The Colbert Report couldn’t have done it better

21 Feb

The American Life League, the largest pro-life organization in the US, has released an anti-Planned Parenthood informational video. The message in a condom-dressed nutshell: Planned Parenthood’s goal is to make sex addicts out of kids. According to the league, the “perverts” at Planned Parenthood hide behind science (and the apparently bogus concept of “age-appropriateness”) in order to peddle pornography to kids.

While most of the “I can’t believe it’s not satire” video (http://blog.sfgate.com/sfmoms/2012/02/16/anti-planned-parenthood-video-isnt-a-joke/?tsp=1) is dedicated to the pornography conspiracy theory, the Life League manages to incorporate homophobia into its message:

Analyzing the PP website, the Life League’s spokesperson notes with dismay that on the “All about LGBTQ” page, Planned Parenthood teaches, “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and straight are sexual orientations. All these sexual orientations are perfectly normal.” He merely presents the highlighted offending text, offering no additional commentary, as if “perfectly normal” speaks volumes about PP’s campaign to pervert children.

But he’s not done with the LGBTQ community just yet, suggesting that “the page on homosexuality, titled ‘Coming Out,’ displays a teenage boy in an intimate pose with what appears to be an adult man.” Once again, our Life League “reporter” trusts that we’ll connect the moral dots without his having to spell everything out for us.

But I say, if we’re going to do a close reading of text, let’s read the whole text. Here’s the picture:

And here’s the caption: “Coming Out: Only you can decide if and when to come out, to whom, and how to do it”  (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/info-for-teens/lgbtq-33812.htm). So yes, this is an “intimate” situation: one that could save this kid’s life.

What really gets to me about this video isn’t actually the explicit accusations made against Planned Parenthood, as ludicrous and incendiary as they might be. It’s the use of homophobia as a sure-fire tool to rally their supporters. Even more than that, it’s the effortlessness of their call to arms: they don’t need to elaborate on the homophobic tidbits they offer. It’s enough just to suggest it’s OK to be LGBTQ. That, apparently, will get folks right up on the bandwagon to protest–what was it again? Homosexuality? Pornography? Family planning? Whatever, and all of it.

Too bad the concerned citizens at the Life League didn’t read further on Planned Parenthood’s website, where the federation explains:

Homophobia — fear and hatred of lesbian, gay and bisexual people — is very dangerous. In our society there is a lot of homophobia — fear and hatred of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ). It’s caused by ignorance, or other kinds of misinformation and lack of understanding about what LGBT[Q] people are really like.

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