I generally apply the Fox News principle to Michele Bachmann: Her outbursts of bigoted argle-bargle are so absurdly hateful that they serve as their own best satire. But this week, Bachmann came up with an anti-gay conspiracy theory that, I regret to say, might actually need debunking. On the conservative talk show Faith and Liberty, Bachmann insisted that, once the gay community succeeded in legalizing polygamy, it would set its sights on legalizing pedophilia:
[The gay community] want[s] to abolish age of consent laws. Which means children…we would do away with statutory rape laws so that adults would be able to freely prey on little children sexually. That’s the deviance that we’re seeing embraced in our culture today.
Where did Bachmann get this idea from? Her own feverish, paranoid imagination, of course. The canard that gay people—mostly gay men—are all salacious child predators was once commonly held in America, but today it’s been relegated to the darker corners of the anti-gay right. We shouldn’t be surprised that Bachmann still clings to this vicious myth; this is, after all, the woman who called the Lion King gay propaganda.
In fact, we may have reached a point in the gay rights struggle when, rather than castigating people like Bachmann, we should thank them for admitting what their Christian conservative brethren are too cowardly to say out loud. Surely there’s still a sizable (if shrinking) contingent of Americans who think gays are pedophiles who should be stoned to death. At this stage, they might as well come out of their own closet and show the country what unalloyed homophobia really looks like. In an era when conservatives can soft-peddle their anti-gay animus as respect for “traditional marriage,” it’s refreshing to see someone come out and admit that they’re just plain disgusted by gays. For the first, and probably last, time in her life, Michele Bachmann may have just done the gay rights movement a favor.