WARNING! Vulgar, sexually-oriented language ahead.
South Dakota Republican Steve Hickey recently wrote a letter to the editor of The Argus Reader exposing his obsession with how certain people have sex. (the letter has not yet been published) Here’s what Hickey had to say:
A One Way Alley for the Garbage Truck
Rep. Steve Hickey, District 9, Sioux Falls
Consider this an open letter to the medical and psychological communities in South Dakota. The subject is homosexuality, which is about to be a front-page topic for the next few years in our state. I’m asking the doctors who practice in our state, is the science really settled on this issue or is it more the case that you feel silenced and intimidated?
Certainly there are board-certified doctors in our state who will attest to what seems self-evident to so many: gay sex is not good for the body or mind. Pardon a crude comparison but regarding men with men, we are talking about a one-way alley meant only for the garbage truck to go down. Frankly, I’d question the judgment of doctor who says it’s all fine.
South Dakota docs, it’s time for you to come out of the closet and give your professional opinion on this matter like you capably and responsibly do on all the others. Somehow the message we are presently getting from the medical community is that eating at McDonalds will kill us but the gay lifestyle has no side effects. Truth be told it seems self-evident the list of side effects would read far longer than anything we hear on a Cialis commercial.
If many are indeed wearying of our religious community leading on these morality issues, and believe also those of us in the legislature should butt out too, it’s time for the medical community in our state to be honest with us. If you don’t speak up, this issue will be decided by five unelected judges on the Supreme Court regardless of what states like ours have decided by public vote.
This indeed is a matter of being on the wrong side of history considering that historically, homosexuality has been a notable marker of the downfall of past civilizations, not their rise. It’s not hate for a physician to speak up about something that is harmful to human health. It is not unloving to tell people you don’t have to have sex with and marry someone to love and be loved by them. As one who performs marriages and counsels couples as part of my professional life, marriage is the last thing I’d recommend to someone who simply wants to be loved and legitimized. What do other health care and mental health professionals in our state really think?
The South Dakota High School Activities Association is presently considering changing the rules to accommodate transgender kids. Forty-one percent of those who struggle with Gender Dysphoria attempt suicide, that’s twenty-five times the rate of the general population– certainly tragic and urgent but not a word from the medical and psychological communities? So really, we are letting our basketball coaches sort it out while ACLU lawyers look carefully over their shoulders!?
Letting boys play girl sports is not the starting place to fix the suicide problem or the very real daily struggle these students face dealing with something they have been handed in life. Society is broken and people have broken identities. Is it really best for us to break down the one remaining thing that has been working in society to try to fix the broken in our midst? And does it really even do that, or does it merely put them in more places exposing them to additional painful ostracization all the while transferring serious anxieties to other innocent and impressionable ones in those locker rooms? We need to have compassion but there are unintended consequences to consider too.
Before we let lawyers and judges decide this for our state and override the will of the people in the 2006 election, I issue a call to the medical and psychological communities and associations to weigh in publicly and timely on the matter of homosexuality and the human body, psyche and family, particular kids.
The short response to Hickey’s letter to the editor is, mind your own %&*$* business. Who does what, when, where, and how, as long as they are consenting adults, is none of Hickey’s business. When someone obsesses over the sexual proclivities of others, I begin to wonder if they secretly desire what they object to. As we have learned from the sex scandals of politicians and clergy over the years, often those whose moralize the loudest are, in secret, doing the very things they self-righteously object to. Perhaps Steve Hickey is a repressed homosexual or secretly desires to play in the garbage truck alley.
Not only is Hickey a South Dakota Representative, he is also a pastor. Hickey is the pastor of Church at the Gate is Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The church is a fundamentalist church affiliated with The Association of Related Churches. ( Previously, I wrote about another ARC church, Elevate City Church in Fort Wayne) After looking at his church’s website, I think that I have found conclusive proof that Hickey is a closet homosexual. Consider this graphic from the church’s website:
Now, I don’t really know if Hickey is a closeted homosexual. All I know is, based on his blog and his letter to the editor, he is a homophobic bigot that thinks he has a right to meddle in the sexual proclivities of others.
Hickey is using a tired objection to homosexuality based on the method many gays use to have sex. The anus is not meant for sexual intercourse, so it is wrong to have anal sex. He thinks he is being cute with the garbage truck line, forgetting the fact that his penis is used to empty liquid bodily waste. Using Hickey’s logic, the penis should not be used for sex.
The mouth is also not made for sex. The mouth is used to eat, breathe, burp, and vomit. I wonder if Hickey thinks oral sex is wrong? And what about heterosexual couples that engage in anal sex? I wonder what he thinks about couples who think any opening is a potential site for sex?
It is one thing for doctors and scientists to say that this or that sexual practice has _____________risk. Surely Hickey knows that vaginal sex has risks too? Everything we do in life has risk, and unless the risk is egregious, the government has no business banning or restricting a particular behavior. Just because some people who do _____________ have a negative outcome doesn’t mean that everyone should be barred from doing it.
The real issue here is that Hickey is a fundamentalist Christian pastor who thinks any form of sexual activity except penis/vaginal intercourse between a heterosexual married couple is a sin. He wants the Evangelical Christian moral code made binding on everyone. To put it bluntly, if he can’t have fun between the buns no one can.
Of greater concern is Hickey’s view of transgendered people. (and I assume his view of anyone who is not heterosexual) Hickey, if he is the Christian fundamentalist I think he is, believes God created male and female, end of story. (though one line in a report suggests he “might” think gays are “born that way) He likely considers all other genders sinful, the choice of, to use his words, broken people. In Hickey’s mind, a transgender person is just a broken sinner acting on their sinful, wicked desires. The fact that he asks the medical and the psychological community to weigh in likely means that he thinks those who are having gender identity issues are mentally ill.
As Slate.com makes clear, the medical community have already weighed in on these issues:
According to a Talking Point Memo, Hickey is receiving a huge backlash from his letter. Here is what Hickey had to say:
“I’ve received hundreds of emails, lots of tweets. My wife is getting calls, my kids are getting calls. I’m getting calls at all my phone numbers, home and work, which are public. So this is not a crowd that will tolerate any conversation about what they want to legitimize, what they want us to legitimize.”
“I call it the faux outrage of the shock value gay pride people who feed vulgarity and obscenity to seven and eight year olds, and seventh graders and eighth graders in health class, and all of a sudden they’re shocked by my garbage truck thing. Whatever,”
“I grieve because in this debate what gets lost is my heart. I want what’s best for people. If you hung around me, you wouldn’t see a bit of hate. I care. We have people in our church who are struggling with all kinds of things. I treat this no different than anything else.”
“I have had my own struggles with a variety of things in the past. I mentioned my health problems I’ve had. I’ve spent my life helping people and sometimes it’s tough love, but I’m not an enabler. And with any kind of addictive and unhealthy behavior, if you only have people around you who tell you it’s OK, that’s what we have going on with this issue. We have a society that has now enabled what would be a biological perversion. I think society breaks down. It affects families. It’s not better. I’m not alone in that. In the midst of all this, I got a lot of people who are saying, ‘Hang in there, man.’”
I have no doubt that Hickey has been savagely attacked. When you directly attack a group of people, you can expect some of them to violently respond. Welcome to the internet, Pastor Hickey. Of course, Hickey has taken to Twitter to whine about his treatment:
Yes, the email Hickey references is vulgar. However, lost on Hickey is the fact that so was his letter to the editor of The Argus Reader. It was offensive to all of us who value justice and equal rights for all, who think the government has no business poking its nose into how, when, where, and with who people have sex. Most of all, it was offensive to the LGBTQ community.
Hickey is so blinded by Christian fundamentalism that he can not see how hateful and offensive his letter is. Either that or he doesn’t care. He shows what this is REALLY about when he calls out South Dakota Democrats for not renouncing the hateful, angry emails he has received. Why should they renounce anything? Like the racist Donald Sterling, Steve Hickey has exposed his homophobic bigotry for all to see. The only person needing renouncing is him.