Things can seem overwhelmingly dark these days, but at least we get to watch conservatives losing their shit over marriage equality.
Reactionary heads exploded across the US over the June 26 US Supreme Court decision to effectively legalise same-sex marriage in all 50 US states. And in Australia, panic grows at the prospect that we may follow suit.
In particular, I was relieved to see Murdoch journalist, culture warrior and convicted racist Andrew Bolt back on form, railing wildly on June 28 about the “tyranny” of the US Supreme Court decision.
This is reassuring, as I was getting worried about the poor guy. After the Irish referendum in May that backed marriage equality, a clearly demoralised Bolt wrote: “The battle for same-sex marriage has been won ... In 2004, Newspoll showed only one-third of Australians backed same-sex marriage. In 2014, it was twice as many and I suspect support has grown since.”
Bolt said: “The Yes vote in Catholic Ireland last week broke the back of any real resistance here, too.” And as much as I support marriage equality, it was still sad to see a once great warrior on his knees, head bowed, reaching for a tattered white flag.
But now the arch-conservative has his mojo back. Which is just as well, as it is written that one of the Final Signs of the Coming of the Apocalypse is when “a Tabloid Hack shalt cease opposing Equality, Progress and Things That Make People Happy Without Having Any Impact On Others”. So I'd begun stocking up on canned food.
In the gloriously titled “A tyranny of judges forces same-sex marriage on US voters” post, Bolt hit out at the five judges who voted to “invent the right to same-sex marriage” — despite the fact this runs “in direct opposition to the expressed views of voters in several states”.
You know, there is something vaguely familiar about appealing to “state’s rights” in the US in defence of reactionary, deeply unjust policies against a push for equality and human rights, but I just can't quite pick it.
It's something, maybe about some kind of civil war? And 100 years later, ending legal apartheid backed by lynchings and terror? It'll come to me.
Of course, if we wanted to be picky, we could point out that Bolt is a little selective in his defence of popular opinion, seeing as US polls have consistently shown majority support for marriage equality since 2010.
But in his deeply reassuring rant, Bolt approves of the “magnificent dissenting judgement” of Justice Samuel Alito, who noted: “At present, no one — including social scientists, philosophers, and historians — can predict with any certainty what the long-term ramifications of widespread acceptance of same-sex marriage will be.”
And indeed the ramifications could be anything. Society could collapse. The Earth could open up and swallow us whole. The Giant Evil Squid Monster from the Deepest Ocean, renowned for its homophobic views, could be awoken after a 10,000-year sleep and devour us all.
Or, and this is just one of the many options, gay people could, if they so choose, have their relationships officially recognised as marriages on the same footing as straight marriages. It is really very hard to tell.
This is not to say the tyranny Bolt warns about is not very real. The world has seen some horrific oppression in its time, but surely we've seen no greater scenes of tyranny than all those images of US gay people hugging each other and crying with joy.
No wonder Christian fundamentalists are running about like headless chickens shouting about the death of America and how all that tea the Boston Tea Party sacrificed was in vain. Or something, it's hard to make out their words over the wailing.
Of course, in Australia, we have the dire warnings of hard line fundamentalists like Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, who insists if we let gay people marry, then people will start wanting to marry animals.
Which is obviously batshit insane. I mean, sure, we all know a barnyard animal can show you a good time, but they just aren't marriage material! It is not the 1950s any more, Senator Bernardi, we don't all have to marry our one night stands.
Christ, you might not approve of the progressive values espoused by supporters of marriage equality, but please, Senator, give us some credit.