You may think dangerous propaganda tracts are a relic from Nazi Germany or Communist Russia, but they’re alive right in our American front yards. After President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage last week, the Family Research Council released the short “The Problem with Same-Sex Marriage.”
What a piece of cinematic wonder it is, folks.
Apparently, a truncated version was previously released; but now that President Obama’s aligned himelf with marriage equality supporters, the FRC has released this bigger, longer, uncut version, where cliché doomsday histrionics are given new life.
Hosted by the FRC’s President, Tony Perkins, the film’s save-our-children battle cry is accented with dramatic music and the apocalyptic image of three kids trembling in front of a wedding cake with two grooms on top.
Seriously, when did Adam and Steve become Godzilla and Mothra?
As the film unspools, we see concerned Massachusetts parents get disgusted when their little boy brings home a “diversity bookbag” including the gay-inclusive workbook Who’s in a Family? At the 07:30 mark, we see Mommy and Daddy marching over to the school and demanding their child be protected from learning about filthy homosexuality.
Suddenly school administrator put the father in handcuffs—handcuffs!—and sent him to jail. A martyr for the cause, Daddy breaks down in tears. You know it’s serious shit if a straight man other than Glenn Beck is crying! (Of course Daddy must be skipping over some relevant detail if administrators needed to call the cops on him.)
“Problem” is full of this kind of inanity: Dubious unsourced statistics about kids from same-sex households having a much higher chance of turning out gay; claims that “legal experts agree that religious freedom and same-sex marriage cannot coexist,” (something no legal scholar worth his salt would say). And of course the video ends with an ominous warning about voting on the side of right in the upcoming Presidential election.
It’s easy to dismiss “Problem” as ridiculous—except we can’t. Not when Tony Perkins is given airtime on reputable outlets like CNN and CBS’ Face the Nation, much to the deserved chagrin of GLAAD. Uninformed viewers may mistake Perkins for a qualified pundit, rather than the head of what the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group.
“The Problem with Same-Sex Marriage” reminds us of another infamous anti-gay film, the 1961 propaganda piece “Boys Beware.” This old chestnut may elicit chuckles now, until you realize how similar in tone and intent it is to what Perkins and his lot are foisting on the public today.