Sometimes kids say the darndest things.
The University of Washington’s student newspaper The Daily, wanting to be topical, relevant and “newsy”, decided to run two opposing op-eds on gay marriage, right next to the STD warnings and article headlined “Women Can Be Computer Scientists Too”, about an on campus lady professor tired of being oggled by pimply nerds in her lecture hall day in and day out.
You’d think, this being Seattle and all, the paper’s foray into the gay marriage issue would be all warm, fuzzy gooeyness. Right?
Or at the very least that it would refrain from comparing gay marriage to bestiality. With an illustration. Of a man. With a sheep. Presumably at City Hall asking for their marriage license.
Talk about baaa–ad ideas.
In an op-ed titled “Gay Marriage, Let’s Think About This“, future Rick Santorum impersonator John Fay looks at the California Supreme Court decision and writes:
“The court argued that forbidding marriage rights to gays is discrimination, “like a person’s race or gender.” Race is a biological state; homosexuality is more of an emotional condition, and we should not, for that reason alone, start passing laws condoning it.
Being homosexual, like other emotional tendencies, doesn’t make someone a bad person, but it’s a problem that needs to be dealt with, not denied.
Now, there are several major problems with legalizing gay marriage. Once you’ve legalized gay marriage, why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union? If the only criteria is that people love each other, then who says it’s wrong for a 70-year-old man to marry 10 underage girls?”
Now, while my emotional tendencies were telling me to go up to Seattle with a can of whup-ass, I thought I’d check in with The Daily‘s Editor in Chief Sarah Jeglum first and see if there was a good reason the paper decided to print the sheep-love images– something along the lines of “Oh my god, we were all smoking crack that day and lost our minds.” Jeglum replied to us:
“The illustration was meant to illustrate the columnist’s slippery-slope argument about legalizing gay marriage.
I hope that answers the question.”
Oh, but it doesn’t Sarah, not at all. So we went back to her and asked a.) Just whose idea it was toÂ run an article that was virulently homophobic, b.) Whose idea was it to to illustrate it with a sheep-on-guy image and c.) If it ever occurred to The Daily that equating gay marriage with bestiality and pedophilia might offend well, everybody? Her reply:
“Just like any other illustrated article, the article was read by the illustrator and an illustration was drawn to reflect points made in the column. I can’t speak for Matthew Jackson, but I believe he was illustrating the following point made by John Fay: “Once you’ve legalized gay marriage, why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union?”
The implications of the article were considered, as with any article we print.”
Now honestly, while we received many emails from you being outraged about the man-sheep op-ed, our first response was “They can’t be serious.” We were certain that nobody would seriously in good conscience run man-sheep imagery next to a piece about gay marriage. But they are serious.
Now, The Daily can say that it printed the piece as an opinion, which is totally defensible (though I wonder if they’d print a white supremacist’s bullshit as readily as they printed Fay’s crap), but the man-sheep illustration was purely and editorial choice.
A gay veteran who commented on the article basically sums up our “emotional tendencies” perfectly: “This edition of the paper should be publicly burned in Red Square and the author tied to the back of sheep and dragged!”