Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Does Gay Marriage Lead to Productions of "Zanna Don't"?

That's pretty much what Peter Wolfgang of The Family Institute of Connecticut asserts in response to a Hartford, CT, high school production of Zanna, Don't!.  It made headlines after two male characters kissed, which prompted several students to walk outZanna, Don't! tells the story of a world where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexual students are bullied and compelled to hide their sexual orientations.  The play's content was announced ahead of the performance and apparently some students chose to stay home instead of watching the play.  But several students and several parents showed up carrying Bibles and using the event to preach against homosexuality.

Since then, the religious right has been using the play to preach against marriage equality.  Peter Wolfgang told MSNBC viewers:
What people in the other 44 states that don’t have same-sex marriage need to know is that if you get same-sex marriage, this is coming to your state. You will not have the right to decide for yourself what your children will be taught about right or wrong.”
Which is B.S., of course.

1. This wasn't a play about "gay marriage".  It's about flipping the script and seeing what might happen if homosexuality was the norm and heterosexuality was viewed as socially wrong.  It shows the ostracization of teens in a school culture that encourages homosexuality, but not heterosexuality.  Kind of like real life in most of today's culture except in real life you need to replace the word "heterosexuality" wherever it says "homosexuality" and vice versa. 

2. Gay people did kiss before marriage equality came to Connecticut.  Taking away marriage equality from Connecticut won't prevent gay people from kissing.  Additionally, watching two guys kiss won't transform people into gay people.  If that was the case, there would be a lot fewer gay people on Broadway, given the preponderance of straight smooches on-stage.

3. Lastly, a male/male kiss is being used as evidence that marriage equality is this horrible problem.  It's a kiss.  A kiss isn't a sign of horribleness.  It's just a kiss.  I hate it when people try to use evidence of gay marriage as evidence that gay marriage is bad.  This fretting over a kiss is just as bad.

It's worth nothing that Zanna, Don't! came about in 2002 in New York, long before marriage equality was a reality in that state.  It has played in marriage equality states and it has played in marriage inequality states.  In other words, Mr. Wolfgang is spouting nonsense when he asserts that marriage equality spawns productions of this play.  But it makes for a good tag line when on cable news programs...


Sierra said...

Someone finally got it right XD So many people are making up crap about this, so thank you for analyzing it properly. I have three friends who were in the show and I brought my friend, who just came out, to see it. It was an amazing show and it definitely got the point across that this is real life and everyone should be equal. :)

Jon said...

Thanks Sierra. I've never seen the play, though I love the soundtrack. Glad to hear that your friends kicked butt on stage!