One of the things Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar -- stars of the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting and well-known opponents of LGBT civil rights -- are famous for is the crazy restrictive set of dating rules (they call it "courting") they make their kids follow. Among them is a strict no-kissing rule, meaning that couples have their first kiss at the altar, in front of family and friends, on their wedding day.
One of the Duggar kids just got married, and she and her husband decided to put a little 21st-century twist on things: they kissed in private, but snapped a selfie as they were doing it and uploaded it to Instagram.
Now this was racy by Duggar standards, and it made some of the family's
prudish fundamentalist Christian followers very upset. But Jim Bob and Michelle took to their public Facebook page in solidarity, posting a photo of themselves kissing and challenging "all married couples" to do the same:
But it wasn't just married opposite-sex couples who answered the call.
Blogger Joe Jervis spotted the Duggars' challenge this morning, and his post -- along with his question to same-sex couples, "What are you waiting for?" -- caught my eye as I was scanning my RSS feed. I clicked over to the Duggars' page but didn't see any other photos of same-sex couples (although I'll admit I didn't scroll through all the thousands of comments that were already there). What the hell, I thought, I'll join in the fun.
Will Kohler over at Back2Stonewall grabbed a screenshot just after I made my post:
More and more same-sex couples began answering Joe's call and posting their own kissing photos, and the likes and positive comments started piling up! Before long, the thread had turned into a beautiful celebration of love and equality.
Of course, the Duggars didn't like that, so they started yanking photos of same-sex couples kissing and banning the people who posted them, myself included. It's their page, of course, so they have every right to do that. But as I noted, the whole episode says something about them and their gay panic-saturated worldview:
Thankfully, though, the Duggars haven't been able to keep up with all the pro-equality posts on the thread, so some of them are still there -- for now, at least. (Some friends even reposted the photo of Michael and me!) If you want to (respectfully) get in on the fun, click on over to the thread and post a kissing photo of your own.
It's a kiss-in! Share the love, friends!