It takes a lot of h8 to be a NOH8er. As The Huffington Post has begun touting the fifth anniversary of the NoH8 Campaign, a movement created in response to by Jeff Parshley and his partner Adam Bouska California’s Proposition 8 referendum on gay marriage, it’s worth examining all the non-hate that supposedly flows from the group’s members.
The NOH8 Campaign, a self-described “photographic silent protest,” consists of “subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with ‘NOH8’ painted on one cheek in protest.” The project now boasts “nearly 33,000 faces,” many of whom are celebrities and politicians.
In reality, Prop 8 didn’t silence anyone. And that’s too bad, since many of those who took up the NOH8 banner have made some of the most vile statements imaginable. Besides the depredations of rank and file Prop 8 opponents, NOH8-aligned celebrities fantasized about pushing “Sarah Palin down the stairs,” hurled the “C-word” with abandon, called politicians’ daughters “prostitutes,” compared the Bush family to Syrian dictator Assad, railed against “money-grubbing Jew [s]” and called the pope a “Power-Hungry, Self-Aggrandized Bigot.”NOH8 Hate
The behavior of Prop 8 opponents before and after the vote made NOH8 immediately ironic to anyone paying attention. In anti-Prop 8 rallies, police took into custody or arrested gay marriage supporters for trying to break police lines, disturbing the peace, jumping on top of police cars, blocking traffic and banging on doors and walls of buildings such as CNN’s Los Angeles bureau by the hundreds. Videos showed activists tearing a cross from an elderly woman’s hands before stomping on it.
Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin later criticized, “Who’s silencing these Prop. 8 opponents? They’re more overexposed than Mariah Carey’s bosom. They can talk and talk and talk without fear of retribution, intimidation, or physical violence.” Malkin cited Prop 8 opponents threatening Catholics and Mormons as well as physically attacking elderly couples. The activists bullied restaurants into supporting them, caused citizens to loose their jobs by targeting those who for donated in support of Prop 8, activists published an “Anti-Gay Black List,” and chanted about church-goers: “Burn their f—ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers” – and went so far as to key one worshipper’s cars with “Gay sex is love” and “SEX.”
They stormed churches in Michigan to throw condoms, trigger fire alarms, and yell, “Jesus was a homo,” turned “Yes on 8” signs into swastikas, sent anthrax-looking powder to Mormon temples, spray painted churches and private homes, sent serious death threats, and the list goes on.
That’s “NOH8” for you.
If the grass roots movement wasn’t hypocritical enough, many of the celebrities lending their names to “NOH8” have said, written and tweeted world class hate at those who disagree with them.
Anderson Cooper’s crotch-addicted comedienne Kathy Griffin brandished “NOH8” on her face for a picture. But is really should have read “SOMEH8,” since the self-described “D-lister” isn’t stingy with it when targeting conservatives.
Griffin called Sarah Palin a “nutbag,” Bristol Palin “fat,” and declared “I’d like to push Sarah Palin down the stairs.” Targeting women, Griffin deemed Mass. GOP Sen. Scott Brown’s daughters “prostitutes” and Elisabeth Hasselbeck a “c***” and “bitch.”
But Griffin’s all about “doing the right thing.” In an ad exhorting Californians to vote down Prop 8, she claimed, “No on 8, yes on the legalization of gay marriage. Why? Of course. Because of course. Because of course it should be legal. Really. You didn’t really just ask me that, right? Because if you did, you should be ashamed of yourself.” “Do the right thing.”
Sarah Palin has been a favorite target for the NOH8 h8ers. Comedienne Margaret Cho lamented that the GOP is “against our [women’s] rights,” and concluded that Palin was trying to “beat feminism down.” As a preferred alternative to the McCain-Palin ticket, she suggested Satan-Chuck Norris.
Singer Cher, also in on the NOH8, went on a rant over Palin, calling the former Alaska governor a “Dumb C Word,” tweeting, “Go to dictionary,& look up The “C"Word,....next 2 the definition...you’ll see a Pic of Sarah PALIN ! NO...WAIT ...SHES UNDER DUMB C WORD.” How original.
Her Palin h8 boasts a long history as she told Vanity Fair in 2010, “I got so obsessed with [C-SPAN] that it was kind of interfering with my life. Sarah Palin came on, and I thought, Oh, f---, this is the end. Because a dumb woman is a dumb woman.”
Not quite the model of civil discourse, Cher also h8’s the “Teapublicans.” Tweet examples from this “NOH8” gal?
Other NOH8 stars discarded their pledge when the topic came to politics. NOH8er Meghan McCain, former presidential candidate John McCain’s daughter, named Republicans who support marriage equality only privately “spineless cowards.” NOH8 soap opera actress Nancy Lee Grahn commented during the 2012 vice presidential debate, “Biden is making Paul Ryan his prison bitch!” Actor Hal Sparks somehow managed to get the tape off his mouth long enough to liken the Bush family to Syrian dictators on a liberal radio show.
Actress Aisha Tyler joked that she would like to kick conservative Michelle Malkin in her “nut sack (“wear a cup, lady”) while kicking Rush Limbaugh in his “vagina.” Lance Bass joined Kathy Griffin and Wanda Sykes in blaming conservatives for gay teen suicides.
When a Maryland politician asked the Baltimore Ravens to hush player Brendan Ayanbadejo backing of gay marriage, NOH8er and then-Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe composed a letter saying, “I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland's state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level.”
Kluwe then really revved up his NOH8-inspired tolerance. “If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you'll start thinking about penis? ‘Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!’” to conclude, “P.S. I've also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your ‘I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing’ and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.”
Kluwe is now out of the NFL, and presumably not pursuing a second career in conflict resolution.
To the NOH8 crowd, anyone opposed to gay marriage was free game. TV actress Fran Dreschersaid actor Kirk Cameron needed to “reexamine what it is to be an American” when he came out against gay marriage. Another NOH8 star, Glee actress Jane Lynch not only mocked the tea party for being anti-Latina but also, during Comedy Central's Roseanne Barr Roast, declared, “F--k Chick-fil-A” for their opposition to gay marriage.
Sex columnist and anti-blullying bully Dan Savage and the NOH8 Campaign deny a connection. However, journalists have pointed out otherwise and NOH8 even conducted a video to support Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign. Savage practices NOH8 by unleashing on 'Catholic-fucking bishops, priests, cardinals' for their traditional marriage stances. He's explained: “the church – my church, the Catholic Church, the Mormon church, has always taken this position that sex is for providing more worshipful, sort of zombie-eyed followers for Jesus.” He also deemed Pope Benedict, “That Motherfucking Power-Hungry, Self-Aggrandized Bigot In the Stupid Fucking Hat.”
Some NOH8ers are less specific and more, well, weird in their actions and pronouncements.
Model Tila Tequila donned Nazi garb for a Facebook photo, according Mediaite, where she wore the swastika on her arm. In her blog post this December entitled, “Why I Sympathize With Hitler Part I: True History Unveiled,” she clarified, “I, just like you, used to view Hitler as an atrocious monster! How could such EVIL exist in this world? As a matter of fact I even made a youtube video a while back showing sympathy for the prisoners of war during WW2 so you cannot say that I am a racist nor anti-Semite. I was merely brainwashed just like all of you have been.”
Comedian and producer Andy Dick, who posed for NOH8, called Howard Stern a “shallow, money-grubbing Jew” and accused him of displaying a “big fat hook nose” when complaining about lack of pay for hosting on Stern’s Sirius Radio channel. Dick boasted many troubled “incidents” such as calling his audience “niggers” at during an LA comedy show, supposedly grabbing men’s crotches in bars, and getting arrested on suspicion of pulling down a teenage girl’s top. Jimmy Kimmel even had a problem with him, forcibly removing Dick from his show in 2007 after constantly touching Ivanka Trump’s hair and legs.
As with gun control, wealth and other topics, our liberal celebrity betters demand one standard for themselves and another for the rest of us. They can hate with impunity. It’s everyone else who must wear the duct tape.— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.