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Bono Mack on Chaz

Timothy Kincaid

May 1st, 2012

The big news from the GLAAD Awards a week ago was the surprise appearance of Cher to congratulate her son Chaz on his recognition by the group. But for me the more interesting story was that Chaz step-mother was the one scheduled to present the award.

Mary Bono Mack is a congresswoman from the Palm Springs area. A moderate Republican, her record on gay issues is mixed. She has voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment and for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but she also taken positions that were not in the interest of equality. Oddly enough, while she may not exactly represent my views, I’ve spoken to enough of the ‘Oh, Honey’ generation of gay men to know that her views are probably not too far from where they are (Palm Springs is, after all, where old gay Republicans go to die retire).

But I have wondered just how Mary has responded to Chastity/Chaz. Mary became Chaz’ step-mother when he (then Chastity) was 17; Mary was only about eight years older. And while there has been no public bickering, one never knows whether there was resentment or hostility between the two and my brief interactions with Chastity suggested that a relationship of any sort would require the patience of a saint.

I suspected that Mary would be classy in her demeanor. Her request that Cher deliver a eulogy for Sonny after his death seemed like a class act. But support for transgender issues is not exactly the hallmark of Republican congress members.

So I was pleased to see Mack there to support Chaz.

“I’m so honored that GLAAD asked me to present the award,” Mack told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think if anyone exemplifies courage and bravery right now, it’s Chaz. He’s had an extraordinary year — two years, actually — put himself out there for the public to see and I think America has fallen in love with him.”

Mack faces a redrawn district that is increasingly trending Democratic and her percentage of the vote has fallen in recent elections. But she is a sitting congresswoman and a Republican. And I find it encouraging that our nation’s social attitude has changed to the point where Mary Bono Mack can show up at the GLAAD Awards and tell the Hollywood Reporter how proud she is of her transgender stepson and no one, not even the professional anti-gays, has apoplexy.

We have won. Now it’s just a waiting game.

Comments

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TampaZeke
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Among her mixed record is her RECENT vote AGAINST the repeal of DADT even though over 70% of Americans supported the move.

She is still no friend to the GLBT community.

Timothy Kincaid
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Zeke,

You are either factually mistaken or not exactly telling the full story.

There was a May 2010 vote that was tied to a bill that had a large number of controversial issues. Bono Mack voted no, as did a large number of Congressional representatives. It is less than accurate to assert that this was a vote “AGAINST the repeal of DADT.”

We need not speculate, guess, conjecture, or attribute her motives, because on December 15, 2010 the question was answered. A stand-alone bill to repeal DADT was passed by the house. This one had no other issues but was solely about the repeal of DADT.

In addition to Reps. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), Anh ‘Joseph’ Cao (R-La.), Charles Djou (R-Hawaii), Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) — who voted for the repeal amendment in May — ten additional Republicans supported repeal today. They were Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), John Campbell (R-Calif.), Mike Castle (R-Del.) Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), David Dreier (R-Calif.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Todd Platts (R-Pa.) and Dave Reichart (R-Wash.).

Bono Mack voted FOR the repeal of DADT.

David Waite
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Thank you twice, Tim. Your column warmed my heart and put a big smile on my face, and your comment correcting that misperception of her vote to repeal DADT was even better. I’m the kind of Democrat who detests distortions of the record of any party’s individual elected member. The names of the Republicans who voted for repeal are “graven on my heart.”

TampaZeke
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

I was not being intentionally misleading. I just remembered the headlines about her voting against a bill to repeal DADT. I don’t remember hearing that she later voted for the stand alone bill. Sorry for the misinformation. Thanks for correcting me with the facts.

Timothy Kincaid
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

David and Zack, thanks guys.

Ray
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

The problem with Bono-Mack is you never know WHAT her position is. She dodges questions on equality practically every time they are posed and she GLADLY accepted the endorsement of GOProud (remember them – the gay John Birch Society) – even had a special meeting with them to give them some love. As a conservative, Bono is someone I’d **like** to vote for but when it come to actually standing up for gays publicly, she always behaves like she’s afraid of offending her millionaire campaign contributors. And really, just who does she represent when she spends half of time in Florida with her husband. Here’s the real reason Bono-Mack prevails here in the desert – the local newspaper is a right-wing mouthpiece that maintains a virtual blackout on any criticism of of the Right. Bono-Mack is in the pocket of Grover Norquist and that’s all you need to know about her. She doesn’t think for herself. She thinks what her handlers allow her to think.

Ray
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Oh! And isn’t this choice information. Richard Grenell gets canned by the Romney campaign and guess who he working for today? Mary Bono-Mack.

Isn’t that just what we need here where gay Republicans come to die – a GOProud, self-loathing gay-hating homo working to re-elect Mary Bono-Mack.

Andrew
May 3rd, 2012 | LINK

Ray, I don’t think I like your tone.

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