“Granting Rights to Perverts:” Texans Still Homophobic Despite Marriage Equality

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For most of us (especially here in the progressive blogosphere), the mood since last week’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage has been jubilant. Gay couples’ joy has been infectious as we’ve celebrated their civil rights.

Sure, Texas politicians have been reacting negatively–from Ken Paxton’s legal antics to the Dixiecrat-adjacent reactions of much of the Republican party–but it can be easy to write those off as the tantrums of people grasping for relevance (especially when we’re caught up in our own exuberant celebrations.)

However, Texas politicians aren’t the only ones reacting with hate. Plenty of everyday Texans are responding to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling with homophobic vitriol. One need only look at the online reactions to news about marriage equality to see how hateful some Texans can be.

East Texas has, unsurprisingly, been the worst of the bunch. When the ruling came out, several East Texas counties still refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Commenters on news stories out of East Texas have reflected that same attitude. Take, for example, this commenter calling gay people “perverts” when the Tyler, TX Fox affiliate announced the ruling:

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The Tyler ABC affiliate got hateful comments both on its website, and its Facebook page. When they reported on the first marriage license issued in Smith County, commenters invoked God and the Bible to condemn gay marriage (this is a common theme among commenters):

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KLTV’s Facebook page was even more active with hateful comments. Simply acknowledging the landmark nature of the day resulted in the following:

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When the same-sex marriage licenses began to be issued in East Texas counties, like here and here, people called the historic marriages “crap” that shouldn’t be covered:

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Not everyone was hateful–there were some perfectly reasonable responses, like this one:

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But for every reasonable response, there’s always a person heralding the coming of the apocalypse:

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Of course, East Texas wasn’t the only place where hateful, homophobic comments could be found. Even cities like Dallas and Austin had their fair share of anti-gay contempt. Take these comments on the Dallas NBC affiliate’s report of the initial ruling, and this post about the first marriage licenses issued in Dallas:

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When Denton rallied in support of same-sex marriage, commenters responded with totally logical, reasonable comparisons between the rainbow LGBT flag and the Confederate flag:

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Even in liberal Austin, there was plenty of anti-gay hate. On Austin ABC affiliate KVUE’s Facebook page, a post about pride parades, there was this bizarre attempt to claim that LGBT folks and their allies who had rainbow Facebook profile pictures were basically sex offenders:

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By the end of the weekend, comments on same-sex marriage articles devolved into the standard internet, WAKE UP SHEEPLE:

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These hateful comments are just a small sample of the reactions to same-sex marriage across Texas. Of course, there are plenty of people reacting happily to this positive step forward for LGBT civil rights. But it’s important not to get so caught up in our joy that we forget that there’s still plenty of hate out there, and that we’ve got a long way to go to achieve true acceptance and equality.


About Author

Katie Singh

Katie grew up in Austin and has been involved in Texas politics since 2004. She has been a part of several campaigns, from state house races to working at President Obama's campaign headquarters in 2012. She loves public policy, public health, and tacos. Katie tweets from @kasingh19.

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