Defending LGTBQ+ rights can be likened to an action-packed scene in the latest John Wick movie. The hero climbs the stairs of Montmartre leading up to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris, and just as he gets to the top, a bunch of baddies kick him back down. Just like the ongoing challenge of pursuing progress, resilience and equality. The United States Supreme Court recently upheld a decision allowing a website designer to refuse to create wedding websites for gay couples. Oddly enough, she doesn’t specialize in wedding websites and never received any requests for her services from gay individuals. Nevertheless, she chose to position herself as a champion of discrimination. These are times when the heroism of figures like Rosa Parks seems to fade into obscurity, while misguided actions attract all the attention. It’s disheartening to see huge banners in Madrid screaming xenophobic tirades. Like the captions of a silent movie, they foretell an impending tragedy.
Donald Trump strove to reshape the US Supreme Court by appointing ultra-conservative judges to beat back the hard-fought social progress achieved in recent decades. Influential religious groups surprisingly backed this morally flawed man who had extramarital affairs with porn actresses. Read Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation if you want a better understanding of this unlikely alliance.
To protest the Supreme Court’s ruling, actor Michael Imperioli of The Sopranos and The White Lotus, posted a sarcastic message on Instagram thanking the Court for allowing him to forbid bigots and homophobes from watching any of his work. Since intolerance and the inability to detect irony often go hand in hand, he was forced to delete the post.
We were used to seeing this inanity in rural America, but the contagion has spread to Spain. The conservative People’s Party-Vox coalition that governs in Santa Cruz de Bezana (northern Spain) has decided to ban theater screenings of Lightyear, the 2022 animated film, all because of a tender display of affection between two women. This brief anecdote offers but a glimpse of what awaits. “America is becoming dumber by the minute,” said Imperioli on Instagram. Unfortunately, Mr. Imperioli, this goes way beyond the United States.
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