So this was unexpected.
Jennifer Robak Morse, a spokesperson for the grossly misnamed National Organization for Marriage (a notoriously homophobic organization), recently told students at Iowa State University that they should befriend gay people so they don’t commit suicide. Because gay people are lonely losers, I guess. According to ThinkProgress:
MORSE: What happens I think for people who have some gender confusion or some gender issues, is that they think they’re going to be lonely if they can’t get married, if they can’t be just like everyone else that they’re going to have a lonely life, they’re going to be isolated in some way, they’re going to be so different that their life is going to be terrible… I think that what you can do that would be helpful is to be friends with people. You don’t have to agree with what they’re saying they want, but you can still be a good friend to them. [...]
In friendship, as friends, you can support them and say, ‘maybe this person is trying to exploit you.’ Sometimes you hear about these things and you don’t hear the whole story in the media. That kid Tyler Clementi who killed himself, who threw himself off the George Washington Bridge? Do you know this story? Okay, then I’m not going to tell it. There was a much older man in the picture. There’s usually more to the story, right? And so I think friendship is what you have to offer. There are a lot of situations where people are doing something sexual that’s probably not the best thing for them and that would be better if they had somebody who would be friends with them without coming onto them or without judging them and that kind of stuff.
You get a gay friend! You get a gay friend! You get a gay friend!
Let’s just forget the revisionist history of Tyler Clementi’s suicide, tasteless and inexcusable as it is. What Morse is basically telling people to do is to get close to gay people and subtly shame them into going so deep into the closet Aslan would need to set another place at the dinner table. That doesn’t sound like a great friendship.
Plus, who wants to be friends with someone who you know is constantly judging your every relationship move? I know I wouldn’t. It’s kind of emotionally abusive, actually. That’s not being a friend. It’s being a passive aggressive jerk.
I have a really hard time believing that NOM has the best interests in LGBT teens in mind. I mean, just a few months ago Morse wanted all the good Christian kids to stay the heck away from those gays.
Could it be that NOM sees the writing on the wall? The blatant hatred it’s been spewing is not resonating with the nation’s youth. Young people are more likely to support same-sex marriage than those in their 40s. Or maybe this is a kinder, gentler hate strategy. Pretend like you care, then make them feel like shit.
However, this might not be a bad strategy for LGBT youth to adopt. Befriend a bigot! Maybe once these straight people get to know a gay or trans person, the more accepting they will be. Hey, it worked for Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell. I don’t see how this can fail.
Image credit: -Marlith-