STRAIGHT RIGHTS UPDATE: Iâ€™ve been running around with my hair on fire trying to convince my straight readers that religious conservatives donâ€™t just hate homos. Their attacks on gay people, relationships, parents, and sex get all the press, but the American Taliban has an anti-straight-rights agenda too. As I wrote on March 23: â€œThe GOPâ€™s message to straight Americans: If you have sex, we want it to fuck up your lives as much as possible. No birth control, no emergency contraception, no abortion services, no lifesaving vaccines. If you get pregnant, tough shit. Youâ€™re going to have those babies, ladies, and youâ€™re going to make those child-support payments, gentlemen. And if you get HPV and it leads to cervical cancer, well, thatâ€™s too bad. Have a nice funeral, slut.â€
After raising the alarm for months back here in the sex ads section, I was intensely gratified to read Russell Shortoâ€™s brilliant cover story, â€œThe War on Contraception,â€ in the New York Times Magazine last weekend. To readers who think Iâ€™m being hysterical: So you donâ€™t think the religious right would seriously go after birth control? Fine, donâ€™t believe me. But maybe youâ€™ll believe Shorto when he lays out the American Talibanâ€™s plan to deny access to birth controlâ€”any and all types, folks, not just emergency contraception.
â€œIn particular, and not to put too fine a point on it, they want to change the way Americans have sex,â€ Shorto writes. â€œContraception, by [their] logic,â€ Shorto continues, â€œencourages sexual promiscuity, sexual deviance (like homosexuality), and a preoccupation with sex that is unhealthful even within marriage.â€ Shorto quotes Judie Brown, president of the American Life League: â€œWe see a direct connection between the practice of contraception and the practice of abortion. The mind-set that invites a couple to use contraception is an antichild mind-set. So when a baby is conceived accidentally, the couple already have this negative attitude toward the child. Therefore seeking an abortion is a natural outcome. We oppose all forms of contraception.â€ And thereâ€™s this from R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: â€œI cannot imagine any development in human history, after the Fall, that has had a greater impact on human beings than the pillâ€¦ Prior to it, every time a couple had sex, there was a good chance of pregnancy. Once that is removed, the entire horizon of the sexual act changes. I think there could be no question that the pill gave incredible license to everything from adultery and affairs to premarital sex and within marriage to a separation of the sex act and procreation.â€
Iâ€™ll say it again, breeders: The American Taliban is not just opposed to straight premarital sex, with their abstinence education and hilariously ineffective virginity pledges, or gay sex, with their â€œex-gayâ€ campaigns and their anti-gay-marriage amendments. The American Taliban doesnâ€™t think married heterosexual couples should be able to use birth control. If you care about your own freedomâ€”not just your right to have premarital sex, but your right to decide whether, when, and how many children youâ€™re going to haveâ€”you need to read â€œThe War on Contraception.â€ And donâ€™t comfort yourself with the notion that these are just some antisex religious wackos: The Bush administration not only listens to these wackos, it appoints them to important positions all over the federal governmentâ€”and letâ€™s not even think about the members of the American Taliban that Bush has already appointed to lifetime positions in the federal judiciary.
This is some serious shit, breeders. Youâ€™re being attacked. Itâ€™s time to fight back.
Copyright Dan Savage. Thanks to JoanieC for calling it to my attention.