A CommentaryA Commentary
May 18th, 2011
The disappointment in Rhode Island illustrates one of the problems that our community has in trying to achieve our goals of equality and fairness: legislators who are gay do not represent our community.
My congressional district is majority Hispanic. And they have elected a Hispanic congressman whom they expect to represent them and to look after their specific interests. My congressman came out of the Hispanic community, first established his name there, and gradually proved himself and gained the respect and support of his community. He does have other interests and agenda, but he knows his base and he knows that if he fails to represent his community’s interests then they’ll replace him with someone who will.
This is a typical pattern for minority communities and minority representation.
But it is not at all typical of politicians who are gay. Take, for example, Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox (AP):
“I believe they have a higher expectation of me,” Fox said, because of his sexual orientation. “I think it’s also people that want this badly, that may not understand the process as much. … When they say ‘Oh we’ve now got a gay speaker of the House, now anything is possible.'”
Fox, 49, has served in the legislature for nearly 20 years and came out in 2004 while addressing a gay marriage rally. But he seldom talks publicly about his sexual orientation.
Fox did not come out of the community and does not represent the community. Fox came out of the closet.
To Gordon Fox, the gay community is “they”, a group of people with whom he decided to associate in his 40’s. Fox has made his political career despite his orientation, by keeping it unspoken, by seeing it as a liability.
I do believe Gordon Fox when he says that he is disappointed. I believe him when he says that he wants to achieve marriage equality. But for Rep. Fox, gay rights are not and never will be his highest priority. He will never be willing to give up other issues, pay the political capital, or make our community’s needs his only agenda.
Because Gordon Fox owes us nothing. We did not create him or empower him or elect him to represent us. His loyalty is to a party structure, to his district, and to his fellow legislators who gave him his position. He would like to help us, but not at the cost of those to whom he owes his success.
I appreciate those politicians who are come out; I really do. I recognize that they are more receptive to our issues, that they can experience some sense of kinship. But they are allies, not representatives of our community.
And what our community needs at this time is not more politicians who are gay. What we really need now is a gay politician.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.