Sadly, you read that headline correctly. The people who brought you Sarah Palin, a government shutdown and demands for presidential birth certificates are currently plotting something even more absurd: a class action lawsuit against homosexuality.
As Raw Story reports, the Tea Party held a “unity” forum on Thursday and began to brainstorm new ways to endear itself to the American public. On that list: suing the pants off homosexuals! Just not in a sexy way, of course. I would try to explain the plan better, but unsurprisingly the logistics don’t make any sense, so I’ll just let the Tea Partiers say it in their own words.
Rick Scarborough, a one-time Baptist pastor and current Tea Party chairman, first broached the subject of a class action lawsuit at the forum, saying the idea had been discussed more privately amongst their ranks previously. “Homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer,” Scarborough said. “Yet the entire nation has rejected smoking, billions of dollars are put into a trust fund to help cancer victims and the tobacco industry was held accountable for that.”
Except that this country hasn’t entirely rejected smoking; in fact, more Americans identify as smokers than gay. If Scarborough thinks that people will flee from homosexuality because of a lawsuit, he’s as mistaken as he is about his fabricated smoking vs. gay health repercussion statistics.
Overlooking the sketchy science in these allegations, who exactly would stand trial for these charges? While tobacco companies can be held financially liable for their damages, homosexuality is a sexual orientation, not a person or corporation. Would all gay people be sued or would gay people (with help from their good friends at the Tea Party!) be doing the suing?
Notably, Scarborough believes that God has spread AIDS to homosexuals as punishment for their sinful lifestyles. In that case, it seems like gay people would have a better case against God for giving them AIDS, but I won’t pretend to have divine wisdom like the pastor.
However, fellow Tea Partier and anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera believes that Scarborough’s lawsuit idea is “great.” “I would love to see it,” LaBarbera said. “We always wanted to see one of the kids in high school who was counseled by the official school counselor to just be gay, then comes down with HIV. But we never really got the client for that.”
While the idea behind this hypothetical lawsuit is slightly less nebulous, that doesn’t make it any less harebrained. Plus, I’m baffled as to why no one has stepped forward to be a plaintiff in what would be the comedic trial of the century.
Okay, so there’s no chance that a lawsuit against “homosexuality” wouldn’t be thrown out of court immediately, but at least that’s not the Tea Party’s only idea for attacking gay culture. “We need to work on our conservative, alternative media and say, ‘Look, don’t do the pro-gay thing, why don’t you rather step out and support these ex-gays?’” suggested LaBarbera.
Noting that Fox News has done a good job of finding the rare African American Republican to showcase on television, LaBarbera wants to use a similar tactic. “We should all get on Fox and say, ‘Come on, tell these stories, these wonderful stories of happy men and women who have left the homosexual lifestyle.’”
If you weren’t sure how Fox News reporting could get any worse, well there’s your answer. With plans like these, it’s no wonder that support for the Tea Party is at an all-time low. Oh, Tea Party: you’d almost be a welcome comic relief were it not for the fact that you’re actively trying to ruin people’s lives. Good luck with that unwinnable class action lawsuit!