South Park and Philosophy: Bigger, Longer, and More Penetrating

By Richard Hanley | Go to book overview

11
In Defense of Fags

RICHARD HANLEY

The culture wars continue, and South Park does a great job of keeping up. It also does a nice job of reflecting the schism in our thoughts and feelings about homosexuality. Is it just male homosexuality that's the problem? Lesbians, or female bisexuals (or at least, straight women pretending to be lesbians or bisexuals) the average red-blooded American guy finds kind of hot.

The refreshing thing about South Park is that it takes a decidedly liberal view of what to do about issues such as gay marriage, yet is filled with homophobic epithets such as “faggot.” “That's so gay” is a routine insult. And the creepily submissive Mr. Slave is perhaps just what conservatives fear gays are really like. When they're not being fabulous, like Big Gay Al.

In “Follow That Egg,” Mrs. Garrison decides to take Mr. Slave back. But Mr. Slave has moved on, to Big Gay Al. Not only that, but they are planning to be gay-married under legislation the state of Colorado is considering. Mrs. Garrison is going to put a stop to that, “to protect the sanctity of marriage.”

Of all the topics I cover in my Contemporary Moral Problems course in college, the issue of what to do about gay marriage is one of the least controversial. I'd estimate that support for gay marriage runs at about eighty percent. That's mainly because these people are young. Let me explain by means of an analogy.

In 1948 the California State Supreme Court in a landmark decision overturned California's anti-miscegenation law. My students don't know what the hell miscegenation is, so I tell them. It's interbreeding or intermarriage of different races. That's right, I tell them, it used to be illegal in most of these great United

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