Stephen Colbert’s Greatest Gay Hits


Prop 8 Protests with Dan Savage
Nov 11, 2008

One of the most frustrating things about the 2008 election was the way the media, including the gay media, took the idea that Prop 8 passed in California because of African-American votes. This idea was later debunked, but in the meantime, a lot of nasty crap got spewed, and some of it’s in this segment.

Colbert starts ranting about the “Gaystapo” in California protesting at Rick Warren‘s Saddleback Church, wondering why they’re not protesting at black churches. I think Colbert meant this satirically, but a lot of the news clips he showed seemed to take it seriously – including Rachel Maddow.

Guest Dan Savage also made a joke in questionable taste, not because it was too sexual – I mean, it’s Dan Savage – but because making a “black guys are hot” joke when discussing a painful political schism between two oppressed communities is offensive.

On the other hand, he talked about the difficult position that black gay Americans found themselves in at that time when the passage of Prop 8 was being so widely blamed on African American voters. Savage also pointed out that the real group that pushed Prop 8 to victory was another voting bloc altogether: old people. “Old people are the real villains in the piece, and they’re dying,” he tells Colbert. “Which is some comfort.”

This is also one of the rare episodes where Colbert completely cracks up – something he seems to do every time Savage guests.

Colbert Coalition’s Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
April 16, 2009

Remember the NOM “Storm Coming” ad against Prop 8? Of course you do. It’s the most over-the-top, ridiculous ad ever, and it spawned plenty of spoofs. In this segment, Colbert shows his.

“There’s a new threat to marriage, and it won’t be solved by clearing out your web browser,” he tells the Nation. He calls it “Armagaydon,” and shows the NOM ad.

“I love that ad,” he comments. “It’s like watching The 700 Club and the Weather Channel at the same time.”

Then he says that New York Gov. Patterson had just introduced bill to legalize same sex marriage in his state. “Why can’t we go back to the good old days when governors recognized that a marriage was something between a man, a woman, and an Emperor’s Club hooker?”

Then we get to see his ad, in which an actor says, “Did you know that if all 50 states approve gay marriage, straight marriage becomes illegal?”

Best line: “Paid for by generous donations from an anonymous group that may or may not be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”


The Word: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Oct. 26, 2009

Washington State had just passed its “Everything But Marriage” law, guaranteeing that same-sex domestic partners would get all the benefits of civil marriage under state law.

The group Protect Marriage Washington led a petition drive to get the law repealed by a popular vote, featuring an ad that didn’t have a single line of accurate fact in it: “It’s just another example of the terrible effect gay marriage has had on fact checking.”

Supporters of the law went to court to get the names of the petition signers, to force them out of the closet of bigotry, as it were. But the signers fought back, saying the state law requiring those signatures be made public was unconstitutional. (“The hate that dare not speak its name.”)

Stephen’s furious at the outing, saying he does not believe that signing the petition was a choice. “I think you’re born believing gays don’t have the right to get married,” he tells the camera earnestly.

In fact, he says, “We need to protect this persecuting minority. And the only way I can see to do that is for Washington residents to vote in favor of gay domestic partnerships. Because then, no one will care who signed the petition, and these people can stay in the closet that the gay people have abandoned.”

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