Gays hate apple pie!

A Kansas congressman writes the dumbest anti-gay marriage Op-Ed ever. We don't think it's an April Fools' joke

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published April 1, 2013 7:13PM (EDT)

       (<a href=''>Christy Thompson</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>/Salon)
(Christy Thompson via Shutterstock/Salon)

Please, please say that this was your version of an April Fools' Day gag, Tim Huelskamp. Please say this was your Onion-like parody of the absurd, hyperbolic bluster that makes the opponents of marriage equality seem so dumb and silly. Because if it wasn't, well, it doesn't really matter. I'm still going to laugh at you anyway.

In a highly unambivalent piece in Monday's Washington Times – your first clue that this should be treated entirely as a gag – the Republican Kansas representative takes on "The war on marriage and motherhood" because "Redefining matrimony would destroy the family." Your second clue that he has got to be kidding is the accompanying illustration of a man and a woman; their genitals obscured by the words "What. Ever" as a rainbow gavel-wielding ENEMY OF FREEDOM.

And then there's the content of the Op-Ed itself. There's the whipped-up terror of states "having homosexual marriage imposed upon them" by "activist judges." There's the classic citing of "overwhelming social science evidence to corroborate the benefits of raising children in homes with both a mom and a dad" – with no citation or proof. Maybe that's because the American Academy of Pediatrics just two weeks ago affirmed its support, based on "extensive research," for couples "regardless of sexual orientation." Yet Huelskamp, who last year moved to bar gay marriages on Defense Department property, presses on, citing "biology, nature and common sense."

We could stop here and Huelskamp would win for penning a piece that's more laugh-out-loud comedic than the Guardian's "immersive liberal insight" eyeglasses prank. Biology, nature and common sense have given us gay people – just like they've given us single people and male-female couples who don't have kids and all varieties of human beings and somehow the wheels of civilization just keep on turning anyway. Marriage equality doesn't mean that, as Huelskamp fears, "motherhood is superfluous" or that we're on the path to "further the destruction of the family." Do the opponents of basic civil rights really believe that? Come on, how would that even work? Do they think that by denying gay people the right to legally marry, they'll just somehow give up and become straight, thereby providing the earth with more old-fashioned man-lady families? Do they think that every time a homosexual couple gets married, God divorces a straight one? Do they hope that gay men and women will just, as Timothy Dolan suggests, shut up and quietly live as "friends" and stop making all this fuss? Or do they just not give a toss about how millions of Americans who have or wish to have their own loving marriages and families will work it all out, because, I don't know, gay people make them uncomfortable or something? You're putting us on, right?

But Huelskamp tips his hand in his clever pastiche of conservative paranoia is his over-the-top assertion that the gay agenda has "done irreparable harm to yet another pillar of the American paradigm for our patriotic, wholesome culture — 'God, the flag, mom and apple pie,'" because "The First Lady’s 'Let’s Move!' initiative and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s sugary-drink ban suggest the days of consuming apple pie might well be numbered." That's right. The gays aren't just coming for your moms and your marriages, America. They're coming for your dessert.

Let's look at the evidence here regarding the homosexual relationship to pie. Anne Burrell does favor apple tarts over pies, and that does sound suspiciously French. And Art Smith's Table 52 features pecan pie and chess pie, which seem pretty American but are obviously not Republican enough to keep America straight. But has Huelskamp seen Cat Cora roll out a crust? I defy any heterosexual in America to surpass her technique. And Ted Allen did a whole All American, apple pie-themed episode of "Chopped"! In short, though I haven't actually seen the document, I feel very confident that "take down apple pie" is not even on the first page of the Gay Agenda.

Furthermore, assuming this clown – who, funnily enough, is a real and elected official – is serious with his fear-mongering, let me try to quell some of the crazy. I can assure Mr. Huelskamp that as a woman, a mother and, frankly, a butt-kicking home baker, I have yet to have gay people threaten my status in any of those realms. There is no less motherhood or fatherhood or straightness or Americanness in the world because gay people and their allies believe they are entitled to equal rights. They're not here to take anything from anybody else. They just want their share of the American pie.

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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