There are plenty of dumb reasons to oppose LGBT rights, but this may well be the dumbest. In a speech on the House floor, Rep. Louie Gohmert argued that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to get married because – take a deep breath — that would make it harder for humanity survive on a space colony if an asteroid was about to obliterate Earth. Huh? Yup. Gohmert even referenced Matt Damon and The Martian, because hey, why not?
The congressman started out with the usual, garden-variety arguments against homosexuality, which basically amounted to “the Bible says it’s bad” and “that’s not how we used to do things.” But around two minutes into the video below, things veered into much stranger territory.
Gohmert postulated a situation wherein humanity was about to be destroyed, either by “an asteroid coming” or some other means. He argued that, if our species attempted to perpetuate itself by starting a colony in space (already a questionable assumption) we wouldn’t want to send same-sex couples to the colony, because they wouldn’t be able to reproduce.
“Okay, we’ve got a spaceship that can go, as Matt Damon did in the movie, plant a colony somewhere,” Gohmert rambled. “We can have humans survive this terrible disaster about to befall. If you can decide what 40 people you put on the spacecraft that would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples?... How many same-sex couples would you take from the animal kingdom and from humans to put on a spacecraft to perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom?”
Gohmert is right about one thing, and only one thing: If the continued existence of humankind was dependent on starting a new colony of humans in space, and there was only room for 40 people on the spacecraft being sent to start this colony, it wouldn't be a bad idea to put some straight couples on that spacecraft. Fair enough.
Unfortunately for Gohmert, that wasn’t the question before Congress. In reality, the House was considering whether or not to pass an amendment that would prevent taxpayer money from going to contractors that discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The matter of how to make a hypothetical space colony as successful as possible is not, alas, relevant.
In fact, Gohmert’s speech is full of irrelevance. At one point, he said that “the diagnostic statistical manumals [sic] for most of existence have pointed out that [LGBT people have] mental disorders.” Well, sure. It’s also true that for most of existence, human being didn’t use toothbrushes. Sometimes, cultural norms and practices change for the better!
Last year, Gohmert argued against same-sex marriage on the grounds that, if you put four gay men on an otherwise deserted island, there would be no humans on that island in 100 years. It’s telling that all of his anti-LGBT arguments seem to involve fantastical situations completely removed from human society at large. It’s almost as if Gohmert knows, deep down in his heart, that homosexuality isn’t actually a threat to anyone or anything.