By D’Anne Witkowski
A few months ago I watched “The Martian” starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who crash lands on Mars and is left for dead. Only he isn’t dead, everybody just thinks he is. I was exhausted and couldn’t stay awake, but I’m pretty sure that he has to drink his own pee and perform Mr. Wizard space-magic feats in order to save himself. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t die.
And do you know why he doesn’t die? Because he wasn’t a homo, that’s why. Because you know what? Mars is no place for homos. Or so says Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, the Dumbest Man in Congress.
In a speech on the House floor in late May, Gohmert wonders aloud what would happen if, say, a meteor hit the earth and wiped out humans, “as dinosaurs were ended at one time.” But never fear, he’s got a plan.
“OK, we’ve got a space ship that can go, as Matt Damon did in the movie, plant a colony somewhere. We can have humans survive this terrible disaster about to befall. If you could decide what 40 people you put on the space craft that would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples?”
Huh. Forty is a pretty specific number. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gohmert has a prototype of this spaceship in a barn somewhere.
“You’re wanting to save humankind for posterity,” he continues. “You have that ability to be a modern day Noah. You can preserve life. How many same-sex couples would you take from the animal kingdom and from humans to put on a space craft to perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom?”
Fun thought experiment! OK, here goes: I would choose all same-sex couples, specifically lesbians, in the hope that we could turn Mars into a modern day Themyscira. As for animals, we’d just bring rescues, mostly blind cats, three-legged dogs and severely emaciated horses we would nurse back to health.
Do I win?
Seriously, though. Gohmert is talking about the remote possibility that humans will be wiped out by a big space rock and that this disaster will spur them to colonize Mars on a spaceship that carries less than four dozen people. How many of those people would be gay? Who the fuck cares? Because LGBT people exist in real life, on planet Earth, right now. And we’re not going away.
Ah, yes. But that’s the problem.
“(When) we continue to prohibit the free exercise of religion, we don’t have much longer to go,” Gohmert says.
So that’s what this is all about. This whole “religious freedom” fight where Christian conservatives have convinced themselves that any civil rights afforded LGBT people are a direct attack on their “right” to hurt people for Jesus. “God wants us to discriminate!” they holler. They’re fucking delusional.
Gohmert also apparently doesn’t realize that lesbians and gays have kids, too. True, two men can’t make a baby together by themselves, but has Gohmert ever heard of sperm donors? Surrogate mothers? I mean, just because you’re a lesbian doesn’t mean your womb shrivels up and dies.
Say, maybe my Themyscira idea could come true after all. If, in this scenario, we can get a spaceship to Mars, think of how advanced reproductive technology would be by then! Careful what you wish for, Gohmert. And keep dreaming the big dreams — just maybe next time write them down in a journal instead of wasting time on the House floor.