Saturday, March 17, 2007

So many protests, so little time: Garrison Keillor in NYC

So, somewhere among the e-mails received and sent this week, Rex passed along a tidbit from advice columnist Dan Savage saying that instead of protesting General Peter Pace, people should maybe be acting up against A Prairie's Home Companion's Garrison Keillor.

The reason? A column Keillor wrote for this week available here in which he tackles, among other things, his supposedly humorous thoughts on gay parenting including the following:

And now gay marriage will produce a whole new string of hyphenated relatives. In addition to the ex-stepson and ex-in-laws and your wife's first husband's second wife, there now will be Bruce and Kevin's in-laws and Bruce's ex, Mark, and Mark's current partner, and I suppose we'll get used to it.

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men -- sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That's for the kids. It's their show.

Savage failed to see the joke and shared his thoughts on why people should "Fuck Garrison Keillor" over on his blog (which then got noticed by Andrew Sullivan over on his blog).

And somewhere along the way, Savage's wish seemed to inspire real call for a protest at today's live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion here in New York at the Town Hall on 43rd Street off Sixth Avenue.

Problem is the call for a protest apparently never got to too many people cause it was just Gay USA anchor Andy Humm (pictured above outside the Town Hall earlier today) holding a sign that read "Garrison Keillor: Stop Slurring Gay Parents" on one side and "Boycott Prairie Home Anti-Gay Bigotry" on the other. He was also and handing a statement to the people in line for the show that read, in part:
Heterosexual people don't need any qualifications to become parents nor do they have to be married. And they don't need any qualifications to be married other than to be of different sexes.

But Garrison Keillor is so repelled by the idea of gay parents and same-sex marriage that he needs to employ trivializing stereotypes to put them down.

Bigotry like this is shameful and we hope the NPR audience will tell Keillor what they think of his prejudices.
A Keillor rep actually came out and handed Andy a printed copy of yet another post made on a blog, in this case, Keillor's own, in which he responds to the criticism this way.

I'm not sure that explains some of the cringe-worthy passages away even if it was an attempt at humor. He does have some defenders out there though.

So many blog posts, just one person protesting at the theatre. Some theatre goers at least were receptive to the statement that Andy was handing to them.

I guess some controversies are made for the blogosphere if not necessarily for outdoor demos.

Or perhaps they all were at that other queer protest today?

UPDATE: Rex on Keillor here.

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