Beall: After all the warnings about gay nuptials, Republic still stands

BY MIKE BEALL | JULY 31, 2013 5:00 AM

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Gay marriage has been legal in Iowa for four years now. The Supreme Court has deemed the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and gay marriage is now legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia. I couldn’t be happier with the progress that has been made, but there is one thing that troubles me with all that is happening to push gay rights forward.

What happened to all the terrible things that were supposed to happen in the aftermath of gay marriage in our state and our country? I remember being told by a seemingly endless parade of conservative pundits and politicians that this was the end of days. Gays would force their gay agenda (whatever that is) on me, get married on my front lawn, and destroy the sanctity of my future multiple straight marriages and divorces.

But none of that has happened, and I am beginning to suspect that — get this —mainstream acceptance of same-sex couples may not have any negative ramifications for my life or our country after all. 

Even as Hollywood — that notorious liberal propaganda machine — is producing more and more movies and television shows with gay characters, bringing the country face-to-face with homosexuality, the fabric of society fails to fray. In fact, thoughtful representation of gay characters in the media seems to be bringing society closer together.

ABC’s Emmy award-winning series “Modern Family” and Academy Award nominated films such as The Kids Are All Right and Milk are just a few examples. These are good productions and in my personal opinion the many such films that include or revolve around gay characters generally are well-written, have intelligent directors, and excellent actors.

A report from GLAAD released last year found that the number of gay and lesbian series regulars on broadcast and cable television programs has risen in recent years from 1.1 percent in 2007 to 4.4 percent during the 2012-13 television season. Gay and lesbian characters have also transcended stereotypes to a greater degree in recent years.

As the portrayal of gay and lesbian characters in movies and television has become more common, public opinion has shifted dramatically on same-sex marriage. According to a Gallup poll completed July 14, 54 percent of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be legal, compared with 40 percent who don’t. As recently as 2008, those numbers were basically inversed, with 40 percent in support and 56 percent opposed.

Still, some people have not given up their deeply held beliefs that homosexuality will ultimately be the downfall of Western civilization. In their mind, the threat exists still. Consider the reaction among some conservatives after Disney recently announced the inclusion of a lesbian couple in the upcoming season of its show “Good Luck Charlie,” which will likely air at some point in early 2014.
The conservative blogosphere lit up with allegations that Disney was intending to “indoctrinate” children with its homosexual agenda.

In a sense, that’s true. The crew at “Good Luck Charlie” is continuing that insidious trend of portraying gay and lesbian characters on television in a respectful, humane way.

If this trend is allowed to continue, it’s only a matter of time before our children are brainwashed into being respectful and humane, too.

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