On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the US ruled that marriage is for all people, and that love and devotion are the only qualifications for those who wish to be espoused. Legally speaking, this changes everything; and the closer the US comes to recognizing equality, the closer we are to addressing the mental health problems that afflict the LGBTQ population due to discrimination.
Of course, not everyone in our country was happy about this decision. A non-profit, Catholic Vote, Inc., has released a youtube B&W video entitled “Not Alone” in which a group of six diverse, youngish adults appear, seemingly nervous, laughing and adjusting their clothing and hair, accompanied by an emotional soundtrack. Are they going to tell us about their experiences with prejudice? It seems so—they are all reluctantly “confessional” as they prepare to share their secrets with us.
“I am a little bit nervous about people, um, kind of hearing that I am this way and then thinking, um, ‘Oh, well, you know, um, she’s not welcome here.”
Each person describes a struggle with being “weird” or “different,” or being concerned they can’t “be open.” One explains “I’ve tried to change this before, but it’s too important to me.”
About a minute into the two-and-a-half-minute video, one person finally declares: “I actually think marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Oh—wait! These people are “coming out” as homophobic!
The strong implication is that the LGBTQ community and allies are being intolerant, and these folks have been hurt by it. And it gets worse. With fake emotion, these actors lay it on thick as they deliver their lines:
“I have friends who are gay—I don’t fear them, they’re wonderful people. What I do feel insecure about is speaking from the heart.” What, about telling your friends you wish to deny them the right to marry?
“Where’s that balance? Where can you say ‘No, I’m not going to be a part of this,’ but still respect someone?” Not a part of what? Love and commitment?
“‘Bigoted’ is a huge word that gets thrown around. And it’s just not true.” Yes it is—bigotry is real in America, and it’s everywhere; right here, for example.
The video ends with people sniffling and getting weepy as the message “You’re not alone” is repeated several times.
Congrats to Catholic Vote for making a video about homophobic people pretending to have to endure the same sort of struggle as LGBTQ people. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) does not agree: “LGBTQ individuals are almost 3 times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition such as major depression or generalized anxiety disorder. This fear of coming out and being discriminated against for sexual orientation and gender identities, can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, thoughts of suicide and substance abuse.”
LGBTQ people are 4 times more likely to commit suicide, and for those between the ages of 10-24, it is a leading cause of death (NAMI). Catholic Vote’s tagline for their campaign is “Speak Truth With Love.” When bigotry is proved to kill LGBTQ teens and trigger mental illness, what love are we talking about, and what truth?
Side note: youtube channel soundlyawake has made a parody of Catholic Vote’s video, with people “coming out” about racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Check it out: