In the last few weeks the anti-gay bigot wing of the Repubican Party has been out in force. Their cause of the month is the defense of Chick-Fil-a, which has had a large number of its customers announce through social media they will no longer dine there. The reason behind this was Chick-Fil-a CEO Dan Cathy announcing to the Baptist Press that the chain will continue supporting anti-gay groups. The response from the right wing has been to embrace Cathy and make claims that their support of him and his chain is all driven by their support of his right to speak out- not anti-gay bigotry. Yeah, right!
As the right wing mobilized for it's Chick-Fil-a appreciation day this week, numerous politicians jumped in to pander and try to score points with the hate base of the GOP without the usual fingerprints. One of the Virginia politicians who jumped into the fray was Jim LeMunyon- who posted this picture of himself eating at a Chick-Fil-a on "appreciation" day.
One of the interesting side notes with this story is the focus on marriage equality. While much of Chick-Fil-a's anti-gay money has gone to blocking marriage equality, it has also gone to other groups involved in much more extreme anti-gay activity.
For example, one group Chick-Fil-a contributed to attended a conference in Uganda and in spreading false information about gays raping children helped create a bill in the Uganda legislature to execute any gays found there.
Meanwhile another anti-gay group that Chick-Fil-a is supporting wants to bring back the sodomy laws in the United States that were struck down in Lawrence vs. Texas at the Supreme Court a few years ago.
For those of you who don't remember, Virginia had one of the nation's most strict sodomy laws before they were struck down in that 2002 case. In fact those laws are still on the books and the legislature has refused to repeal them in case the Supreme Court were to ever allow them again.
How strict are the Virginia sodomy laws? They outlaw oral sex- for gays and for straight couples. Even if you are married, you are violating Virginia's sodomy laws if you have oral sex. The laws also ban anal sex- again, for gays, straight couples- even if you are married. For straight non-married couples there is even more bad news- there is even a sodomy law that bans you from regular old vaginal sex if you are not married.
These laws were rarely enforced even before they were struck down- mainly because virtually every resident of the state has violated them at some point in their lives. But they were still used as a weapon against gays- in 2003 now Governor Bob McDonnell (who was then a State Delegate) even rallied support against re-appointing a judge because she may have violated Virginia's sodomy laws. This led to the hysterical moment when McDonnell was asked if he had ever violated the sodomy laws by engaging in oral sex- to which McDonnell replied that he "could not recall". Which probably makes McDonnell the only man in Virginia who isn't sure if he has ever had a blow job.
Anyway- back to our newest perv- Delegate Jim LeMunyon.
When LeMunyon posted the picture of himself at Chick-Fil-a, he included the comment "Let's not be chicken to support free speech", as if that is all this entire issue is about. I went on to LeMunyon's wall to ask him about the other implications of supporting Chick-Fil-a- specifically the support for sodomy laws as I described above. I used pretty mild language- basically asking LeMunyon if he supported the sodomy laws in question which ban oral and anal sex. A pretty reasonable question since LeMunyon was highlighting his support for a business that has helped fund the fight for those sodomy laws.
Within minutes my comment was deleted, with a new comment posted by LeMunyon that there would be no discussion on his Facebook page that was not family friendly. That was a quick turn around from his comment on the picture of himself at Chick-Fil-a saying that we should not be "chicken of free speech"!
So if I can't use terms like oral sex or anal sex to ask the questions, what terms could I use to ask LeMunyon that question? I went back to his wall to ask that- and find out what terms I could use in order to ask LeMunyon this very legitimate public policy question. Instead of answering, LeMunyon deleted and banned me from the page.
Who is "chicken of free speech" now?
It's unfortunate that we have so many social issues that are not always appropriate for children that are in the public domain. Abortion, crime, sex and so many others are not things that parents want to explain to young kids. But to claim that those issues can not be aired or discussed- even when a right-wing politician like LeMunyon is backing them through his chicken surrogate- is absolutely ridiculous.
If LeMunyon wants to be the neighborhood pervert who is trying to bring back Virginia's sodomy laws then he is allowed to advocate for that. But I won't allow him to hide behind kids in order to avoid the discussion of those issues. Let's be honest here- the only reason LeMunyon didn't want this discussion on his wall is because he knows that if voters in his area knew that he was being at all supportive of this kind of crazy stuff they would toss his ass out of office.
And Jim, remember this the next time you think you can scrub the internet of a discussion that you are afraid to have. Don't be so "chicken" of free speech on Facebook next time.