aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Log Cabin integrity
I so respect the Log Cabin Republicans for their stand in the last election. Yesterday Gay Orbit pointed to them for highlighting this about Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney after a speech decrying gay marriage:
What happened to the Mitt Romney who ran for Governor supporting employment non-discrimination, hate crimes legislation, domestic partnerships, and civil union-like benefits for gay couples? We don’t need another flip-flopping politician,” said Sanchez.
Governor Romney’s own staff seemed to contradict the Governor’s comments in South Carolina. According to news reports, Romney Spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said the Governor supports an amendment that includes legal protections for gay couples.
South Carolina? Sure does look like he’s readying for a run.
Gay Republican roundup
To be included, the individual must be:
- A Republican or conservative political activist
- Engaged in anti-gay advocacy or activism
- Gay or bi-sexual
- In the closet
Obviously the non-closeted members of the Log Cabin Republicans would not be included.
Here’s his list:
Name Anti-gay activities Status Dolan, Terry Ran NCPAC to elect far-right Republicans in the 1970’s when they were attacking gay victims of AIDS Died of AIDS Dreier, David Powerful Congressman who votes consistently against gay rights Closeted gay Guckert, James Wrote gay-bashing articles for right-wing Talon News service Gay prostitute Mehlman, Ken Ran George Bush’s 2004 campaign with anti-gay marriage as central issue; now Chairman of the Republican Party Closeted
Hat tip, the man who led me there: Mike Rogers at blogACTIVE.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
I read it for the articles…
Much as we’d like to see them survive, our concerns about the shaky condition of USAir led us to order a bunch of magazines to use up some frequent flyer miles. One of them, Doug’s choice not mine, was Men’s Health. Today the first issue
came arrived. The cover ("New Year, New Body, New Life") made me wonder, did our mailman blush? It looks to me like a gay version of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue only instead of just one a year, they’re all like that. Now really, what did I expect?
Monday, February 21, 2005
Rodriguez & Lincoln
In a stunning piece on The Newshour tonight that really deserves to be widely acknowledged, Richard Rodriguez did a President’s Day essay on the CA Tripp Lincoln biography. In it he looked at the camera and said this:
As a queer man who learned irony because I could not say directly, who learned the uses of a wider imagination, who learned to read between the lines where centuries of gay lives lie. Undetected, I find C.A.Tripp’s portrait of a homosexual Abraham Lincoln convincing.
I am not interested in the political implications of Lincoln’s intimate life. I am interested that Lincoln, along with Walt Whitman, those two most important voices for national unity at a time when Americans were killing one another as gray against blue, Lincoln and Whitman may have both been unable to speak of their love.
He did this in the face of what have been terrible (and I believe homophobic) reviews of the Tripp book.
An anti-gay marriage argument that’s not anti-gay
I don’t agree with the argument (from Sean at The White Peril via Dean’s World) but it is not anti-gay. In fact it’s representative of what not too long ago was the prevailing sentiment in my world. The marriage issue took me and my friends by surprise. And when I was younger I bought into the I see no reason why homosexuals should feel the need to ape heterosexuals argument too.
Now I see a reason.
I’m for gay marriage because I want to normalize gay in every way. I want the same rights and responsibilities, benefits and obligations, trials and tribulations that everyone else has. Gay marriage would be a big step towards normalizing gay. That’s where the political opposition comes from and that’s why I believe it’s anti-gay to be anti-gay marriage. I do choose to see it through that frame.
As to the state, it’s not about state-bolstered self-esteem. I believe the state has an interest in a stable society and that marriage brings positive community pressures which helps keep married couples together and benefits everyone. Gays would benefit from that too (just as straights have benefited from domestic partnership).
So if the alternative is a decision for the state to get out of the business of marriage altogether, I’m all for it. Just don’t try telling me a Civil Union is the same thing.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Some of us think it’s a choice
At least this one of us does:
Yep. I said, “choose.” And yes. I think that our sexual orientation is a choice...I am thrilled to have chosen lesbianhood. I consider myself a gay activist. I feel like I am privileged to be gay. But gay men and lesbians still get upset when I start talking about choice, and I believe it’s because they think I’m saying that everyone is straight and some people choose to be gay. Not at all. I think everyone is bisexual, and people choose to be gay or straight.
She essentially confines her examples to women, even as she applies it to both genders. I’m inclined to agree with those who imply sexuality is more fluid among women than men, and that for more and more of us it is a choice. But I promise you, for this one of us, there was no choice.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
A dialogue with my friend Basil, a real son of the south, has prodded me into this: If it isn’t obvious already, I’m a big believer in “outing.” I think the work of blogs like AMERICAblog, blogACTIVE and Raw Story is important work, well-suited to the blogging format. Why’s that? Because blogging is an activist activity. Bloggers are not journalists.
Me, I’m a hobbyist, a concerned citizen engaged in civic discourse, an interested observer sharing my thoughts, an agitator aching to have an impact, I am all of that. But I am NOT a journalist and journalism is not my model. To measure me by that standard is to mistake what I do.
Now back to outing…
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Tomorrow Maya comes out
Today in The Washington Post:
Her parents have known that Maya is a lesbian since they found a copy of the Washington Blade, the gay weekly, in her room and confronted her at the end of high school (she went to Oakcrest School for Girls, a Catholic school in McLean run by the church’s highly devout Opus Dei movement.) Ever since, Maya says, her parents have told her that her sexuality is wrong and sinful.
Indeed. For example:
During his failed campaign last fall against Barack Obama (D) for the Illinois Senate seat, Alan Keyes lashed out at Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Cheney. Keyes told a radio interviewer that Mary Cheney was a “selfish hedonist.” Then, without having been asked anything about his own family, he volunteered that “if my daughter were a lesbian, I’d look at her and say, ‘That is a relationship that is based on selfish hedonism.’ I would also tell my daughter that it’s a sin and she needs to pray to the Lord God to help her deal with that sin.”
Saturday, February 12, 2005
A friend sides with Newsom
Not all of my friends in New York are happy about Bloomberg’s “I-back-it-but-I’m-appealing-the-ruling-anyway” gay marriage stance. One sent this article about San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom blasting Bloomberg:
“I think if you believe something, you’ve got to act on it,” Newsom said at a press conference on Thursday. “If you don’t believe in it, don’t act on it. But don’t say you believe something and then do everything to stifle that belief.”
The note that came with it said, “This is how I feel!”
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
I missed it
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
From me, last week:
Andrew Sullivan asked the other day, in the first of many post-hiatus posts, why not an anti-abortion amendment? In light of the president’s gay-marriage-mention in last night’s [State of the Union] speech, I thought it worth pondering. Is gay marriage even more important than abortion to the Religious Right? Really?
Monday, February 07, 2005
Getting Mayor Bloomberg to say unequivocally where he stood on the issue of gay marriage had become a kind of sport among City Hall reporters this time last year. Journalists were in tacit agreement that during each of the mayor’s thrice-weekly question-and-answer sessions, at least one question on gay marriage should be posed. Then the scribes would dutifully write down the mayor’s latest duck-and-weave on the issue.This weekend he stopped ducking.”I think people have the right to love, to live with, and to marry whoever they want, regardless of their sexual orientation,” the mayor told an audience Saturday at a function of a gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign.
That from the New York Sun today, which has the story behind the politically dangerous decision to make the statement. He’s accused of trying to have it both ways because he’s also appealing the lower court ruling granting gay and lesbian couples the right to marriage.
I’m glad to have the statement and fine with waiting for the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, to rule on the appeal.