aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Let’s just say I’m not as optimistic as the liberals who say that she’s the best we can get.
Nathan Newman points out that big business loves Miers:
That some Democrats—including some in the blogosphere—have gone soft on Miers reflects a fundamental betrayal of the working class base of the party. It pisses me off no end that because Miers MIGHT be soft on a few social issues, folks are willing to overlook the fact that she, like Roberts, worked for rightwing corporate law firms, both of which had tough union-busting divisions. In fact, Roberts brought one of the nastiest anti-union cases of the 1990s to the Supreme Court, thankfully a case he lost.
People wonder why Democrats are losing working class voters. It’s not because they care about abortion and gay rights; it’s because when it comes to the courts, they don’t seem to care about anything else, including the economic issues that many pro-life voters would turn against the GOP over if they were highlighted in the debates.
Dobson, marriage & me
The noted Christian broadcaster answered several of the charges that have been raised against Miers, including one involving her position on gay rights.
In 1989, she answered “Yes” to a poll question by a gay rights organization that asked, “Do you believe that gay men and lesbians should have the same civil rights as non-gay men and women?”
“You know what? I do,” Dobson said, affirming her response. “I don’t believe that homosexuals should be denied a job. I don’t believe that they should not be able to buy a house. I don’t believe that they should not have the same rights everybody else does. I just don’t believe that there should be special rights given to homosexuals that are not given to everybody else.”
Terrance says, “Heh. Interesting.” Then goes on to quote this mournful lament from the conservative Washington Times Culture Briefs last month:
“We are losing the gay marriage fight, and, in fact, have lost it already, though not all of us know it yet. When the acceptance of civil-unions protections for gay couples is the conservative position, then we have been defeated.”
—Rod Dreher, writing on “Pink Campaign,” in the September issue of Touchstone
Terrance, a Georgia expatriot (and briefly a churchmate of my sometimes haughty partner Doug. Of Doug he quipped then, “what, does this church have a one-queen-quota?"), pays attention to the Religious Right and frequently flirts with optimism on the topic. But he can’t quite bring himself to hope against hope, ending this one on a characteristically down note:
I have feeling that once the Miers nomination is resolved one way or the other, Dobson and the rest of his cronies on the religious right will backslide in to gay-bashing again, quicker than you can say “amen.”
I’m more optimistic.
I agree with Rod. We’ve won. A personal story informs that opinion…
Doug’s family has a good sized evangelical fundamentalist contingent. One, an uncle who may be the most conservative among them, was giving away his last daughter recently.
I went to the wedding.
Now the thing is, it’s not just that I went. It’s that I HAD TO GO.
Don’t get me wrong, normally I’d be happy to. But it was a very busy time and a very long way away and I could have used the time at home.
Except I couldn’t.
It would have insulted him. He wanted me to be there. I might even say we’re close. And believe me, we have absolutely nothing in common politically.
It wasn’t just him; the whole family wanted me to be there. And we all had a very good time (save for one awkward conversation in which it was revealed that I really don’t care one whit about the Dawgs, even as I tried to fake it).
I know he and his family will, like Dobson and his followers, vote in favor of the marriage amendment again next time, even as they’d be upset if my life partner and I don’t come to thier wedding. And yes, they’d buy right in to his notion of special rights.
Years ago I’d try to make them ACCEPT ME AS I AM; now I know I’ve fought those battles. And I believe I’ve won.
If you read me regularly you know I oppose the closet and applaud the continued fighting and striving; my plea here is not for an end to that. But I don’t want ours to be a bitter victory. I want them to feel they have to come and
dance eat cake at my wedding. And I want them to have a good time too.
A fundamentalist & me
Today I advised a student on buying a laptop. As we were talking I asked what year he was. A Senior.
“Oh, graduating.” I asked, “What do you plan to do?”
He answered that he was already an ordained minister and that since they don’t make much money, much as he loves his job, he’d probably have to earn a second income. So graduate school could be in his future.
Interesting, I thought, in light of the Slate photo-essay on God’s McMansions. While we do have one that aspires to be here, the “Real Life” church, most are quite small. They don’t make much money.
I was aware that I was having this conversation today, on National Coming Out Day. And that this particular student, the ordained minister, is one I happened to overhear last election season telling a friend that the two most important political issues for him were gay marriage and abortion.
Now I’m about as out as you can be—and yesterday a young woman, after attending a “coming out workshop,” decided to try it out on me as I was talking with my evangelical student staff, but that’s another story. Everyone knows Doug and me as a couple on campus.
When I neglected to fill out my form for the campus directory, the
woman in charge secretary, whom I have never met, called to wonder if I wanted my partrner listed with me. I did. And I was moved by the kindness and consideration of the gesture.
So what did I tell the student minister?
I told him to shop around and find a few he liked, then look them up on the Internet and buy the one he determined to be the best. That his budget could be his guide and name brands (even the one the school endorses) are not necessary.
He knows I’m gay. I’m guessing it took a while before he could be comfortable enough even to ask about the computer. He will vote in favor of the marriage amendment again the next time. But I think he’s more reachable today than he was yesterday. And if we keep it up, he may well vote differently one day.
UPDATE: Edited to give credit where credit is due.