This story was written by Carlye Wisel, Daily Illini
Within the past few weeks, our country seems to agree on a handful of things. We believe in change. We're not sure if "Heroes" is going to impress this season. And, oh right, we apparently hate gays in love.
Through passing propositions 2 in Florida, 102 in Arizona and most notably 8 in California, Americans used their voting power to decide that gays should not and cannot marry in these three states. With the latter being approved by only a 2.5percent margin, almost half of the voters in California -- a liberal state bizarre enough to contain both Hollywood, the inferable highest amount of roller skaters per square inch and a governor who is famous for playing a cyborg murderer -- chose to deny gay couples the right to marry under state law.
Clearly, we aren't okay with considering homosexuals equals. But instead of completely denouncing those with sexual preferences that differ from ours, we unfairly and hypocritically pick our gay battles. America, in general, isn't homophobic -- it's homopreferential.
While Prop. 8 is discussed on the covers of newsprint publications, the headlines of glossies next to them scream about Jennifer Aniston's womb,the vampy goodness of "Twilight" and how seriously in love America's former maneater Lindsay Lohan is with girl friend-turned-girlfriend Samantha Ronson.
In general, it mindbogglingly doesn't make sense. Even as "Lindsay in love!" headlines blurt from Us Weekly's web site, right below it is a story describing Brooke Smith's recent firing from "Grey's Anatomy." Though refuted by higher-ups and the show's creators, it's suspicious and newsworthy because the successful actress was most likely canned so quickly because her character's lesbian relationship began heating up, and executives wanted to squash it.
While the issue has been met with mild outrage from fans, Isaiah Washington, of all people -- the same actor who was written out of the series when a backlash surrounded his usage of a gay slur towards a cast member -- spoke out in her defense, calling the choice "disgusting." On a show where public outrage from name-calling resulted in a lead actor being fired, the same program hypocritically flip-flopped their policy and fired its own lead actress, assumingly for the homosexual storyline.
Even if it's only inferred from LL's lover or the medical drama's former firing, once you take into account other hyperpopular media-friendly gays such as Ellen DeGeneres and her successful show, Rachel Maddow and her rapidly increasing ratings and blogger Perez Hilton'sobsessive adolescent following, we seem to be more than tolerant. Dedicated and loving fans, even. But in California, Perez's home state and where DeGenres's show is filmed, any chance for statewide gay marriage opportunities has been squashed.
Plainly hating on gays just isn't cool and taboo anymore; calling someone a faggot is more idiotic and ignorant than impressive among a group of mature people, regardless of age. But still, our society will generally cherry-pick the homoerotic happenings we rally behind, instead of opening the floodgates to allow homosexuals of all shapes and sizes to formally commit themselves to each other.
If you religiously believe marriage is a sacred union between only a man and woman, take a look at the high standards we hold for men and women marrying in our society. Proposals are prizes on season finale episodes of television shows, Hugh Hefner's trampy girlfriend getting hitched is front-page news and "Engaged and Underage," an MTV program highlighting the drug addictions, unplanned pregnancies and "love"-driven pre-marital non-bliss between teens is repeatedly rerun. But as high-held a belief of heterosexual marriage, relationships and love are, Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" hit the to of the charts this summer, proving that if lesbianism is both attractive and paired with a good drum beat, it's even more socially acceptable.
On an individual basis, it's alarmingly true: Hot girls making out at parties while being cheered on by guys around them is widely considered all right and even encouraged, but two lesbians kissing as newlyweds isn't. Stunning or attractive bisexuals like Lindsay or Tila Tequila are near-titillating to the public, but a loving relationship between two 40-year-old men is not.
We've incorrectly picked and chosen what gays we support, and in turn, wrongfully picked poor legislation to enforce.