Posts Tagged As: My Gay Friend

Where are Kim Davis’ gay friends?

Timothy Kincaid

September 23rd, 2015


Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis took to the talk circuit today to defend her decision to force her county to live according to what Kim Davis thinks that God wants. And, as anti-gays so often do, she trotted out the old “my gay friends” statement.

I have friends who are gay and lesbians. They know where I stand. And we don’t agree on this issue, and we’re OK because we respect each other.

This tired old tactic is an attempt to tell the audience that they should not listen to all those radical militant homosexuals because real gay people understand and respect Davis. It is designed to discredit her critics and show that her actions aren’t so bad because reasonable people, including reasonable gay people, respect her actions.

But this cannard relies on two old premises, neither of which remain true.

First, Davis assumes that her audience doesn’t have any gay friends of their own. Even the most casual conversation with a gay person would quickly disprove that notion.

The community may not be unanimous on cake bakers or florists, but when it comes to Davis’ denial of state services and refusal to allow her deputies to offer them, gays across the political spectrum see this as not OK and not deserving of respect. The only way to not know this is to not know any gay people.

But though Davis and her counsel may live under the impression that homosexuality is a dark secret kept in a closet, most Americans have gay people in their lives. Nearly 90% of Americans know a gay person and more than half have a relative or close friend who is gay.

The second presumption on Davis’ part is that sexual orientation is a very private matter and no one will violate the privacy of her acquaintances and say, “who are these gay friends of yours?” Thus she can just toss out this patently absurd statement and no one will call her on it.

But fewer and fewer people feel shame or any need to hide their orientation. And I think we can assume that anyone who is out to Kim Davis is not particularly selective in deciding to whom they will reveal their orientation.

So the Kentucky Equality Federation is asking just who are these friends who are OK with Davis and respect her? What are their names? Do they really support her? Do they even exist?

The Daily Beast took up the quest, interviewing her former husband, her employees, and her neighbors. But no one seems to be aware of any gay people in Davis’ social circle.

Several gay themed sites have also spread the appeal and satire sites are mocking her claim. As they should.

I think that eventually someone will turn up who knows Kim Davis. Maybe a grocery clerk or the son of a neighbor or a distant cousin. And when they do, they will say that they love Kim and respect her… but that what she is doing is wrong and they are not OK with it. And that will be that.

I am sympathetic towards that as yet unidentified person who may not want to be dragged into the story or risk alienating people in their town. But I am glad that finally, after years of politicians and preachers and pundits playing the “my gay friends” card to deflect criticism, finally someone is being called on it.


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