I’m in an Anti-Gay Marriage Ad…

No, really, I am.

I don’t know how or why.

I just know that my face somehow appears in this ad for the Maryland Marriage Alliance around the 0:06 mark.

I guess my scary smiling face intimidates those people who “will not be intimidated” because I call out bigots when I see them:

I’m so angry… that I didn’t come up with “sexual rednecks.”

For what it’s worth, the pro-gay-marriage side is winning in the polls right now. Let’s hope it stays that way for another couple of weeks.

(via Joe. My. God.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CKQEXWUDO4UDPBRXPYVVIUOLFI Matt P

    Congratulations Hemant!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    Do they have to pay you?

    • Pseudonym

      I suspect that Hemant would have paid them to have a picture of them with the word “bigots” displayed underneath.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    That is fucking awesome. Sadly I have to give the video a thumbs down but congrats on making it big time, Hemant.

    Edit: I’m shocked, shocked I tell you that comments for the video have been disabled.

    • http://twitter.com/arensb arensb

      Sadly I have to give the video a thumbs down

      Same here. If it had come on my TV while the sound was muted, I would’ve thought it was a tampon commercial.
      With the sound on, it’s not much better: bigots are butthurt at being called on their bigotry.

    • Keulan

      Now they’ve disabled ratings on the video as well.

      • MartinRC

        Of course they did, because they know the majority disagrees with them.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        More shocking news… :)

      • John

         I guess they just couldn’t handle all that persecution of their beliefs.

    • Thomas Farrell

       Even if they’ve disabled comments and video responses, there’s a way you can still get them: Make a video response and upload it, and give it the same title as the video to which you’re responding, prefixed with “RE: “. It’ll almost certainly show up in the sidebar of suggested videos when someone views theirs. I’ve used this tactic to respond to anti-gay ads on youtube before, quite successfully.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        Thanks for the advice.

  • dorothy30

    ask for royalties

  • BioHazard

    Bahaahah! Congrats! Your smiling face truly inspires terror in sexual rednecks.

  • Brian

    Damn these women’s self-righteousness and transparent attempts at self-victimization.  

  • http://twitter.com/shadowmousey shadowmousey

    I watched this, and my boyfriend chimed in with “Sexual Redneck is the name of my Kid Rock cover band.”

    • Pseudonym

      That’s weird, because Ceci Royals is the name of my ska dubstep band.

  • http://mamamara.wordpress.com/ Mara

    Sorry about my village’s idiots co-opting your face. I was vastly amused that out of every possible person who’s called them bigots, they chose you…until I realized it was probably because they actually *did* think your non-white face would scare my fellow Marylanders. ::facepalm::

    On behalf of Marylanders who aren’t racist assholes…I’m sorry?

    • cjo1967

      I’ll second what Mara said, and also would like to offer up my apologies on behalf of all of the intelligent, non-bigoted Marylanders (thankfully, there are more than a few of us), not just for the whole of the ad, but for the inappropriate usage of your likeness in it.  So sorry.

    • Doomedd

      I didn’t think his face could be used that way.  I find it
      awkward to think race matter. I guess is it “moral decay”.

    • Deven Kale

       Hemant’s not white? :O

      I’ve seen that picture hundreds of times, and didn’t even notice. Huh.

      • Baal

         The IFI will have an article on that detail about Hemant next week.

    • Trobin330

      I live in MD and all i have seen are ads in favor of Question 6 which are done really well.  And i too will apologize.  I live in Anne Arundel County which is full of religious die hard Republicans.  Unfortunately i have lost a few friendships because of this.  Oh well…….

      • Thackerie

        I too live in Maryland. (I’ll be SOOOOOOO proud when our little True Blue state passes Question 6!) Anyway, just want to comment that I haven’t seen too many ads about the Question — but maybe that’s because I live in Montgomery County, known as a bastion of liberalism, so the homophobes aren’t spending much money here pushing their losing cause

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700851737 Sam Kay

    Hey man, bravo for calling them bigots. Honesty is the best policy.

  • Nunya Bidness

    “Keeping marriage between one man and one woman.”

    Just like King Solomon in the bible!

    • Randomfactor

       And Dinesh D’Souza!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandie.winchester Brandie Lynn Winchester

    Lol well you do look alittle scary in that picture Hemant! Maybe thats why they used it to scare off all us equal rights liberals! :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/natewillsheets Nate Sheets

    Badge of honor!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700480741 Joel Sassone

    Why won’t anyone think of the poor bigots?

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

    I definitely just guffawed. 

  • JD929

    If being called a bigot is intimidation, then what about being called a sinner, evil, a pervert and all that? It’s basically a self-indictment.

    • amycas

       Exactly. Being called a bigot for advocating the restriction of minority rights is intimidating, but restricting the rights of minorities isn’t intimidating?

  • Sami Hawkins

    1. They’re ‘labeled’ bigots because they ARE bigots. That’s like whining about someone ‘labeling’ the grass green or ‘labeling’ the sky blue.

    2. I’m fairly certain it’s illegal to use someone’s image without their permission.

    • MartinRC

      If only the Sesame Street gang got into politics and made a video about being upset for being labeled puppets.  How dare people call someone by the very definition of their actions.  Who knows, maybe the KKK can get together with the group that made this video and try to make it un-PC to call bigots bigots.

    • Amakudari

      I’m fairly certain it’s illegal to use someone’s image without their permission.

      Your first point is spot on. On the second, however, it is definitely legal to use a public figure’s image in a political statement. Hemant is a well-known atheist blogger who did (accurately) call them “bigots,” so I don’t see anything wrong here. Well, legally.

  • Phil

    Sexual redneck?  I can speak from experience – it’s not all that memorable.  They grossly over-estimate their sexual prowess….

    • Lori F – MN

      My husband told me that pulling out your iphone is the new cigarette.  Go figure.  Are people tweeting about the experience?

    • Baby_Raptor

      It’s true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    It’s funny and awesome that they use the tactic of appealing as good commonfolk. They’re using the same “we’re your neighbours, we’re your friends, we’re your coworkers! We’re good people and we are X” line that’s been so successful in dissolving the stigma against homosexuals. It’s funny that they see themselves as victims when trying to forbid a human right that does no damage to them, and it’s awesome that they recognize that tactic as so effective in changing minds.

  • Cedcrow

    It is just me or does the woman in the middle’s expression scream “If you spew any more bullshit on me I’m going to need an industrial decontamination team.”?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, Blonde

      i was thinking it was more like “my husband never touches me anymore, and he spends all his time with this young male friend who has better hair than i do, and i just don’t know why!” but yeah. she’s pretty consternapated. 

  • Arion

    Geez, I wish I had thought of “sexual rednecks.”  

  • Aaron

    No comments, no ratings for a video = No reason to watch it.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    These people don’t want marriage to be “redefined” … yet, during the history of their own Abrahamic religious tradition — and inside the pages of their own sacred books — the fact is that marriage has been “redefined.” More than once, in fact.

  • Angie

    Mad props!

  • MartinRC

    Wait, let me get this straight, they are against “redefining” a word like marriage to be more inclusive, but they want us to “redefine” the word bigot to leave their bigotry out…  Make up your mind people, either you want words to stay as they are (as that is a major point in most anti-marriage equality propaganda), or you don’t!

  • Miss_Beara

    Look at the sad look of concern on their poor little bigoted faces. Don’t let those gays take away marriage from me! If Matt and Tom or Jennifer and Anne want to get married, that will make my marriage and the marriage of all of these good Christian people in this world meaningless! 

    Meaningless I tells ye! 

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    They straight-up took your blog banner and mirror-imaged it! I swear that the right wing has the laziest, most half-assed graphic arts people in the world. 

  • Kirby_G

    And people need to realize that all sorts of wonderful, everyday neighbours and friends and coworkers are gay and deserve respect.

    See how that works both ways?

    • splattercakes

      Exactly! Thank You!

    • Jonathan

      You’re an example that will unfortunately be ignored by the “Love they neighbor as thyself” crowd.

  • Kem

    As far as the whole suing them for use of your image, I suppose you could… but why? The Supreme Court is likely to hear this issue in 2013, and is likely to strike down DOMA. If that doesn’t happen, then sure. As is? Why give up the moral high ground? The only people likely to be swayed by this are people who are already bigots, and every trend out there shows this is an issue that will die in two generations. Likely sooner.

    Let them have their horribly ironic moment of feeling persecuted for persecuting others. The blatant hypocrisy energizes the fundamentalists, but it energizes the opposition to it, too.

  • http://lehkost.blogspot.com/ Robert Johnson

    You’re angry that you didn’t come up with “sexual rednecks,” and Michael Eric Dyson is angry that he didn’t come up with the Dyson vacuum cleaner.

  • Michaelbrice

    The woman on the left of the screen is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay scarier than the Mehta pop up. Henant is too cute to be scary!

  • Jonathan

    Love your blog.  Appering in this ad should be a badge of honor and they ARE sexual rednecks.

  • Renshia

    That’s fantastic!! Congratulations. What a wonderful thing to be known for.

  • nakedanthropologist

    Those sanctimonious assholes.  Congrats Hermie!

    • Pseudonym

      Can I quote you on that?

      Sincerely, Sexual Rednecks ‘R’ Us.

      • nakedanthropologist


  • Guest

    They are bigots and human waste. They should be called what they are, fuck those people, they deserve no respect. They’re on the same level as racists and it’s fair to talk about them appropriately.

  • http://www.madprofessah.com MadProfessah

    I think the term should be heterosexual supremacists.

    I just can not understand how letting MORE people get married somehow affects current (or future) heterosexual marriages. In what way does giving someone else access to a right diminish YOUR access to that same right?

    • John

       It’s not about rights, it’s about power.  If they have to admit that the Bible was wrong about homosexuality, then that’s just one more reason for people to question their faith.

      • Paula M Smolik

        Sounds good to me.

    • J. K. King

      Since my grandfather died, my grandmother and I want to marry each other and have wild sex.  Now how does that diminish traditional marriage? 

      And since Adolf Hitler believed that Earth was a globe, I suppose it must be flat.

      For a loving and educated viewpoint on gay relations, see my dissertation Same Sex Relations on http://www.shockedbytruth.com

  • Guest

    And she’s a mother of eight, what are the odds one of those kids is gay and will have to live with having brought up by hateful bigots?


    • UWIR

      Decent, although my understanding is that they are lessened by the fact that only three are boys (men with a lot of older brothers are more likely to be gay). And it looks to me that at least one of them is mentally retarded, so that complicates things (or simplifies them, depending on how one looks at it).

  • Beef and Fur

    Ceci Royals (the spokesperson in the above video) has a blog.  She celebrates her family online but tells the rest of us we can’t have one. 


    • Guest

      Is that hers or her daughters?

  • http://yeswesam.wordpress.com/ Sam

    I feel like the stock footage of the couple on the beach at the end was used in an ad for herpes medication.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

     Ceci Royals (and company) donning Tartuffe’s Cilice and plays the only card they have left the fake victim card. They have no real arguments other than religious one.  

  • Chad

    Dont these three ladies remind you of this:

    I mean, are the afraid that all the hot guys will marry each other and leave none for them 

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Just curious, but if he wanted to could Hemant sue them over the use of his image? I know a gay couple is suing a group that some how got a hold of their wedding pictures and used them in anti-gay ads. 

    • JohnnieCanuck

      The person that holds the copyright is pretty much the only one who controls the image and the default there would be the photographer. That would be what the gay couple would be doing, most likely, going after them for copyright infringement.

      Barring some significant defamatory aspect, a public figure like Hemant has little control over others’ pictures of him taken in public. Private individuals have more rights to privacy than public figures.

      The above is second hand information from a comment I saw recently by a lawyer talking about the situation for an American.

  • MartinRC

    I find it interesting how the videos to vote yes for question 6 allow ratings and comments, but the ones against question 6 don’t allow ratings and comments.  Its almost as if they know any simple comment or dislike completely debunks their whole stance, as if they have no real meaning besides bigotry behind their beliefs.  

  • Randy

    I believe the internet’s highest honour is to be included on a YouTube video attacking you, with comments and ratings disabled.   It shows that they know they’ve been defeated, and yet admire your strength of argument so much that they are compelled to blather on, if only to themselves.

  • Pepe

    You know how conservatives don’t allow ratings or comments on their videos.

  • Coyotenose

    When you call someone else courageous, it may or may not be true. When you have to refer to yourself or your own stance as courageous, it’s never true.

  • Dale

    Poor Hemant! I wouldn’t be able to take being in that video with such a sinful gluttonous redneck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/naumadd Ricky Barnes

    “Immature”, “fearmonger”, “small-minded”, “control freak”, etc. These are also words I used for such persons. Yes, you have the liberty to speak your mind, but liberty to speak your mind means others are at liberty to do the same. In “freedom of speech”, there is no “freedom from examination, freedom from critique, freedom from skepticism, freedom from rebuttal, freedom from competition”, etc. That’s what freedom of speech means. If rebuttal intimidates you, perhaps you haven’t the maturity to fully engage in open discussion with those of maturity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/naumadd Ricky Barnes

    P.S. – “Freedom of religion” has never meant freedom to practice your religion on others without their consent.

  • Justin Miyundees

    I agree with the entitled self righteous myopic soft spoken lady  - if you’re going to be a bigot, like her, be nice about it…. and be sincere – even if you don’t mean it.  

    Most important, stand your ground and play soft music when you whine about having to give up a modicum of your backwards stone aged morality.  

  • Baal

    Wait…were the ladies in the ad literally doing hand wringing?

  • http://twitter.com/EricJWorkman Eric J Workman

    Michael Eric Dyson is labeled “sexual redneck” … far from it.  He is one of the most progressive people out there!  He’s on MSNBC at least once per week.

    • Deven Kale

       Actually, he’s not the one being labeled the sexual redneck. The bubble is a speech bubble, so they’re saying he’s the one calling people sexual rednecks. Just like Hemant is calling them bigots in his frame.

  • rich h

    I can’t resist posting a better video about marriage…


  • kaydenpat

    You’re in good company.  Professor Dyson is a great guy.  I don’t know who the lady is though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Porter/100001075278352 Ben Porter

    they are bigots in that case atleast

  • http://www.facebook.com/ecolter Elisha Colter

    “All sorts of wonderful, everyday neighbors and friends and coworkers” would love to be able to marry the person they love without you and your crazy religion butting in.

  • Paula M Smolik

    I look at her and I’m against gay marriage too. Could these religious right women make themselves any less attractive?

  • Paula M Smolik

    Sexual rednecks is the anti-band to Sexual Chocolate.