Religious Right Furious Over YouTube Commenters Slamming Anti-Gay Marriage Video

by Steve Weinstein

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday April 14, 2009

A self-described Christian 12-year-old has made waves by posting some fuzzy homemade videos of himself expressing his opinions on gay marriage. He's against. it. Scott, whose YouTube moniker is ChristianU2uber, has made 13 videos on the subject.

He's also become the latest in a long line of YouTube 15-minute sensations (anyone still remember the "Leave Britney alone" kid? or the fat dancing Beyonce man?). His videos have approached 1 million hits over four weeks, which means more people then saw him than ever saw all of Shakespeare's plays in his lifetime.

Here is a sample of his work:

But, as the Bard knew, with success comes challenges. In this case, it's not the queen's censor or the crowd in the cheap seats. It's the notoriously trash talking YouTube commenters. This peanut gallery is apparently full of equal-opportunity insulters. When someone gay or gay-friendly posts a video, one can expect a welter of "faggot" and curses thrown at the poster.

In Scott's case, he was called a "faggot" and told, among other things, most unprintable, to kill himself. Right-wing "news" site World Net Daily was shocked--shocked!--to find thousands of commenter slamming the boy. The site linked its story about Scott's online virtual travails to "Foxe's Book of Martyrs," which lists Protestant martyrs.

The comments on right-wing blog site Free Republic, perhaps predictably, discussed the hypocritical "tolerance of the left" and "Democrats being Democrats."

Some posters did seem to approach YouTube commenters with eyes open. "Anonymous punks with keyboards always post gutter tripe," wrote one. "Every YouTube video is filled with this spam." "It's as if the author of this piece came across the comments section on YouTube for the first time in his/ her life," wrote another about the World Net Daily article.

The gay blog sites were also full of venom, albeit in the other direction. Some were sympathetic: "This is heartbreaking," wrote one. "I just hope the kid is able to get through the next few years without too much trouble."

Others noted that Scott could have disabled the comments. And most puzzled over Scott's offhand remark that he "used to be gay."

As he says in a video: "At first I had no idea that it was a sin to get married if you're gay but then I heard it on the news and, well, I figured it out and I used to be and then I decided it's wrong and I stopped it and now I am very interested in girls."

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).