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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beware: Another Republican Cave-Dweller Has An "Idea"

A state legislator in Florida, Rep. Stephen Precourt has proposed a bill that would give tax incentives for movies and TV shows that promote “family friendly” themes and prohibit sex, nudity, smoking, profanity and LGBT (gay) characters.
Precourt harkened the 1960's and "The Andy Griffith Show" as "what life was like when I grew up in the 60's. I want Florida to be known for making those kinds of movies: Disney movies for kids and all that stuff. Like it used to be, you know?"

Precourt told The Associated Press he simply believes that taxpayer dollars should not be invested in movies and TV programs that show homosexuality in a positive light. The proposed bill in Florida would boost current tax credits from 2 percent to 5 percent of production costs for movies and TV shows that are considered "family friendly", and those that do not exhibit or imply "nontraditional family values".

Three of the hottest shows on TV with Florida connections - “Dexter” on Showtime, “Burn Notice” on USA and “CSI: Miami” on CBS – would not qualify for the tax incentives because of their content.

Republicans hold the majority in the state House of Representatives and hope to ramrod the bill through passage, saying they hope it would bring more entertainment-industry jobs to Florida. Gay rights groups condemn the proposed legislation, saying it subsidizes discrimination. "Instituting 1950s-style movie censorship does nothing to support real-life families or help Florida's struggling economy," said Ted Howard, executive director for Florida Together, a coalition of 80 groups that advocate for equal rights.

Wow. Where do we start? First, look at the photo of Precourt. He looks amazingly like one of those sad, middle-aged closet cases; one of those men you'd see out at a gay bar one night, desperately on the prowl for a quickie, but hoping no one recognizes him.
But regardless of Precourt's pretty mouth, how does a grown adult in 2010 manage to hang onto this kind of warped homophobia? We're tempted to agree with the camp of folks who honestly believe that homophobia should now be classified by the psychiatric profession as a mental disorder. Seriously, it's a sickness. How else do you explain the fact that even by the most conservative estimates, there are 30-40 million gay people in the U.S., but yet there are still people who want to just pretend that that huge number of Americans doesn't exist. They hope that if they ignore those people, or push them far enough into hiding, those people will just go away. Sen. Precourt, if that's your real name, we have the name of a really good psychologist, and we suggest you waste no time in calling him.
There's another angle to this story, especially in the light of the fact that the Republicans are practically salivating, thinking they're assured of winning the majority of Congressional elections this November. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but shouldn't the Republicans be asking themselves what they'll do if they did manage to regain control of Congress? In other words, they publicly demonstrate over and over and over again that they're not ready to tackle the real issues of life. You don't deal with a huge segment of the American population simply by hoping they'll go away. Don't you need to have some sort of real grasp on life's issues before you can pretend to know how to govern other people?

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