeat is only the beginning of their humiliation.
Each of these people has a different but horrendous past with marriage equality, and we’ll probably want to deal with each one accordingly.
Here are the ten biggest losers of the marriage equality debate…
1. Maggie Gallagher
Remember a time when Maggie was the source of much of the anti-gay rhetoric out there? These days she’s calmed down and assumed a more inconspicuous profile. You might even have forgotten she even exists. Oh, sure, she’ll pop up every now and then online in a blog post or a news article. But in general, she’s decided to leave the gays alone, so we might as well leave her alone too. There are bigger fish to fry.
(Also, guilty confession: we kind of like Maggie. She’s a genuinely funny writer. If she ever decides to make more noise again, this time with any luck without the malice, we look forward to reading and debating her work.)
2. Brian Brown, Maggie’s sidekick
Ah, now this jerk’s worthy of a bit more attention. Brian’s continued to push anti-gay rhetoric long after it was clear that it was no longer acceptable to do so, not to mention just plain wrong, and what’s worse is that now he’s trying to spread it overseas to Putin’s Russia. Careful, Brian — that’s a very dangerous game, playing fire with violent thugs, as Scott Lively has learned. (See next point.) By all means, let’s keep the pressure up to expose Brian Brown as a dangerous bigot. Of course, now that he’s nearly out of a job, it shouldn’t be long before we’ve seen the last of him. Who will fund lobbying that is now impossible? Well, maybe he should move to Russia.
3. Scott Lively
We don’t need to worry about this guy for the time being, since the government is taking care of him for us. Lively has been a source of dreadful hate-speech for decades, most notably as the author of a book that claims gays are responsible for the Holocaust rather than victims of it. Of all the ludicrous claims, how did he come up with that one?! He finally went one step too far when he contributed to Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill, and now he’s being tried for crimes against humanity. He’ll be back, but at least he’s distracted for the time being.
4. Mathew Staver
Founder of Liberty Counsel, Staver is responsible for the lawyering in some of the most heinous antigay cases in history. Liberty Counsel is representing Scott Lively, and has defended ex-gay torture camps. He hasn’t been particularly successful with his litigation, but he’s still a significant threat since he’s smart (in an evil way) and very well funded. Like a cornered animal, he’s now extra-dangerous.
5. Chuck Cooper
Going back to the ’90s, Cooper has sided with anti-gay groups in court, defending marriage bans in one state after another. But something changed in recent years, and he seems to have found a heart: after the Prop 8 case was decided agains him (he mustered only half-hearted defense of an indefensible law), he revealed to journalist Jo Becker that he has a lesbian step-daughter and that, in fact, he would attend her wedding. Since then, he’s been remarkably quiet, and if we were to guess, we’d suppose that he’s finally come around. Good for him. If you see Chuck Cooper out and about, give him a friendly wave. We’d like to see a more public proclamation, and even some accountability and an apology, but we need to remember that it’s not always easy for people, let alone conservatives, to admit they are wrong.
6. Tony Perkins
Tony ought to be tried along with Scott Lively for crimes against humanity. Of course he’s defended ex-gay abuse. Of course he’s compared same-sex couples to Nazis. Of course he said that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem.” Tony has tirelessly spread lies about us and made LGBT youth feel like dirt, and his heart is entirely black. Unfortunately, every victory for equality is also a victory for Tony, because he’s a master of spinning defeats to his advantage for fundraising purposes. The org that give him a platform to spread propaganda, Family Research Council, is not going away any time soon. He’ll be active against transgender equality, he’ll be raising money to defeat the federal gay rights legislation. He’ll be right there for antigay conservatives candidates everywhere.
7. John Eastman
Imagine that scene in Airplane! when Lloyd Bridges is sniffing glue. That’s basically what John Eastman looks like all the time. Possibly one of the comedically worst legal minds in the antigay establishment, under Eastman’s leadership the National Organization for Marriage has bled money and failed to rack up really any victories in years. Students from his own school have turned against him.
The best way to react when you see him is to proclaim: “Hey John, I guess you picked the wrong week to give up amphetamines.”
8. Candi Cushman
Don’t be fooled by the name: Candi Cushman is not the name of a bright-pink Winamp skin. She is a cog in the Focus on the Family machine, and she’s responsible for loathsome antigay initiatives in schools. She accuses gays of infiltrating students, and has had particular focus on attacking LGBT youth. She’s a menace, so if you have kids or work in education, be on high alert for this loopy lady. The middle finger would be appropriate, to be sure, but maybe not so helpful. Let’s just let her fade to oblivion.
9. Peter LaBarbara
Hapless creep Peter LaBarbara probably doesn’t even care whether marriage equality wins or loses. He’s just looking for his next opportunity to hang out at a leather convention and check out gay porn. Peter’s made a name for himself by showing up at every kinky fetishy event he can find, ostensible to gather evidence of how debauched the proceedings are. What does he do with all of that evidence? We can’t begin to speculate, but gee whiz he sure must have a lot of it by this point. Say hey next time you see her headless toro on Grindr. But, remember, he’s only there doing opposition “research.”
10. Every Republican Running for President
These crooks are the biggest losers of all, because they have to keep up their antigay rhetoric even though they are the most vulnerable to being punished for it and clearly don’t believe a word of what they are telling the loony base. To change their minds at this point would alienate what few supporters they have left, the GOP far right base, so they’re going to stick by their increasingly unpopular positions only to get wallop in the general election.
And because they’re running for president they’ll all have a highly visible demonstration of how toxic it is to oppose marriage equality today, especially after the Supreme Court, dominated by Republican appointments, has put to bed bans on marriage equality for good.
Tough luck, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and friends! Smell you later!