Today, the trial against Proposition 8 included a lot of expert testimony on the history of marriage, and on the long, shameful history of discrimination against the gay community in the United States (click here for detailed liveblogs). The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has been live-tweeting the trial, and reported that a film from the 1950’s by the name of “Boys Beware” was introduced as evidence of said discrimination. Well, here’s that video. It’s fairly grotesque, I’ll warn you. It has all the hallmarks of the “vintage educational film”: the father-knows-best narrator, the ridiculous music, etc. But in this video, instead of teaching kids to duck and cover or whatever, we’re told about the threat of the “homosexual” as child predator. Viewed through the lens of sanity in the year 2010, you might feel like you’re watching something produced by The Onion. That we’ve come as far as we have from those days is the good news. The bad news is that there are still people in this country who secretly still believe this sort of crap, and they have no qualms about vilifying the LGBT community with similar smears. I wrote earlier about the Atwater-ization of anti-gay bigotry, and that applies here. In the 1950’s, it was “protect your children from the homosexual predator.” Now it’s simply “protect the children” from gay marriage. All the bigots have really done is amended the text, but it still sounds the dogwhistle for a certain ignorant, uneducated segment of the populace.
Anyway, don’t watch this while you’re eating.