’Til Death Do Them Part

’Til Death Do Them Part

Subject: Log Cabin madness

I was sick to my stomach after reading an article in the New York Times concerning the Log Cabin Republicans’ continued support for Bush. Patrick Guerriero, the executive director, had eaten his words. I am so disappointed that all these people worry about is their money. They try to mask it by saying that they are not one-issue people.

Re: Log Cabin madness

The Log Cabin Republicans have now shown that they would do just about anything to stay in the good graces of George W. Bush. And the elaborate rationalizations they’re now spinning are beyond kooky–– and they are certainly enraging.

The irony in this “one-issue” argument that you mention is that they claim their gayness shouldn’t make them one-issue voters, but questioned on this point, one of the gay Republicans mentioned in the New York Times article to which you are referring, actually pointed to another single issue as the basis for her vote.

“Right now, I am leaning toward Bush,” Margaret Lieber, a member of the gay gun group The Pink Pistols told The Times. “All the Democrats just rolled into Congress to vote for this gun-control bill. Somebody with my values and beliefs can’t be a single-issue voter.”

Oh really? Never mind that she is letting the gun issue define her vote, the bigger issue here is that at this point in time, if you’re gay, it’s not a “single issue.” Rather, it’s a singular issue––one that defines you, like it or not, and one that will be used to strip you of all of your rights. The Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), as it is written, could bar partnership rights of all kinds and could affect anti-discrimination statutes as well.

The Times on Monday got my blood boiling too. Headlined “Gay and Republican, But Not Necessarily Disloyal to President,” it actually quoted Patrick Guerriero saying that the group hadn’t made a decision yet on whether or not to endorse Bush but that many of its members are “conservative.” As you say, in doing so, he ate his earlier words warning that the group would not endorse Bush if he supported the FMA. But the group had left itself an out, always saying its board would have to decide.

Even more preposterous than the group’s most recent dodge was Guerriero’s claim that its membership is now “surging” because of Bush’s announcement, as people want to come and fight within the party. Come on! Do you know anyone who has said, “Gee, I saw the president supporting discrimination and it made me want to join the Log Cabin Republicans.” Demented as the claim may be, the saddest part is that many moderate, straight Republicans and independents might not recognize that. That’s exactly the crowd the article was intended to reach––and it wouldn’t surprise me if the whole thing was an elaborate plant bv Karl Rove, the president’s West Wing political schemer.

Log Cabin is trying to have it both ways, of course, and that helps Bush. The group wants to show it opposes the amendment––and its leadership held a press conference showcasing TV spots they plan to air to attack it––but also want to emphasize that they are not out to “hurt the president,” as Guerriero told the Chicago Tribune two weeks ago.

But why not hurt the president? He’s hurting you, after all. The baseline question is: Is there anything––anything––that would make the Log Cabin Republicans withhold support for the Bush? One shudders to think of the possibilities.

Subject: Marriage between the races

So I keep hearing that more than 90 percent of people didn’t approve of interracial marriage back in 1967 when the ban was lifted by one of those “activist courts.” So, I wonder if, perhaps, that number is still higher than 50 percent? If the number disapproving is higher than 50 percent, then wouldn’t this be a great tool to combat every single news report which mentions the latest poll about approval rates on gay marriage?

Re: Marriage between the races

I’m happy to report that there have been several polls conducted in recent years on the public’s attitudes on interracial marriages, and in all of them more than 70 percent of American public has no problem with such marriages. What that in fact shows is that courts and judges––who interpret the laws and the Constitution––have an important role in leading the country on the issue of civil rights. That’s not being an “activist”––it’s simply performing their jobs.

You are almost correct about the attitudes of the public in the past, but actually it’s even worse than what you say: It was 96 percent of the public that disapproved of interracial marriages in one poll, and it was ten years after the Supreme Court struck down laws banning marriage between the races in 1967 in the case of Loving v. Virginia. When the Supreme Court made its ruling, 16 states, most of them in the South, still had laws on the books that made interracial

When Bush talks about “activist judges” making decisions for us on same-sex marriage and contradicting the “will of the people,” is he actually suggesting judges should not have thrown out the ban on interracial marriages? Not only would the vast majority have voted against striking down bans on interracial marriage in 1967, but their views might not have changed so dramatically but for the court’s action.

Only after seeing that the world didn’t end did people come to accept the fact that there is nothing wrong with interracial marriage. The moral force of the civil rights movement might have led public opinion to evolve gradually, and perhaps the remaining states would have struck down the laws on their own.

But why should our society have waited for that and allowed for more discrimination? The courts are there to uphold equality, among other things. That’s what the Supreme Court did in 1967 and that’s what the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did last year.

Email Mike Signorile at Mike@Signorile.com.

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