Marilyn Shannon: Oregon’s Professional Bigot

Bigot is a strong word. It’s so strong that I generally stay clear of it except in the most egregious cases. But in yesterday’s post about Oregon student teacher Seth Stambaugh being fired for being gay, I didn’t have the usual hesitation when I correctly described Marilyn Shannon as a bigot.

Just for context, Marilyn Shannon is a former Oregon state senator, former chairwoman of the Oregon Republican Party, and spokesperson of several NOM-esque groups between 2004 and 2007. In 2008, she introduced John “Called His Wife A Cunt” McCain to a crowd of supporters. In her introduction, Marilyn Shannon said a prayer of thanksgiving for an attempted murderer because the victim was a doctor who worked in an abortion clinic.

Marilyn Shannon, Professional Bigot
Marilyn Shannon, Professional Bigot

Then there are her recent arguments in support of firing gay teachers for telling the truth. Here they are in chronological order, as best as I could tell in my two hearings of the program (Audio here).

  • Seth Stambaugh’s complaint shows bad judgment because:
    • It’s okay for the school district to discriminate against gay people because acknowledging that you’re gay is like smoking in the street on a job interview. You can do it, but then nobody will want to hire you.
    • Stambaugh shouldn’t sue the district because nobody wants to hire a teacher who has sued previous employers.
    • It’s okay for the district to discriminate against Seth Stambaugh because there’s no legal advocacy group like the Oregon Education Association to fight for him.
  • Seth Stambaugh wants to be an activist instead of a teacher because he didn’t stay in the closet when a student pressed several times to know why he isn’t married.
  • Oregon public schools are mandated by law (this isn’t true, by the way) to teach morality, implying that it is immoral to be gay and marry a man.
  • No student should know any gay people before the 7th grade when they have sex education. (Stambaugh didn’t say anything about sex, by the way.)
  • Gay people should lie about Oregon law (that it is illegal for them to marry) because they voted and everything. Nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo doo.
  • “It’s just common sense” for gay people not to say they’re gay. (I actually gasped when she said that one.)
  • More straight kids than gay kids are bullied, so gay kids should just shut up and take a beating, I guess.
  • Marilyn Shannon’s hood began to slip toward the end of the program, when she began referring to gays as “These people,” “That man,” and “This one.”

And then she was shocked, shocked I say, when Dan Savage called her out in the last few minutes of the program.

Marilyn Shannon is a bigot. She fought long and hard for over a decade so everyone would know that she’s one of Oregon’s leading bigots. She bought the label with the tears and the lives of her victims, and now she gets to wear it.

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