For those who missed it: last week an angry homophobic man was caught on tape in Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport beating up a passenger he presumed was gay, which then led to the attacker being beaten up by a group attempting to stop him. “Queers is what I’m upset about. This faggot right here,” the attacker responded to a man in a cowboy hat asking “what’s bothering you?” The video has since been YouTubed and reported about, making its timely debut with the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriage in Idaho.
The video attacker, a homophobe and certainly one carrying other mental disturbances, appears outnumbered in this isolated incident, but when listening to Idaho Governor Butch Otter defy the recent ruling with “I’m not ready to surrender to a few folks in black robes,” the video attacker seems to be the voice of many other Americans still resistant, even disgusted, by the idea of same-sex marriage.
The Dallas attacker begins to appear less crazy and outnumbered when people in power like Governor Butch spend $10,000 on outside attorneys to keep appealing the Supreme Court ruling, currently costing the state of Idaho a total of $90,000 to fight the issue.
During a recent debate, Otter said it is his job to defend “the entire Constitution,” following the belief that states should decide marriage laws and not the federal government.
Not to diminish the noble acts seen in the video, but the accused gay man was publically, verbally attacked with no protection until it was too late and he was physically beaten. I respect those who jumped in to help, however it brings up the question of whether it was just the physical brawl that demanded urgency in the bystanders. The attacker seemed either mentally ill or highly intoxicated long before he got physical, and I’m not sure why he was able to continue his rant for as long as he did. The violent throw down of his coat jacket should’ve caused more alarm and drawn security guards closer.
The attack coupled with the ruling and Otter’s costly response only reminds us that America still has a long way to go. If you live in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, or Miami, or anywhere else where gay communities are thriving and accepted and the debate of gay marriage seems archaic, it’s easy to dismiss the rest of our country and the opposition that this notion of same-sex marriage still faces. It isn’t about marriage, in my opinion, because being against same-sex marriage is simply a political outlet for homophobic people to express their homophobia. One cannot exist without the other.
America has made several steps forward on the issue, but we are constantly backtracked by incidents such as the one in Dallas and the rise of opposition against the recent ruling. Still, despite these recent letdowns and discouraging scenes, America’s efforts should not be viewed as futile, we only have a much longer road to pave than some anticipated. Slow and steady.