In the past weeks, a wave of gay teen suicides, a horrific hate crime in the Bronx and New York Governor-hopeful Carl Paladino’s much-talked-about anti-gay remarks have thrust America’s struggle with homophobia back into the spotlight.
Nation senior editor Richard Kim recently wrote that despite all the media attention given to anti-gay bullying, the coverage largely misses the bigger picture of pervasive homophobia in American society. Most commentators, he writes, are pointing fingers at the individual bullies, rather than confronting the homophobic culture that’s still the norm in this country—even in liberal circles.
Kim speaks with Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez about how even with the positive news of yesterday’s court ruling essentially ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, all these homophobic incidents contribute to an increasingly unsafe climate for LGBT people. "[Paladino’s] comments don’t necessarily have a policy implication, but it’s much broader than that," Kim explains. "It engages in systematic dehumanization of gay and lesbian people, and that’s absolutely related to the attacks that happened in the Bronx and the incidents of anti-gay bullying that we’re seeing across the country."
Watch this clip to hear about the ways politicians on the right continue to support America’s culture of homophobia—on a policy level and an ideological level—and what can be done to oppose it on an everyday basis.