LET'S "KICK THE ICK" OUT OF OUR PUBLIC DISCOURSE.
I've spoken often about the "ick" factor — the visceral reaction many have to the sight of something unfamiliar, like two men kissing. When I was growing up, the reaction toward interracial couples was similar, and that disgust over white/non-white intimacy was used to justify laws against interracial marriage.
Many use their irrational discomfort over gay intimacy to justify discrimination. This video, shot in a restaurant in Mississippi, illustrates that all too clearly, underscoring deep social and religious divides over this question. But there is cause, too, for hope — especially among young people. The ick is fading away, as it inevitably will. So watch and ask yourself, "Do I have a bit of the 'ick' in me?"
We continue down Old Man River to Vicksburg, Mississippi, a quaint town and the perfect little getaway for romance. After all, this is the hospitality state. But guess what? If you're gay, there are few rights and laws to protect you from discrimination.
We should get a house like right there.
We've set up our hidden cameras at El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant. Ben and Andreas are in love and like most couples, they don't mind showing it. How will people react to this public display of affection?
And Traci's . . .
That is disgusting.
What would you do?
Thank you so much.
As our gay couple walks in, these patrons instantly notice. So we tell them to show different amounts of physical expression.
Caressing, holding hands, kissing. But Traci will have none of that.
What's wrong? We're . . .
We're just trying to eat. You're smooching, holding each other.
I wasn't aware that we were doing anything.
Well you are now. You're aware of it now.
It's OK, it's OK.
Were we bothering you guys? I'm really sorry.
OK. Well, some day we hope to get married.
I don't quite understand that, but I don't see how people of the same sex would marry.
Will other patrons have the same opinion?
Oh, dear lord.
Usually they're not that open in public.
Yeah. Usually they're not, right?
But would you say something to them?
No. The reason I don't is cause that's they're business.
But what if this gay relationship was a little closer to home?
What if one of them was your son?
But what if one of them was your son?
Now, if it was my son I would tell him you know that God don't like this. It's your life. You got to choose because Obama can't save us all.
It just makes me lose my appetite.
I couldn't believe that.
The godliest thing to do is for you to move. Yeah. And then that way you can block it out. OK, I am going to switch to this seat.
Traci changes seats and shows her own public display of aggression.
Ugh, you're just ruining my appetite.
I'm sorry. What?
No. I'm just saying what everybody else in this room is thinking. Just all the touchy-feely stuff I didn't want to see it.
Are we bothering you guys?
That's your business. You do what you want to do baby, I'm not telling you what to or not to because that's between you two and your lord, but the thing is if my husband was here and if we kissed like that it would disgust other people. Because people don't go to a restaurant to watch people make out.
That looks pretty good.
Unless, of course, you happen upon dinner and a show called, "What Would You Do?"
Hi, ladies. You don't believe in homosexuality.
No, I do not. I believe it's wrong. It's in the Bible, and I believe in the Bible, and I love my Jesus.
How did you feel about them expressing affection?
Even if it was a heterosexual couple, sitting here, I wouldn't want to watch them doing it.
That got us thinking. What if it were a heterosexual couple?
Guys, do you mind not being so touchy-feely?
Every single time, patrons defended our straight couples right to share a little love. This couple jokes, it would be different if the couple was gay.
It's usually a guy and a guy or a girl and a girl.
Now that I would have to say something about that.
I would just get up and move, that's what I would do.
Yeah, I hear you.
Time to move in and find out why.
God's intention is one man one woman.
Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry if I offend anybody, that's the way it is.
Time and again, God and religion is playing a big role in how people respond. Now it's time to bring our gay couple into the restaurant one last time.
Oh, thank you.
They haven't shown much affection at all, but already this table is captivated. They're even FaceTiming, giving the ol' thumbs down. And when our couple kisses, they break out in laughter. Traci has had it with our gay couple.
OK, OK, you guys, enough!
But now watch these two college students to her left. What will they do?
It's just too much, we're all trying to eat here and you're-
It's really not a big deal.
Not a big deal. But from that other table, Traci gets a thumbs-up. Reactions are split down the middle.
You know what, I think you guys should leave. I'm not the one bothering anybody.
Are you serious?
Yeah. I thought they should, too.
What did they do?
They were making out!
Don't be such [censored] to these guys. Come on.
But they're gay!
There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with that.
Are you gay?
Are you gay?
These guys have reached their limit, and now, they head off to find their server.
Is there a problem?
Also an actor working for us.
There's that gay couple over. There she keeps calling them out telling them that they should leave because they're disgusting.
But instead of kicking Traci out, our waiter asks our couple to leave.
Excuse me guys. I just spoke with my manager. We're going to have to ask you to leave just because of peoples' religious beliefs.
We have to leave?
Whatever, let's just go. Let's go.
He's visibly shaken and upset. Meanwhile, Traci just keeps pushing.
You understand why I had them kicked out, right?
No, not at all. There's a reason why half of the [censored] world hates America, and it's people like you. Because you have no acceptance for anything else in the world. I'm so [censored] pissed right now.
I know. I can see. I'm not trying to make you mad.
Then leave! Get out! Because there's no point in you sitting here and talking to me when I am holding myself back right now.
Before he can't hold back anymore, time to introduce ourselves.
I'm John Quinones with the TV show "What Would You Do?" You have tears in your eyes.
I'm sorry. I'm still trying to calm down.
This means that much to you?
Yes, sir. I mean, I hate seeing people that are treated differently for no good reason. I mean, you can't go around and try to change everyone, 'cause they're not like you.
But, on the other side of the room, Ramona Uzzle has a totally different interpretation on homosexuality.
For people to say it's not in the Bible, that's totally a lie. It goes against everything, against God. He said that is an abomination to him, and they're not going to Heaven.
And to those who say that is very intolerant of you, what would you say?
Well, I would say that's my beliefs.
Very strong beliefs that we witnessed on both sides of the issue. As for our actors-
Ben, you're gay. How did you feel about this?
I got really emotional when you guys started sticking up for us. And again when they asked us to leave. And, like, that really just meant SO much to me.
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