Dallas-based radio host Kellie Raspberry is under fire today after coming out against marriage equality on the popular nationally-syndicated morning show, Kidd Kraddick. Details follow.
During a discussion of this week's Prop 8 ruling, Kidd Kraddick co-host Kellie Raspberry launched into a homophobic tirade.
It all started with Kellie's thoughts on NOH8 participants. "I will tell you this: I think the majority of people with those fabulous NOH8 pictures with the tape over their mouths and airbrushed to perfection don't even know what they're taking a picture for. They just want a real pretty picture of themselves. I bet half of them couldn't even tell you what NOH8 means. You have never heard of one of these people stand up for marriage but they've got a smoking hot picture."
"I'm not gay, I've got a lot of friends that are gay. We don't talk about it much. But I don't really ... the way I was raised, marriage is between a man and a woman. We're all coming from different places with it. It's really an issue. I still fall on the side that marriage is between a man and a woman. If you really love someone can you marry anyone? There's a fine line. A lot of people look at marriage as a religious thing, so we don't ever really talk about it because it's dividing and complicated. And I love my gay friends, though."
(Fast forward to the 10 minute mark for the start of the conversation)
The backlash was nearly instantaneous, with LGBT supporters and homophobes alike posting to Kellie's Facebook page to give her a piece of their mind.
One comment in particular reads:
"Sorry you "got your feelings hurt" and cried... sounds like a daily occurrence to me when someone calls me a "fag" under their breath as they pass or a co-worker calls something "gay" because it is stupid, or... won't allow me to publicly express my commitment and marry the man love and with whom I want to spend my life. You didn't say "I like sorbet more than ice cream" you hit a hot spot with a large group of Americans who are considered unequal, and most likely have had to deal with the hate their whole lives. Suck it up and watch what you say... you are a pubic figure."
"All these people are hating on here and going on about how their civil rights are being violated and how society is so unfair to them because they are gay/homosexual. Since when in our society was it ok to write/say ugly, disgusting things to another human being simply because we don't agree with their opinion? Don't apologize Kellie you shouldn't have to! I have gay/lesbian friends & family members, I don't agree with homosexuality at all but it doesn't change how I feel about those friends or family members and they don't hate me for my feelings on their lifestyle."
Kellie has since updated her Facebook status with a clarification that reads:
We discuss a lot of things on our show, and the subject of gay marriage came up. Some of you say I was wrong to have said anything and that I just should've kept my mouth shut. However, had I said I was all for gay marriage, you'd be the ones giving me virtual high-fives and thanking me for sticking my neck out there on such a controversial subject. So, I told the truth about how I felt about it. I stuck my neck out there and now it's like people are fighting over who gets to swing the hatchet.
And the thing is, I have very seldom talked on the subject. I don't campaign for or against gay marriage. I don't boycott, picket, petition or threaten anybody who doesn't agree with me. In fact, I can't tell you the last time I've talked to anybody about it because the subject simply doesn't come up that often. I am sure now it will come up more and that's probably a good thing. But when I was asked how I felt about it, I didn't run from the question and I didn't lie. I told the truth about how I feel.
Yes, I had a very religious upbringing. And as a child, you sometimes simply believe what you are taught. And then you grow up. And as I grew up, I questioned a lot of what I was taught. Did I believe as I did simply because of what I was told? Did I believe as I did because of what could be proven in the scriptures? There were some things I was absolutely sure of, but there were other things that fell into a bit of a gray area for me and then some other things that I completely changed my mind on. For instance, there was a time when I thought only Baptists were going to Heaven and I was just so glad that I was one of them! You'll be happy to know that I have since changed my position on that. ;) And as I grow older, my feelings on lots of things may change.
But what about gay marriage? I was raised to believe marriage is between a man and a woman and I still lean towards that…but like other things, my mind might change on that someday, as well. No, I haven't pored over the scriptures to find a definitive answer. Perhaps I should do that now since it's suddenly become my "issue." But I'm not mad at anybody who thinks differently than I do. Gay marriage is not a chest-thumping conviction of mine, but I can certainly understand when someone feels they don’t have full equality that it is a strong conviction for them. It's something I struggle with because I have gay friends who I love so much that I consider them to be part of my family. And because I love them, I want them to be happy and have a truly fulfilled lives and enjoy the same rights as anyone else. That's why my I sometimes feel conflicted. While some of my friends are very passionate about gay marriage, some have not discussed it with me. But even when the subject has come up in some of our discussions, never has any one of them threatened to no longer be my friend because of it. Not one of them has called me a bigot or accused me of spreading hate. Nobody has ever wished that my daughter would grow up to be a lesbian to "teach me a lesson." It's just happens to be something we don't agree on, but miraculously, we're all still friends. I know that our president has similar views as the one I honestly expressed, that marriage is between a man and a woman. The president says his views are evolving. Who knows? Maybe mine may, too! No doubt he has people from the community who disagree with him, but I would hope nobody wishes ill of him as we all examine how we feel. Hopefully we ALL continue to evolve.
Raspberry carries herself as a LGBT supporter in the Dallas area, through regular hosting gigs at Gay Bingo and attempted appearances at pro-gay fundraisers. But Dallas' gay community isn't impressed with this side of the public figure.
According to Dallas Voice:
Resource Center Dallas’ Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell said he was trying to contact Rasberry for a clarification.
“Your opinion was not innocuous, it was bigotry, and bigotry is social poison,” wrote Gabriela Equality Valdepeña.
“Man, Kellie, that’s just all kinds of wrong what you said,” wrote Emily Scott. “And your reason was lame. It wasn’t even a reason, just an excuse for you not to think.”
“Just because you were raised ignorant don’t mean you have to remain so,” wrote Paul Jay Ritter, Jr. “People change, and it’s okay.”
What say you, Instincters? Can Raspberry be both an LGBT supporter and against marriage equality? Should action be taken in the wake of her comments?