By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com May 25 2014 1:01 PM ET
Bill Maher says Michael Sam’s televised kiss with his boyfriend signals that “the culture war is over, and we won!” — but he also calls on LGBT supporters to be tolerant of those who didn’t “evolve exactly on the timetable you did.”
Maher made the remarks on Friday’s edition of his HBO show, Real Time With Bill Maher. While he asserted his support for LGBT equality, he denounced what he sees as excessive political correctness. “Unfortunately, political correctness is making a comeback, and now with the Internet, it is easier than ever,” he said.
“Last week, when the first gay football player got chosen in the NFL draft, a player named Don Jones tweeted, ‘OMG. Horrible,’” Maher continued. “As is his right, under the asshole clause in the Constitution. But the Dolphins fined him and threw him off the team until he underwent sensitivity training, which is when they calmly sit you down and they pin your eyes open like in A Clockwork Orange and make you watch the Bravo channel for 24 hours straight. I mean 24 hours gay.
“I mean, when you hear the Duck Dynasty guy going off on homosexuality, like he did again this week, why even listen? What do you think he was going to say — the Tonys are nothing without Neil Patrick Harris? Folks, we had a televised, celebrated interracial gay kiss during the NFL draft. The culture war is over, and we won!”
He also called out the forced resignation of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla because of his support of California’s Proposition 8 and the cancellation of the Benham brothers’ planned HGTV show in the wake of publicity about their antigay views. “You can’t purge everybody who doesn’t evolve exactly on the timetable you did,” he said.
At The New Civil Rights Movement, David Badash takes exception to some of Maher’s comments. “Sadly, Maher, as he often does, pronounced sentence before bothering to fully examine the overall issue,” Badash writes. “The Benhams didn’t just make ugly remarks about LGBT people — which is bad enough — they actively worked to deny LGBT people civil rights. Brendan Eich of Mozilla didn’t just disagree with same-sex marriage, he donated money to a nasty, ugly campaign.”
“Maher’s call for tolerance isn’t what’s wrong,” Badash concludes, “it’s that he’s choosing to ignore important facts, and asking progressives to do the same.”
Watch Maher’s commentary below and see what you think.