What Rick Perry opposes

Timothy Kincaid

December 6th, 2011

Rick Perry opposed the statement today by the President. As he was rather specific, we must assume that he means what he says. In case you didn’t do a point by point comparison, here is what Rick Perry supports:

Rick Perry believes that countries should deny people their rights because of who they love. This isn’t surprising, really, as he has long held that the state of Texas should deny gay people rights that are shared by heterosexuals solely because they are gay. And, unlike others who talk about “everyone being treated equally to anti-gay laws”, Perry has been clear that he hold personal animosity to gay people. As gay people.

Rick Perry opposes combating the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct abroad. Again, no surprise. Rick Perry supported the criminalization of LGBT conduct and presumed conduct based on status in his home state of Texas.

Rick Perry opposes protecting vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers. I won’t put the words “let ’em die” in his mouth. I don’t know that he’s actually said that.

Rick Perry opposes the use of foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination. I suppose this goes to anyone, not just gay people. But if Perry were no find that it was in America’s interest to, say, encourage a Muslim nation to allow a Christian minority the freedom to practice their faith, he would never do so for a sexual minority. Mostly because he actively supports discrimination against sexual minorities.

Rick Perry opposes the swift and meaningful U.S. responses to human rights abuses of LGBT persons abroad. And he would never ever engage International Organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination. Again, Perry sympathies with the abuser, not the victim.

Ideologically, it’s difficult to conceptualize a greater enemy to gay people. Santorum, perhaps. But never has there ever been in modern times a President who held the level of personal animosity that Rick Perry has for you. Not Eisenhower, not Nixon, not Johnson, not Reagan, and neither Bush. It is inconceivable that Perry could have the personal gay friendships of Reagan, the gay appointments of the Bushes, and certainly not the supportive views of Carter, Clinton, Ford, or Obama. None of the other credible GOP candidates, Romney, Gingrich, or even Bachmann would be worse.

We very seldom use the term “hate” to categorize a politicians views. It seldom is accurate. But I concur with Jim completely: Rick Perry hates you. Deeply.


December 6th, 2011

The one GOP debate I bothered to watch was a social con lovefest at Thanksgiving time. Remember this?


That was very revealing about the man IMO.


December 7th, 2011

As Mr. Burroway noted on this blog, “The memo does not specify specific actions that individual agencies are to take in pursuing the goals, nor does it specify specific sanction, remedies, or diplomatic initiatives to be undertaken to protect the human rights of LGBT people internationally.”

Instead it sets up a “standing group” to “direct a coordinated response.”*

1. Obama underling issues a completely toothless memo directing bureaucrats to pay lip service to an issue.

2. Republicans currently campaigning take the bait and respond to the sensitive issue.

3. “Clear contrast” highlighted. People who produce media content write about this contrast.

4. Nothing in the world changes; certainly not anything related to how the U.S. actually does go about disbursing foreign aid.

But that was never the point. The point was generate some theater and get some written content produced.

It is not only a not a revelation that people like Rick Perry would respond in this way; it’s not even interesting.

What would be interesting is to contrast this statement of Obama’s with the actual practices of the state department and the rest of the federal gov’t, which currently awards plenty of foreign aid to countries that have no protections for gay people whatsoever. Do you think the calculus will change after this memo? I don’t. Do you have an argument that it will? How?

*Have you read G. K. Chesterton’s essay on Charles Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby, in which he talks about the modern bureaucratic method?

“The modern intellect is positively prostrated and flattened by this rapid and romantic way of righting wrongs. If a modern philanthropist came to Dotheboys Hall I fear he would not employ the simple, sacred, and truly Christian solution of beating Mr. Squeers with a stick. I fancy he would petition the Government to appoint a Royal Commission to inquire into Mr. Squeers. I think he would every now and then write letters to newspapers reminding people that, in spite of all appearances to the contrary, there was a Royal Commission to inquire into Mr. Squeers. I agree that he might even go the length of calling a crowded meeting in St. James’s Hall on the subject of the best policy with regard to Mr. Squeers. At this meeting some very heated and daring speakers might even go the length of alluding sternly to Mr. Squeers. Occasionally even hoarse voices from the back of the hall might ask (in vain) what was going to be done with Mr. Squeers. The Royal Commission would report about three years afterwards and would say that many things had happened which were certainly most regrettable; that Mr. Squeers was the victim of a bad system; that Mrs. Squeers was also the victim of a bad system; but that the man who sold Squeers his cane had really acted with great indiscretion and ought to be spoken to kindly. Something like this would be what, after four years, the Royal Commission would have said; but it would not matter in the least what the Royal Commission had said, for by that time the philanthropists would be off on a new tack and the world would have forgotten all about Dotheboys Hall and everything connected with it. By that time the philanthropists would be petitioning Parliament for another Royal Commission; perhaps a Royal Commission to inquire into whether Mr. Mantalini was extravagant with his wife’s money; perhaps a commission to inquire into whether Mr. Vincent Crummles kept the Infant Phenomenon short by means of gin.”

Priya Lynn

December 7th, 2011

Michigan Matt, you’re really a piece of work. On one hand you’ve got an administration that loudly declares is support for human rights and directs all agencies to “promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.” even though it may not specify exactly how to do that. On the other hand you’ve got GOP contenders who say opposing the imprisonment and execution of gay people is an attack on them and religious people and you in your insanity try to tell LGBTs they should support the ones opposing human rights rather than the one’s supporting them. You have some kind of profound mental blockage and you need to go off in a room by yourself and seriously examine what is wrong with your mind.


December 7th, 2011

If you think a Perry administration would be more benigh than a Bachmann administration, then you are seriously lacking an educated imagination. I would take a Danton over a Robespierre!

Ben In Oakland

December 7th, 2011

Matt, the funny thing is, I think you are more or less right in what you have to say, but your interpretation is way off.

Here i have to agree with priya. This is a policy statement. It’s the first (albeit tentative) approach to deal with this in this country, but a powerful one that we are starting to see in other civilized ocuntries.

You’re right that it’s not surprising the perry would respond. It’s the sort of thing he would do– and did. But I think there is a lot of value in this if you’re the democrat party and trying to appeal to the sensible middle– assuming your a democrat party that will use the ammunition handed to you to do the job you were elected to do.

How about this for a Dem ad: The republican party is obsessed with homosexuality. They would rather talk about that than the failures of the previous republican administration and the current republican dominance that have led us to our current national situation and the fialure to do anything about the crises that confront us.

I agree. Unlikely. but this is what they COULD do if they had more than one pair of balls not attached to Barney Frank.

If only our side in the marriage wars would point out what assholes the other side frequently are. I’ve said over and over again that our failure to talk about bigotry is one of the reasons our campaigns fail.

We don’t have to call anyone a bigot. we do have to start talking about bigotry.

Timothy Kincaid

December 7th, 2011


You do make a very good (though perhaps overly cynical) point. For many, if not most, a statement is all that is needed and reality need not follow.

However, here at BTB, we are pretty good at tracking promises v. actions. Not perfect, but better than most. (For example, we have our ongoing Obama promises scorecard.)

But I think that you err when you dismiss statements as having no value or assume that they change nothing.

It may be true that the feds continue to fund countries with no protections for gay people. But, and this is actually an important but, the issue is raised. Those who receive the funds, those who work in the allocation process, those who monitor governmental spending, the news media, and you and I all heard it.

This will impact the decisions of some countries. This will cause some within the state department to be empowered to talk to their foreign counterparts. This will cause some in the state department to talk to their superiors.

A policy – even a policy unobserved – changes the dynamic.

So while this is not the same as a mandate tying all foreign funding to specific human right criteria, it is vastly better than no statement at all.


December 7th, 2011

He hates so much because he is known as Rick “Fairy” in some Texas circles. Just give it time.

Timothy Kincaid

December 7th, 2011


I view Bachmann as less of a threat than Perry.

Bachmann is an idealist first and part of her central identity is her belief that she is a Christian and hence a good person.

She views us through the lens of culture war and thus would oppose our right out of hand. However, though it would be a difficult process, it is conceivable that Bachmann could be approach on a humanitarian level and that she would be sympathetic to certain real life situations. She actually cares that she “loves everyone doesn’t hate anyone”.

(Conservative evangelical Christians – like everyone else – use labels to assign attributes. Because they identify as Christians and because the Bible states that a characteristic of Christians is that they are know for their love of everyone, ergo they love everyone. By definition. But if you can get them to actually look at their policies and behaviors objectively (which is a task), and to question themselves whether this specific policy is loving, you have inroads to change. I think we have all seen this happen.)

Rick Perry doesn’t care. He is first a pragmatist and politician. His faith is secondary and serves his personal power, not the other way around. If you were to convince him that his policies were hateful, it would have little impact on him at all.

Timothy Kincaid

December 7th, 2011


If only our side in the marriage wars would point out what assholes the other side frequently are. I’ve said over and over again that our failure to talk about bigotry is one of the reasons our campaigns fail.

Speaking solely of the religious sphere, our guys are the nice guys. While the a-holes will go for the jugular and sneer at and demean those who dare to vary from their “straight and narrow”, our guys will bend over backwards to accommodate everyone and respect everyone’s spiritual journey. Thus, they are really hesitant to turn to their brother in Christ, the pastor of the First Church of Jesus Hates You and say, “hey, buddy, your spiritual path leads right to hell you hateful son of a bitch.”

It may change. And, indeed, it is changing. Some are beginning to stand up and use their faith as a measure of what is right and wrong and to condemn the bigotry. I had to laugh at the UCC minister’s response to the latest blowhard who claimed that gays were responsible for 50% of murders: “To couch in Christian terms these so-called statistics, I’ll call them what they are. They are lies.”

As more ministers are measuring ‘demean another’s faith’ against ‘let the oppressed suffer’ they are beginning to step out in faith and follow the Judeo-Christian* mandate: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

* – most “Judeo-Christian” crap is conservative Christianity seeking to give itself a multicultural sheen. But this is a passage of scripture important to both Jews and Christians.

Ben In Oakland

December 7th, 2011

I agree. I was referring both to the religious and the non-religious.

Mark F.

December 7th, 2011

And Perry seems to be falling into fourth place behind Ron Paul. I predict he will withdraw after New Hampshire.

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