EDITORIAL: ‘Chuck and Larry’ gives false pretense of LGBT acceptance

The recent release of the film “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” highlights issues far beyond the abuse of “domestic partnership” legal benefits.

Adam Sandler plays Chuck and Kevin James plays Larry in this comedy about two straight men getting married in order to receive the legal benefits for Larry’s children after his wife dies. The film makes an example of cases where couples have pretended to be gay in order to reap the legal benefits of a domestic partnership, while at the same time exploiting homosexual stereotypes.

Chuck and Larry are introduced in the beginning of the film as hyper-masculine and even a bit homophobic. As they go through the legal steps to gain status as a domestic partnership, they experience anti-gay rebuttal. As the movie progresses, their tone and attitude toward homosexuals change as they experience this discrimination and they practically become leaders in the gay community. Although this politically correct happy ending may satisfy audiences, the blatant stereotypes still prevailed throughout the movie.

Larry’s son displays very stereotypical gay characteristics in the film, which worries Larry and amuses Chuck, who pokes fun at him. He prances around practicing for musicals, tap dancing, singing, wearing glittery tops, and refusing to watch baseball like his father asks him to.

One scene involves an inspector looking through Chuck and Larry’s garbage for evidence that their partnership is valid, and comments that their garbage doesn’t look very “gay.” Chuck later jokes Larry should put his son in the garbage to make it more gay. Not only does this mockery augment the struggles that many young adolescents experience while growing up – it also allows for the idea that it is acceptable to make fun of both gay children and adults.

It seems as if some sort of cultural acceptance has developed recently that allows for the ridicule and mockery of gays with the attitude it is “all in good fun.” In fact, it has become so acceptable that we now have a multimillion dollar movie saturated in gay stereotypes, jokes and misrepresentations. Beyond the social issues at hand, those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community continue to battle the many legal issues on a national level.

Before July 1, it was legal in Iowa to discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation. Although this amendment is a very positive step in the direction toward LGBT acceptance and fair treatment, it is a very small step. There are more than a dozen countries in the world that legally recognize same-sex marriage, but the U.S. offers very few options for same-sex couples.

So, while our country may be slow to act upon the social and legal needs of the LGBT community and become a progressive nation, we ask you as individuals to step up to the plate. Don’t let yourself stoop to the low standards of those who find this mockery acceptable. Voice your opinion and help support this group, which continues to face struggles and discrimination, and who will most likely be forced to do so far into the future – judging by our nation’s progress.