Nothing ‘strong’ about ‘Strong’ ad

Rick Perry’s new advertisement discriminates against the LGBT community.

Melanie Williams

Campaign ads donâÄôt necessarily have a history of being flattering to minorities, but Rick PerryâÄôs recent âÄúStrongâÄù ad takes the gay-bashing cake. Within this ad, Perry takes the opportunity to broadcast his Christian righteousness, complain about our countryâÄôs necessary separation of church and state and attempt to assert that the absence of mandatory prayer in public schools is worse than any persecution LGBT people face.

 The ad has gone viral online, and itâÄôs easy to see why âÄî the implicit homophobia cannot be denied, and those who are looking out for the LGBT community are appalled.

Saying that somethingâÄôs wrong with the country when gays can serve openly in the military but children âÄúcanâÄôt pray openly in schoolsâÄù is completely facetious. After all, if your kids want to pray in a public school, itâÄôs unlikely that anyone will stop them, and a reasonable expression of Christianity is not against the law. A childâÄôs expression of their religious identity in school isnâÄôt banned, just as a soldierâÄôs expression of their queer identity shouldnâÄôt be.

This ad, better than any other, displays all of the reasons Rick Perry would make a terrible president, the biggest of which is his privilege-rooted bigotry. Apparently the thought that his status is not a right but a privilege afforded to him as a white, heterosexual, Christian man has not occurred to him.

His clear ignorance is probably the second biggest reason that the only âÄústrongâÄù aspect of PerryâÄôs presidency would be the strength of his wrecking ball of a platform as it demolishes every merit America has left.

Perry is right: There is a problem in this country. But itâÄôs not that LGBT folks can serve openly in our military. ItâÄôs the fact that people like Perry advocate an un-American idea of institutionalized religion and believe that their identity deserves more respect than the identities of others.

 

Melanie Williams welcomes comments at [email protected]