Friday, March 18, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - Dynasty

Dynasty will be remembered as one of the campiest soap operas on television. The story of a Colorado tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe), his family, and his diabolical ex-wife (Joan Collins) remains a popular staple in the minds of many.

Dynasty also  featured one of the first gay men to ever appear on a prime-time drama. Steven Carrington (first played by Al Corley and then Jack Coleman) was the son of Blake Carrington. His homosexuality was an interesting plot device on so many occasions. His father accidentally killed his lover in season one and thus had to stand trial. This led to the introduction of the villianess of the drama, Blake's ex-wife Alexis.

And then Steven married a woman, had a child, had plastic surgery, fought his father for custody of the child, got married to another woman, got custody of his child, reconciled with his father, got into relationship with another man which ended when this guy was killed during a wedding massacre, saved his father, walked out on his family, came back and had a happy relationship with another man.

Whew. Well to tell the truth, Steven's trials and tribulations didn't interest me. The one thing I did find interesting though was how Steven's sexual orientation created a shift. Alexis, usually the villain in the soap opera, supported him, while Blake - the hero - had serious problems accepting him.

The scene above is from the Dynasty reunion miniseries when Blake finally, finally accepts Steven.

Past Know Your LGBT History Postings:

NOM playing Hispanic community against lgbts in Rhode Island and other Friday midday news briefs

NOM dividing us as a people: Rhode Island Hispanic Church edition - Fresh from exploiting the fears of African-Americans in Maryland, now the National Organization for Marriage is doing the same to the Hispanic community in Rhode Island.

Slim majority back gay marriage, Post-ABC poll says - Speaking of which, the president of NOM, Brian Brown, is angry at this poll and is trying to "game the referee."

Barber & Staver: Sex Ed Is Poisoning The Minds of Young People - Of course they have to attack openly gay Obama appointee Kevin Jennings.

Committee passes NV bill adding transgender people to hate crime protection - Good news out of Nevada.

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Slated for Debate
- Ugh, I say. Ugh.

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More than half of Americans support gay marriage according to poll

In news which I know will cause the religious right some consternation, it would seem that the nation is warming up to gay marriage:

More than half of Americans say it should be legal for gays and lesbians to marry, a first in nearly a decade of polls by ABC News and The Washington Post.

This milestone result caps a dramatic, long-term shift in public attitudes. From a low of 32 percent in a 2004 survey of registered voters, support for gay marriage has grown to 53 percent today. Forty-four percent are opposed, down 18 points from that 2004 survey.

The issue remains divisive; as many adults "strongly" oppose gay marriage as strongly support it, and opposition rises to more than 2-1 among Republicans and conservatives and 3-1 among evangelical white Protestants, a core conservative group. But opposition to gay marriage has weakened in these groups from its levels a few years ago, and support has grown sharply among others – notably, among Catholics, political moderates, people in their 30s and 40s and men. 

And here is something which will really send the religious right into orbit:

The poll has an insufficient sample size to evaluate individual racial minority groups reliably. However, support for gay marriage is essentially identical among whites, 53 percent, and nonwhites, 54 percent. That's up by 13 points among whites – and by 20 among nonwhites.

Support is up by a striking 23 points among white Catholics, often a swing group and one that's been ready, in many cases, to disregard church positions on political or social issues.

However, I still remain cynical. Like I said last night:

  . . . we know the religious right works - some overly generous funds from anonymous sources, a couple of hundreds of thousands of glossy pamphlets blanketing a few states talking about how children will turn gay because of marriage equality, a few greased palms to various black ministers who will be more than eager to decry about the "highjacking of the civil rights movement" (you really don't think these ministers are raising hell out because of personal righteous indignation, do you), a few hundred thousand emails filled with homophobic talking points, a few visits to Fox News and then the tide turns.

In other words, we'll see how this poll holds up.

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