Quinn trivializes same-sex marriage effort, claiming: "[G]ays never wanted to get married until ... about five years ago"

››› ››› HANNAH DREIER

Radio host Jim Quinn claimed that heterosexual opponents of Proposition 8 are "guilty straights" and suggested that "gays never wanted to get married until ... about five years ago." In fact, same-sex couples have brought court cases to overturn bans on same-sex marriage for decades.

On the November 19 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, co-host Rose Tennent said of the nationwide protests that have followed the passage of a California ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage: "[T]here are so many people at the events that aren't gay." Co-host Jim Quinn replied, "Yeah, they're guilty straights," to which Tennent responded, "Guilty straights -- there we go." Earlier in the broadcast, Quinn stated: "[G]ays never wanted to get married until what -- about five years ago, we started to hear about this? ... [T]his is all -- this is a purely political act." In fact, same-sex couples have brought court cases to overturn bans on same-sex marriage for decades.

According to the website glbtq.com, the first court case challenging a ban on same-sex marriage was brought in Minnesota in 1970. Two men applied for a marriage license and sued the state when their application was rejected "on the sole ground," in the words of the Minnesota Supreme Court, "that petitioners were of the same sex, it being undisputed that there were otherwise no statutory impediments to a heterosexual marriage by either petitioner." The court upheld the ban on same-sex marriage in its 1971 decision. Numerous court cases challenging same-sex marriage bans have been brought since then, including cases in the 1970s, the 1990s, and the current decade.

As Media Matters for America documented, Quinn previously said: "The only thing that -- the only thing that gay marriage produce -- well, gay marriage doesn't produce anything that the state has an interest in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn't have -- or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their -- for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us." Quinn later added: "So why don't they charge gay men, especially, higher premiums? Because they're engaged in an activity that will have an impact on that -- on the health care system."

Talkers Magazine lists Quinn & Rose on its "Heavy Hundred" list, which it describes as a list of the "100 most important radio talk show hosts in America." According to the show's website, it airs on 18 radio stations and XM Satellite Radio.

From the November 19 broadcast of Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn & Rose:

TENNENT: You know, Elton John weighed in on all of this, and I thought it was interesting what he said. He said that -- he said, "I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership." Hey, that's what we've been saying all along, isn't it?

QUINN: Good grief, the voice of reason.

TENNENT: He said, "The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships." Now, see, this is interesting, because if that is -- you know, and this has been my argument all along. If there are the same rights -- equal rights within a civil partnership -- why are they going after marriage?

QUINN: Because it -- that's one of the basic underpinnings, one of the basic legs of Western civilization --

TENNENT: Right.

QUINN: -- and Judeo-Christian civilization.

TENNENT: They break that down --

QUINN: Right. Break it down, deconstruct it --

TENNENT: And you've broken down society.

QUINN: Exactly. Exactly. This is a purely -- the whole marriage issue is -- gays never wanted to get married until what -- about five years ago, we started to hear about this?

TENNENT: Yeah.

QUINN: No, this is all -- this is a purely political act.

TENNENT: See, he, actually, John -- Elton John distanced himself from the protesters and all the protests that are taking place in all the cities across the United States. He said, "What is wrong with Proposition 8 is they went for marriage."

[...]

TENNENT: This fringe that is out there -- and they're mobilizing, although they're seemingly bigger than a fringe, but they are still a fringe.

QUINN: Oh, yeah.

TENNENT: They are a fringe.

QUINN: They're very visible; loud.

TENNENT: And they're embarrassing to even other homosexuals in this country. They are. Their behavior, I think it's --

QUINN: Well, they've managed --

TENNENT: -- reprehensible. I really do. What?

QUINN: They've managed to fill the streets, though, with angry people. They get people all worked up about this stuff.

TENNENT: Yeah. And some of the people that are joining them aren't even necessarily gay, either -- you know --

QUINN: Oh, no. They're --

TENNENT: -- there are so many people at the events that aren't gay.

QUINN: Yeah, they're guilty straights.

TENNENT: Guilty straights -- there we go. So, Jim, I got a question for you. All of this -- like, later today, I hope, or possibly Friday, I wanted to go over some of the appointments.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT, Health Care, HIV/AIDS
Network/Outlet
Clear Channel
Person
Jim Quinn
Show/Publication
The War Room With Quinn & Rose
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