In the 1919 court case of Schenck vs United States, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr argued that it should be illegal for a man to falsely yell “FIRE!” in a packed theatre if he knew that doing so would cause a panic. However, legally speaking, a man can yell whatever he wants to anywhere he wants to. The consequences of his words and actions, however, are something he has to deal with whether he likes it or not.
Earlier this week, Dan Savage went onstage and said that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council “sits on a pile of dead gay kids every day when he goes to work.” Guess how well Perkins took that one? I’ll give you a hint: possible legal action.
As my teenagers would say, he has some issues. He is a man with some real deep-seated issues … and Dan Savage is nowhere near, he’s a hundred and eighty degrees from the positions that we have taken. It’s wrong and I will tell you this, we are pursuing everything possible to deal with him because he is out of control….
Wait, can you sue someone over a metaphor? Oh, who are we kidding? That fucknut probably thinks a metaphor is what the devil calls his penis. Anyway, Dan fired back on his blog, saying that if you’re going to enable a society that encourages gay kids to kill themselves, then you don’t get to bitch about how the mean people are talking about you.
LGBT kids are four times greater risk of suicide. Tony Perkins advises the parents of LGBT kids to reject their children. LGBT kids who are rejected by their parents are at eight times greater risk of suicide. Perkins is aware of these studies and yet he actively encourages the parents of LGBT kids to do what Perkins knows will push those kids closer to suicide.
Sue me, Tony. I’d love to see you talk about my “issues” on a witness stand.
I realize that this isn’t how you think the world is supposed to work, Tony. You believe—and you’re old enough to remember a time when—people like you were free to say vile and disgusting things about people like me without anyone objecting. Certainly people like me weren’t allowed to call people like you out. You still believe you should be free to lie about me and other LGBT people with absolutely impunity—we’re all pedophiles and terrorists and Satanists—and that we should have to shut up and take it because… well, I’m not sure why you think we’re not allowed to respond when you lie about us.
Sorry, Tony, but you don’t get to spout off a bunch of crazy bullshit and then have an entired disenfranchised group just nod along politely. You can yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre all you want, but you have to take responsibility for the people you hurt, and you have to accept it when people call you out for being a stupid asshole.