A Ray of Light
This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the opinions of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin
March 20th, 2008
When homophobic rants like those of Sally Kern get a standing ovation from her House Republican caucus, or when folks like Oregon State Sen. Gary George (R – Newberg) can call gays “perverts” and advise that they just “shut up”, it can become discouraging. It does seem as though our nation is deeply divided along party lines and that we are an easy target in the raging culture wars.
But I think much of the venom and bile are the behavior of those who know in their gut that dusk is falling on their culture of heterosexist oppression. The signs are there for those who look. And here’s one from the Bay Area Reporter:
Log Cabiners’ optimism that their party is turning a lavender corner was buoyed last month at the California Republican Party’s state convention, held in San Francisco. The party adopted a new platform that no longer calls for passage of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The change in stance on an amendment is a blow to conservative groups trying to place such a ballot measure before voters this November. And it reinforces gay GOPer’s belief that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will oppose such a measure should it get on the ballot.
The party does still define marriage as being between a man and a woman, though a push to strip that from the platform came close to passing this year. It fell short by only eight votes.
A closer look does illustrate continued homophobic language within the platform, including
We believe that public policy and education should not be exploited to present or teach homosexuality as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle. We oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption.
And in its discussion on Equal Opportunity, it clarifies that Equal does not include gay people.
We oppose any special rights based on sexual or behavioral preferences.
Clearly a (small) majority of the California Republican Party voting membership has decided not to view gay citizens as equal or deserving of the same rights that they hold so dear for themselves.
But in our constant battle against those who actively seek us harm, it can be easy to forget how much progress has been made, and how quickly progress continues to be made. In many states, any Democratic candidate that displays overt homophobia cannot expect to win their party’s nomination. In some areas, Republican candidates are facing the reality that their constituents can no longer be motivated by hate. And more importantly, many elected officials of all parties are coming to recognize the inherent worth of gay citizens on their own.
I believe that those kids who are now toddlers will live in a world in which a Sally Kern will seems as much an anomoly or embarrassment as David Duke or George Wallace. And while that day is still a ways off, this change in the CRP platform is definitely a positive omen of better days to come.
Log Cabin Republicans Attack Ad Against Mitt Romney
October 4th, 2007
What do you think about this?
I really had to scratch my head over this one. Yes, I get it, Mitt Romney is a shameless flip-flopping opportunist who shouldn’t be trusted. He for abortion rights before he was against them. He was for gun control before he was against it. And he was for gay rights before he was against them. Heck, he even promised to out-Kennedy Sen. Kennedy when he was running for governor of Massachusetts.
Oh, wait. That last part isn’t in the commercial.
It seemed really strange to me that a national gay political group would put out a TV ad like this without mentioning the massive pink elephant in the room. During his 1994 campaign against Sen. Edward Kennedy, Romney sent a letter to the Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans promising to be a stronger supporter for gay rights than Kennedy. And the Massachusetts LCR returned the favor by supporting Romney.
Romney went back to the Massachusetts LCR in 2002 to ask for their support for his gubernatorial campaign, promising that if he won he would respect that state’s high court pending decision on same sex marriage and not launch a fight either way. Again LCR endorsed Romney. And the rest, as they say, is history, with Romney leading the fight to try to amend the Massachusetts constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Romney’s positions on an awful lot of things have changed over the years, and LCR naturally is feeling betrayed. And so they’re fighting back by bringing up lot of things that Romney has flip-flopped on.
But the issue of gay rights remains unmentionable. That had me puzzled at first, but after several rounds of emails, I think I understand what’s happening. Think about it. Imagine the howls of protest if LCR had used Romney’s previously-admirable stand on gay rights to tell anti-gay voters not to trust his his current stand on gay rights.
So okay, I get it. The Log Cabin Republicans are letting it be known that no candidate can court the gay Republican vote and accept gay Republican money one year and turn around later and bash gay Americans later in the political careers when it suits them. Revenge can certainly be sweet, and good for LCR for exacting theirs.
But what’s that about “Massachusetts Values” at the end? Ever since same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts three years ago, we’ve heard nary a word about “Taxachusetts.” So I doubt that’s what springs to mind among conservative voters when they hear “Massaachusetts Values.” So what did they mean by that? Are “Massachusetts Values” supposed to be anything like “San Francisco Values”? After all, we all know what that means.
Maybe LCR managed to talk about the big pink elephant after all.