Sunday, March 1, 2009

Myths Die Hard in Hollywood

In case you missed the Oscars last week (I did), Sean Penn won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in "Milk," a film depicting the life of gay rights advocate Harvey Milk.

In his acceptance speech Sean Penn said the following:

I think it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.

You can watch a video clip of it here:

Frank Schubert, Campaign Manager of, made the following observations about the Oscars:

...viewers weren’t two categories into the awards show when a gay screen writer bashed the Mormon Church, as much as said that supporters of Prop 8 are hateful bigots and promised that, soon, gays would have the right to marry. He even promised that the Obama Administration would make sure gays could marry “federally.” That brought a big round of applause.

It is perhaps not surprising that Hollywood liberals would use their “awards” show to campaign in favor of gay marriage. After all, many of these same liberals donated or raised millions of dollars to attempt to defeat Proposition 8.

What is perhaps surprising is their brazen attempt to influence public opinion against traditional marriage by manipulating people into thinking that this is a “human rights” issue, or a “civil rights” issue, or even an “equal rights” issue. What they don’t tell people is that gay couples in domestic partnerships in California already have equal rights! Gay domestic partners in California enjoy the same legal rights as married spouses.

Frank Schubert is right. Myths die hard in Hollywood. This particular myth which is so prevalent is the myth of "equal rights." This is the myth that says the issue of same-sex marriage is about equal rights and that homosexuals are being discriminated against. Nothing could be further from the truth. I addressed this issue a few months ago in two different blogs: the first part is here and the second part here. The two main related points were as follows:

The same-sex marriage debate has absolutely nothing to do with civil rights, especially here in California due to California Family Code 297.5. Same-sex couples are afforded the same rights, benefits, and protections under California law. It's just not called "marriage." And that brings us to what this debate is really about. This is not about civil rights. It is about a piece of paper called a "Marriage Certificate" which the gay community desperately wants in order to have their lifestyle legitimized and validated in the eyes of the government and society. It is about redefining marriage. But no one person or society has the right to redefine this institution based on their own personal desires. Same-sex relationships will never be equal to monogamous, long-term, committed, heterosexual relationships, no matter how hard one might try to make them. Simply redefining the word "marriage" to include your relationship doesn't make it a marriage. Marriage is something in particular. And it cannot be redefined to include unnatural relationships any more than one can redefine the nature of a carburetor to include a water pump and expect the two to function equally for the same task.

Even without this California Family Code, same-sex couples would still have equal rights. There is NO unequal protection under the law. The same definition of marriage applies to all, regardless of your sexual preference. Homosexuals CAN get married. They just can't marry someone of the same sex. And neither can a heterosexual. The same law applies to all equally. This point seems to be completely missed by same-sex marriage advocates.

These two observations alone completely destroy the myth of "equal rights." I have yet to hear any proponent of same-sex marriage adequately address these points. Yet the "equal rights" myth is continually perpetrated by agenda-driven individuals, organizations, and Hollywood, in an attempt to indoctrinate the naive and vilify critics. It is understandable why supporters of same-sex marriage want to make this an issue of "equal rights." The public is much more likely to be sympathetic toward the cause if they feel there is unfair treatment. Frank Schubert notes:

Liberal Hollywood activists like Sean Penn know a thing or two about reaching audiences. They make millions – tens of millions – learning how to connect with an audience. One audience they no doubt hoped to influence on Sunday night was the California Supreme Court, which is hearing challenges to invalidate Prop 8 in just ten days. Another audience probably watched the show from the upstairs of the White House in Washington. Still another audience is made up of voters here in California, enough of the 7 million of whom they hope to shame into repudiating their votes cast in favor of traditional marriage the next time the issue is on the ballot. Traditional marriage has served society well, and there are many sound reasons why people support one man, one woman marriage – including continuing the best institution to give children both a mother and a father. Prop 8 wasn’t an attack on gay couples, it was an affirmation of traditional marriage – but you didn’t hear that at the Academy Awards.

Again, Frank Schubert is right. Notice how Hollywood attempts to win the debate. Hollywood doesn't say, "We believe so strongly that supporting same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior is the morally superior and intellectually defensible position that we are going to sponsor 100 national debates in an attempt to persuade the public through sound reasoning and argumentation." No, instead, Hollywood spends millions of dollars creating sitcoms and movies which constantly portray homosexual characters and the homosexual lifestyle in a positive light. Think of shows like Will and Grace, The L Word, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and Boy Meets Boy. After our celebrity-obsessed society has watched these programs for several years they have formed emotional attachments and bonds with the characters. They begin to associate the homosexual lifestyle with the easy-going, fun-loving homosexual character portrayed on their television.

In other words, I have noticed that people often reach a moral conclusion regarding homosexual behavior based on how they perceive the individual practicing that lifestyle. If the individual is a decent, hard-working, "nice" person, these positive caricatures are often carried over and applied to homosexuality itself. Never mind the facts or inherent dangers associated with the lifestyle. Our culture has essentially been indoctrinated through slick rhetoric. And when you combine this type of emotion-filled rhetoric with the prevalent philosophy of moral relativism (which says there are no moral absolutes that apply to all people, in all places, at all times) you have a recipe for disaster. This was no more evident then in my discussions with supporters of same-sex marriage this last election year. I asked one relative why she supports same-sex marriage. Her response: "I have friends who are gay." The implication was that having gay friends somehow morally justifies the homosexual lifestyle and warrants the redefinition of marriage. This is the kind of sloppy thinking that results when you give up reason and morality for rhetoric and relativism.

Conclusion: Whenever someone says that same-sex marriage is about "equal rights" you can be sure of one thing: that person has no idea what this issue is really about. Furthermore, we need to be aware of how Hollywood portrays this debate in an attempt to persuade our society, especially younger generations. Ironically, for all his talk about "shame," it is actually Sean Penn who should be ashamed. Shame on you Mr. Penn. Shame on you for misleading the public and continuing in willful ignorance regarding what this debate is really about.


Anonymous said...


Great post, you are absolutely right. Hollywood and people like Sean Penn are manipulating the debate when they use the term “equal rights.” I agree that all Americans should have equal rights too. But as you correctly pointed out, equal rights already do exist.

Just to expand on what you already wrote, I’ve never heard of a judge who wouldn’t allow a man to marry woman because he lived as a homosexual. That’s because the law between male and female is equally applied here. Someone may object and say, “That’s a stupid thing to say because a homosexual doesn’t want to marry a woman.” Well, your right, but what they “want” is an entirely different issue. What they “want” has nothing to do with marriage rights being unequal. They are just choosing not to exercise those rights. But this issues isn’t about equal rights, it’s about approval.

People like Penn, are misguiding the issue by falsely equating homosexual liberty with racial equality. This is not an accurate parallel to make. There is no good evidence that homosexuality is found in the human genes. Homosexuality is a behavior adopted into one’s life. It is not some kind of innate characteristic like race or gender. That is why it is correct to say marriage laws do apply equally to all Americans. There is nothing unconstitutional about marriage and therefore should not be redefined.

In addiotn, these arguments, and more, are based on the natural law and have nothing to do with ignorance, prejudice, or hatred. What does appear to be happening is a small group of people are trying to force the majority in this society to approve of homosexual behavior and produce additional rights under the already existing law of marriage to those in the lifestyle behavior.

Aaron said...


Thank you for the feedback. You bring up a great point: rights vs. wants. Our laws are not based on wants or desires. If that were the case, everyone's desires would have to be legitimized through law (including the desires of pedophiles and rapists). Rather, laws must take into consideration fundamental moral principles and the best interests of society.

Another good point: homosexual behavior should not be compared with race or gender. It needs to be made clear that the issue is not homosexual DESIRE but homosexual BEHAVIOR. Nobody chooses their race or gender but everyone chooses who they sleep with.

charkle said...

Sean Penn is blinded to the Truth, and I agree it is not about 'equal rights' it is about the complete acceptance of homosexual behavior as being just as morally valid as heterosexual behavior and heterosexual marriage."
Morals in our country are in a war at all levels, including targeting our children. School districts are collaborating with Homosexual activists, they know that to reach the children, is to reach the next generation.

U.N. says no to Brazilian homosexual group; U.S. says yes
What GLSEN Doesn't Want You to Know

Speyek said...

These are some great points. But what I want to know is what made Sean Penn think it was such a “good time” for “those who voted for the ban against gay marriage” to “sit and reflect” about it after an award for his acting was given? Is he equating his own acting ability with being gay? Or does he think his acting achievement somehow proves homosexuality should be culturally accepted? The award was for ACTING it has nothing to do with the issue of homosexuality.

charkle said...

It seems that the awards are used as a podium for their opinions.

Speyek said...

I know he was just using that moment to voice his opinion, which he has the right to do. But I think what he said shows how detached form reality he is. Not to mention his disillusionment with Hugo Chavez.