Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brokeneck Mountain

Bizarro is brought to you today by Unexpected Visits From Mother Nature.

I'm not too modest to admit that I'm proud of this cartoon. It isn't easy to get politics, slavery, and gay rights onto the funny pages (as opposed to the editorial page), especially all in the same cartoon.

Readers who see my work in the newspaper as well as online, will notice that in the black and white version used in most markets, the cowboy's line ended with a question mark. That was a typo on my part, which I later corrected for the color version. The gag works either way, but I was going for a sarcastic proclamation by the cowboy, not a question.

This cartoon points out that times have changed in the past 150 years, but not as much as we'd like to think. While we no longer officially sanction discrimination based on race, but we still officially discriminate against romantic proclivities.

To those that argue that race is "born" while sexual orientation is a "choice," I would ask, was your sexual orientation a choice? If you didn't consciously choose what turns you on, what makes you think anyone else can?


ldisme said...

What? I thought life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were inalienable rights according to the US Declaration of Independence. Sigh, there are so many things I don't get...

Writer said...

I saw this in my Sunday newspaper and came down with a case of shock and awe! It's a great comic! But I live in Kentucky and I'm sure there were several sermons that day about it.


Anonymous said...

Okay, this is hands-down my favorite cartoon of yours so far. And I really, really like all of your cartoons.

Anonymous said...

File this under, "Look how far we've come." Not to be confused with, "Hey, that's funny."

Jeremy said...

Great comic.

Loved the gay guys kissing in front of the bigots claiming Jesus wants them to discriminate!

Too bad they are breaking one of God's ten commandments by using the Lord's name is vain!

Anonymous said...

"If you didn't consciously choose what turns you on, what makes you think anyone else can?"

Is this your argument in support of pedophilia, Dan?

Anonymous said...

About what Vinnie said, I used to think the same way about homosexuality and how we all don't choose what we are turned on by, but then I also thought about pedophiles. I never really found an answer to it but by all means I respect homosexuals as much as heterosexuals and their right to do whatever they want with anyone as long as they're consenting....not the same thought with pedophiles of course.

What would you say about the pedophile thought Dan?

SAYOTTE316 said...

freaken anonymous

Rebecca C. Brown said...

"Is this your argument in support of pedophilia, Dan?"

A characteristic not being a choice does not make it socially acceptable, and no advocate of equality would claim it does. No one who supports equal rights for gays thus also thinks that schizophrenics should be police officers, or that pedophiles should be allowed to fulfill their sexual impulses.

The difference is that paranoid cops with split personalities is dangerous, and pedophiles abusing children is dangerous. People acting on their homosexual (or heterosexual) impulses with consenting adults hurts no one.

A behavior being in-born doesn't inherently make it right or wrong. The reason for pointing out that sexuality is not chosen isn't to legitimize all in-born behaviors, but to make people de-exoticize homosexuality as some fad or lifestyle choice.

tattooedg33k said...

i like the bird under the fence.


That watermelon picture is kind of creepy. Especially in light of the news of the recent face transplant....

Jezzka said...

well said rebecca c brown. i was actually too ridiculously angry to write a response to the comments left here, but i wanted to say thank you for writing what you did so clearly and logically.

i don't understand how anyone could confuse the difference between the inability to control who you fall in love with or are attracted to, to acts of sexual assault on children.

Such a comparison was either made to twist dan's words or the comment's author clearly have severe brain damage.

anyway, just wanted to write thank you for your thoughts, i hope it helps clear up any confusion for others.

doug nicodemus said...


one of your funniest cartoons of all time.

Josh Duncan said...

Rebecca C. Brown makes a good point, that no one is hurt by gay marriage. However, I would say that gay marriage clearly affects more than just homosexual couples. How would you respond to these counterpoints:

People who have been affected by the gay movement other than same-sex couples include parents whose children attend public schools, especially in states like Massachusetts. In the words of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: "Given that Massachusetts has recognized gay marriage under its state constitution, it is entirely rational for its schools to educate their students regarding that recognition." Ergo, parents who do not believe in gay marriage are being prevented from overseeing or directing the sexual education of their children. (Bruce Hausknecht, "Does Same-sex Marriage Affect My Marriage?")

Second, small business owners are being forced to compromise their deeply held religious convictions. "Jon and Elaine Huguenin are a Christian couple who run a small photography studio in Albuquerque, NM. They declined a request to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, based on their religious beliefs about the nature of marriage, and were fined $6,600...In Colorado, a new law known as SB 200 goes a step further and specifies jail time as an additional punishment for religiously minded business owners taking a similar conscience-based position."

3. Legalizing gay marriage would weaken the institution of marriage. Lynn D. Wardle wrote this in the Journal of Public Law:
"Including same-sex couples within the institution of marriage will transform the institution of marriage to the detriment of all...In terms of expectations of marital loyalty, stability, relational monogamy, actual infidelity, and promiscuity, the introduction of gay and lesbian relationships into the institution on marriage entails a serious risk of lowering the standards, understanding, expectations and behaviors of marriage for all members of society."

For example, there is a correlation between legalizing same-sex marriage, and attitudes towards marriage. "Using a poll of data reporting interviews with 50,000 in thirty-five nations, [David] Blankenhorn created four categories of countries according to their laws regarding attitudes towards marriage...In nations without gay marriage, people are twice as likely to say married people are happier than in nations with gay marriage, and nearly twice as likely to say that people with children ought to marry...The World Values Survey produced similar results. These two data pools show a stair-step correlations: support for marriage is weakest in nations that have legalized same-sex marriage, stronger in nations that have legalized marriage-equivalent civil unions or partnerships, stronger again in nations that have only a few jurisdictions where same-sex unions are legalized, and strongest by far in nations that do not recognize either same-sex marriage or civil unions." (Lynn D. Wardle, "The Attack on Marriage as the Union of a Man and a Woman")

Jeremy said...

Yes, Well said, Rebecca!

Consenting adults is the key word here. That is also why people who say "Oh, next people will be marrying their dog!" are stupid. Nope, a dog cannot give consent. Neither can a child, depending on the state, under certain ages.

Sodomy laws for consenting adults doesn't make sense either. I was always confused by that. I remember hearing people say "We did stuff that was illegal in 12 states!" (Mostly in movies), and I wondered WTF they were talking about. I had NO IDEA that certain states attempt to legislate in the bedroom!

Jeremy said...


Those are such bullshit talking points I am surprised you had the gall to repeat them here.

1. Kids are going to learn about gay marriage no matter what. Even if your state bans it they are going to hear about people who want to pass the ban and learn about it. Saying that if you legalize it than teachers will have to teach it is stupid. I don't remember learning about marriage in elementary school, and I certainly don't remember any discussions about recent legislative trends! Besides, they have the right to home school.

2. Being a bigot in the name of Jesus is the worst form of blasphemy. Did Jesus refuse to heal gay people? Did Jesus refuse to talk to people who were hard core sinners? Did Jesus advocate the exclusion of certain people because of their sins? NO! Jesus was caring, loving and very accepting. He healed a soldier that was known to have a male lover. He went and ate dinner in the houses of known sinners. He loved EVERYONE, no matter their sin! Using the Christian religion as an excuse to be hateful is never right (Although it is Right).

3. This statement makes no real sense. The divorce rate in the U.S. has been 50% for quite some time. It is not gay people who made this happen, its straight people!! Besides, marriage is not strictly a religious ceremony. There are a lot of monogamous gay people, and there are more even adulterous straight people! Sexual orientation has nothing to do with how much of a slut you are.

4. So how is this wrong that people aren't getting married as often in those countries? There are plenty of single parents in the U.S. where gay marriage is illegal. As most conservatives say, a child needs two parents. Excellent point! But why do they have to be the opposite sex? Why can't a child have 2 gay parents? You are taking that right away from hundreds of thousands of families by not allowing 2 loving gay people to get married.

thomas4143 said...

Regarding whether people choose to be gay: I suspect that many believe this is the true because it is true for themselves, and they "chose" to be straight.

SAYOTTE316 said...

jeremy im in compete and total agreement

Unknown said...

Jeremy: Agreed.

Also, in regards to point 4: "In nations without gay marriage, people are twice as likely to say married people are happier than in nations with gay marriage". So they're more realistic? According to most studies, being married won't make you happier. See a news article here with a link to the source journal article at the bottom. Surprisingly (for a journal article) the original article is available free, which includes some references to earlier work.

Although John did make me realize something- gay marriage does affect people outside of those getting married, the same way the civil rights movement and ensuing anti-discrimination laws affected people who weren't black. Thanks for that. Good to know.

Anonymous said...

thomas 4143,

oh SNAP!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh nuts, why'd you have to go all political? It's not that I agree or disagree, but every time you open a paper or a web browser, you have some political ideology thrown in your face.

Stop the world, I want to get off...

Unknown said...

Thank you Jeremy, You saved me a ton of Typing!

Piraro said...

It's all been said above, but since I was asked directly what my beliefs are – I agree with Rebecca and Jeremy on this.

Yes, I believe pedophiles cannot control their attractions and do not choose pedophilia. Who in their right mind would CHOOSE to be a pedophile? Unfortunately, their attractions victimize others and so they can not be allowed to act on them.

Homosexuality between consenting adults does not victimize anyone any more than heterosexuality does. The issue is victomhood.

I agree with laws that protect homosexuals from discrimination, just as I do with racial or religious discrimination. Would the couple in Colorado have the right to refuse to photograph a racially mixed marriage or a Jewish marriage? If these acts are wrong, it is wrong to deny a gay couple as well. There are no acceptable reasons for bigotry, and "religious beliefs" is perhaps the most hypocritical reason one can claim.

Religious laws are not healthy or safe in a free society. Societies ruled by religious doctrine are dangerous and oppressive places to live. The Taliban does an excellent job representing what is wrong with this kind of government.

Finally, my children and the children of many of my friends have known about and been taught to accept homosexuals as normal people since birth. It did not warp them or cause them to "choose" to be gay, victimize children, or marry dogs. Those are irrational and unfounded fears and irrational arguments. My personal beliefs don't allow for bigotry, but I was forced to expose my children to the outright bigotry of fundamentalist children they went to school with. That didn't warp them either.

Thanks for all the great comments. I love a good debate. : )

Josh Duncan said...

To Jeremy and others,

If the key word is "consenting adults" why should we restrict marriage to two consenting adults? Why not three, or four, or five?

Penny Mitchell said...

Josh is back! Dude, how is Iraq treating you?

Yes, I'm relentless, because your idiocy is relentless.

HollyBerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prof. Rick Duncan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny Mitchell said...

Prof. Rick, you make very valid points and ordinarily I am a much kinder, logical person. However, Joshthecartoonguy periodically swoops in, makes the utterly black and white arguments of a child, stomps around and poops the place up and then leaves again without having made a single valid point.

Due to the fact that he has expressed his utter and complete support for our illegal occupation of a sovereign nation that never was a threat to us, I've invited him repeatedly to enlist and actually go over there, because God knows they need all they help they can get. I think he's shown conclusively that he would rather sit here in safety, lob Crap Bombs into cyberspace and never get off his butt to actually do anything to improve his neighborhood/country/world.

He's very, VERY good at digging up obscure instances of A Gay Couple Doing Bad Things To A Straight Person, or One Woman Who Had An Abortion And Went On To Have A Horrible Life and then citing these situations as gospel truth that surely must apply to everyone, across the board, in all situations.

It's illogical, it's childish, and I'm sick of it.

But Merry Christmas. ;-)

Penny Mitchell said...

I will add this: After googling the Lynn D. Wardle source cited by Josh, I found this.

The absolute, hard truth probably lies somewhere between these two sources. (Although admittedly, I'm more willing to accept the claims of the source I cited, since it seems to be more fully researched. Even though the author of the site clearly favors gay marriage, it's well-researched information.) The sources Josh gravitates towards are the polar opposite...he gravitates towards Focus on the Family-type stuff. Totally his right, of course, but...don't attempt to shove it down my throat and claim that's it all scientific and logical and what God would want. I am an ardent follower of Jesus of Nazareth. However, unlike Josh and his ilk, I happened to notice that not ONCE did Jesus utter even one word about homosexuality. I believe that one can be gay and be a Christian. I know there is not one verse anywhere in the Bible that states otherwise. I have good, good friends and wonderful family members who are openly gay, and given that my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary soon, it somehow hasn't managed to destroy my marriage.

It's just a load of crap, and I really hope that the Joshes Of The World could grow up and MOVE ON.

Josh Duncan said...

Actually, Penny, this comment was mine. I accidentally used a different account. Thank you for recognizing that I make very valid points.

"Oh, you know, Penny.

According to Obama, I'm having a blast air-raiding villages and killing civilians.

By the way, which of us in these discussions has resorted to the most ad hominem attacks? I'm sure I've been guilty at times, but don't admit that there's something very ironic about your comment?"

If gay marriage should be legalized because the relationship is between two consenting adults, why restrict the number to two? What's wrong with three or more consenting adults having a relationship?

Penny Mitchell said...

"What's wrong with three or more consenting adults having a relationship?"

If they are truly consenting and have entered into it of their own free will, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Check out this superior blog, "Bitch, Ph.D"

The author lives a lifestyle that I personally would not choose, but that doesn't mean she's not a productive, valuable citizen. Not to mention an obviously devoted mother to her child. And hellishly intelligent and willing to live-and-let-live. HINT.

Please. Just because the universe doesn't live as you personally think it should doesn't mean we're all wrong.

Josh Duncan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh Duncan said...

Fair enough. Do you also think polygamist families have a constitutional right to obtain marriage licenses for everyone in the relationship?

Penny Mitchell said...

"Fair enough. Do you also think polygamist families have a constitutional right to obtain marriage licenses for everyone in the relationship?"

Fully consenting adults who enter into the situation of their own volition, sure. It's absolutely no skin off my nose, nor off yours.

Gotta run. Gotta go marry my cat now.

Penny Mitchell said...

Josh, watch this.

Anonymous said...

"Just because the universe doesn't live as you personally think it should doesn't mean we're all wrong."

Actually, Penny, judging by the direction of recent elections, perhaps it is you that could take your own advice.

Anonymous said...

Interesting debate. Only thing I can think of to add is the following (to Josh, specifically):

So what if the institution of marriage is "weakened" in countries that accept gay marriage (if this were/is true)? So what if the social support for keeping a heterosexual couple in a marriage is greater in countries without homosexual marriages (if this were/is true)?

Many, me included, would argue that these are good things. My family is Polish (and catholic) and I've seen alot of couples getting married (and staying married) because those are the expecations society puts on them. Early on in their lives. With the divorce rate being about 50% around big parts of the western world pretty well proves life long marriages isn't really the life style most people would choose.

Plus, does the study you refer to prove in any way that the looser view on marriage in the countries with gay rights is BECAUSE of gay rights? Couldn't it just be that these countries are more liberal in their view of marriages in general, that it's more socially accepted to both divorce someone and being gay?

GAlcidesS said...


Steveo said...

Exactly what Nikki L. said..."this is hands-down my favorite cartoon of yours so far." I have been looking for this comic stip so I could read it again since the first time I first read it.