The Anti-Gay Squad 

Will Oregon's Haters Show Some Pride?

As Portland's gay pride festivities loom on the horizon, and a large portion of our community plans to come together—be it only for a few days—what about Oregon's anti-gay crowd? What are their plans for Pride?

"I respectfully decline the offer to be interviewed for your publication," Representative Kim Thatcher, co-sponsor of an initiative that would repeal Oregon's new anti-discrimination law, wrote in response to my email inquiry.

After many attempts to talk to those in charge of recent efforts to deny essential humanity to Oregon's GLBT folks, no calls were returned, so we're left to speculate on the whereabouts of the anti-gay cheerleaders during Pride. My best guess is they'll be at church on that fine Sunday. (Though with all the gays at Pride, one has to wonder who will be singing in their choirs.)

While I can pretty much promise we won't see the likes of anti-gay spearheads like former State Senator Marylin Shannon or Restore America's David Crowe at the waterfront, you never know. After all, their number-one individual financial contributor, Glenn Zirkle, said, "Every time my life brushes up against someone else's, I have an opportunity to leave the fragrance of Christ."

Pride certainly provides plenty of opportunities to "brush up" against someone. I have a feeling his "fragrance of Christ" smells like Drakkar Noir. So if you smell it at Pride, run quick— that may not be the Jesus you had in mind.

Maybe the anti-gay squad will make a surprise appearance on the Fantasy Video float? They seem to have a fanciful notion that they're going to have the chance to rip apart the legal rights of Oregon's gay and lesbian families. With three initiative petitions attempting to put Oregon's domestic partnership and anti-discrimination laws on the November 2008 ballot currently hung up in Oregon's Supreme Court (as the signature-gathering deadline looms), their chances of a queer-free utopia are dwindling each and every day.

When Oregon's gay haters fail at collecting enough signatures yet again, at least they will be in the good company of former Oregon GOP Party Chair Kevin Mannix—who just scored his fifth failed attempt at public office. Maybe then they will get the hint that running on divisive principles simply doesn't fly here in Oregon.

Though my calls and emails to the crazies may have gone unreturned—and those folks may be spending the day at church listening to sermons about the gays destroying civilization, and celebrating exaggerated memoirs from self-loathing so-called ex-gays—we can take comfort in a reminder from Restore America's David Crowe, sent out over his always-good-for-a-laugh email list. He says we gays are in good company with the "Oregon House controlled by Democrats who sold out to the sodomite community [and] embraced the pathetic with indiscriminate compassion." Maybe if we're lucky, Crowe will send us a little email to get our Pride day started right, to go with our cup of coffee and sodomites.

See you all at Pride as we—to paraphrase Crowe—hop aboard "the gay train to moral nowhere." Whoot! Whoot!

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