Friday, July 21, 2006

Doing Fannie Flagg proud

I'm sure stranger things have happened in a red, red state of the deep, deep south, but I can't think of any at the moment. Here's the story from earlier this week:

"Patricia Todd made history Tuesday when voters in Alabama's 54th legislative district voted to send the Democrat to the State House, marking the first time ever that legislature will include an openly gay Representative. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation's largest gay and lesbian political action committee, endorsed Todd and helped raise tens of thousands of dollars from its national network of donors to help fund her campaign. Todd has no Republican opponent in the general election in November."
I was very glad to read this, but I couldn't help some cynicism creep in: I doubt this would have happened with a male homosexual. The treatment of female homosexuality by the general populace seems to be more lenient than male homosexuality. I think this is mainly due to most straight people perceiving the former as harmless or, in many cases, arousing, while the later has often been seen as just plain icky.

And lest we think that the state might be turning around, I came across this article from a year ago on the CBS News site:
Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.
Getting back to Fannie Flagg, that means that, if the bill had passed, none of her books could be added public school library collections. To all you folks in Alabama: I've taken a look at the prominent authors that hail from your neck of the woods, and Fannie Flagg is probably the best you got. Best for you not smother what little cultural beauty that manages to blossom from your state.

Thankfully, the bill died a very well-deserved death, and Fried Green Tomatoes can soldier on.

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