Monday, August 04, 2003

The Hatred That Dare Not Speak Its Name--At Least Among Moderate Swing Voters

Jon Stewart did have the best take on gay marriage. If it isn't mandatory--he's worried his wife might not approve if he had to marry a gay guy--then who cares? I'm getting the usual emails from the right wingers, but they're sounding more desperate than usual on this one--and they're rallying around gay marriage, not the Texas sodomy law.

And I love the Vatican coming out against gay marriage in part because doctrine holds that the purpose of marriage and the sole purpose of sex is procreation. That'll settle that tiresome debate about which side is more fun, liberals or conservatives. Hey, liberals may want you to speak politically correctly--but conservatives want to make sex illegal.

East Valley Tribune, Jul. 27, 2003

Hey, right wingers: It’s your gay-bashing that’s going “in the closet.”

It’s been fascinating to watch GOP politicians react -- or studiously avoid reacting -- to a formerly hot-button issue. Last month the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Texas anti-sodomy law with an opinion that speaks broadly about privacy rights and personal freedoms. (These concepts are holy to conservatives when you’re talking about rifles, but apparently not when talking about some other guy’s gun.)

Since that decision, has our President, who campaigned in favor of that Texas anti-sodomy law when running for governor, said anything about, quoting Justice Scalia, the Court’s supposed endorsement of “the homosexual agenda”? Has Sen. Rick Santorum, defender of the Republic against the allegedly imminent threat of man-on-dog sex, uttered a peep of protest?

(Exactly what is the homosexual agenda? Is it published anywhere? Adopted by a convention of duly elected delegates? Of course not; the supposed “homosexual agenda” is strictly a creation of right-wing fundraising. And if the “homosexual agenda” existed, it would look much like the “heterosexual agenda” -- except that heterosexuals don’t have to worry about getting fired or beat up because they’re heterosexual.)

Nah -- the formerly-customary gay-bashing has been left to strictly third- and fourth-tier Republicans. When the highest-profile spokesperson you can muster is the easily-mocked state Rep. Karen “Stop me before I wed again!” Johnson, and all of the state’s big GOP guns remain uncharacteristically silent, what does that tell you?

The White House goes after an ABC News reporter who aired a story that displeased the Administration, and they leak opposition research to Matt Drudge, who cares not that the reporter is gay, but that he’s (gasp!) Canadian. (Apparently Karl Rove is willing to sacrifice the hockey fan vote.)

Sen. Jon Kyl is a master at “narrowcasting” his right-wing message only to the precisely receptive audience, so maybe he’s talking about how the Supreme Court decision was an outrage or the usual anti-gay stuff, but only so right-wingers get the message. But he won’t make noises about that “homosexual agenda” in places where (gasp!) more moderate voters might hear him.

Going after gays is becoming about as meaningful, and rational, to an increasing majority of Americans as, say, control of the Panama Canal. That is to say, it’s just so 20th century.

Get it? Pretty soon, gay-bashing will be heard only in a right-wing closet where only right-wingers can hear. The GOP will want to feed you that raw meat, but only when nobody outside your little circle can watch. Oh, they still want your votes, and will say all the right stuff, but that’s it. Just watch as the anti-gay stuff becomes the hatred that dare not speak its name.

Hey, ‘wingers -- why should only heterosexuals have to fret about community property law?

More and more Americans will recognize that all this right-wing rhetoric, these totally bizarre and overblown claims that what homosexuals may do with their private lives somehow threatens my marriage or yours, is utter nonsense. Their blather will make as much sense in a couple of years as all those Bible-thumping segregationists fifty years ago “defending” America against the moral threat of racial equality.

Just watch America evolve before your eyes. Give it a couple of years, and all of today’s GOP heroes will be pretending they actually were for gay rights before it was cool. Like Strom Thurmond on race -- or just like how all top Republicans in Arizona are falling over themselves to denounce the upcoming anti-immigrant initiative.

Your tide is an ebbing tide, ‘wingers. Our tide is a flowing tide. And don’t think the GOP doesn’t know it.

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