Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
Last Thursday, just two days after a midterm Republican sweep that left many liberals, including LGBT activists, in Arizona feeling devastated and worried the future of their newly won marriage rights, Channel 12 Phoenix aired a softball interview between anchor Lin Sue Cooney and the woman considered the mastermind of all of the anti-gay legislation in our state, Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod.
(Link for video, since embedded ones from Channel 12 open automatically.)
I’m not sure why there was this great need to “humanize” Herrod at this time. Her humanity was never in doubt. She’s a white, straight person of wealth and privilege. Furthermore, framing the interview as one with “one of the most outspoken Christians in Arizona” is a none-too-subtle way of implying that there is one true faith, and even one true kind of Christianity, in our state.
It’s mildly interesting that Herrod’s parents got divorced when she was a small child and that it affected her but Herrod’s childhood problems are not a basis upon which to give her, as a powerful religious lobbyist, a mostly uncritical platform to spew her dogma. My parents divorced when I was four but I didn’t go off on a spree of trying to shut down gay people’s and women’s rights as an adult because of it so why don’t I get an interview?
Herrod and Cooney closed out the interview with pearl-clutching over some tweets directed at Herrod by people angry over her constant attempts to deny them of basic human rights. Lin Sue Cooney signed off the segment by telling opponents of Cathi Herrod to “look at whether they’re guilty of hate, themselves”.
I have some helpful reading/viewing suggestions for Ms. Cooney, starting with:
How to Survive a Plague People acting in very uncivil ways over a disease that was killing many of them, with no help from the same government that would bend over backwards to help Cathi Herrod with any problem she had, including the imaginary ones.
And The Band Played On. The seminal work of Randy Shilts on AIDS, who died of the disease in 1994.
Some people in this country know what it is like to be so hated that their government and fellow citizens would allow them to die. I was a teenager when the AIDS epidemic hit and I remember most of the adults around me treating it as either a joke or as just desserts for a “sinful” lifestyle. I don’t know what Herrod’s feelings were on AIDS back in the ’80s and ’90s but I did learn that a few years ago she wasn’t too keen on girls getting the HPV vaccine that would spare them from cervical cancer as adults.
The vaccine has become a hot-button issue across the U.S. with social conservatives rallying against requiring it because they say it sends the wrong message to young people about sex.
“This is not a disease that schoolchildren catch sitting at a desk,” said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which backed the prohibition.
Can’t you just feel the warm Christian love in that statement? Since Herrod thinks death is an appropriate punishment for slutty straight women, I’d say It wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that she feels the same about the sodomites. But do go on about those “hateful” tweets, Lin Sue Cooney. This is yet more of the tiresome civility politics that treats every dispute as if it’s a disagreement in taste rather than a battle between powerful people and less powerful ones over the latter’s human rights and very lives.