In 2004, the republican party used hate against queer people to help drive a wedge between independents, blue dog democrats, moderate republicans and the Democratic party. Its sad to say but it was a successful campaign and highlighted the fact that despite many improvements in queer rights and acceptance there was still an undercurrent of hatred for queer americans.
Its now 2011, and its so different from attitudes 6 years ago, and we should recognise that fact, as should the Democratic party. The majority of the country wants not only basic respect for Queer americans, but also marriage equality.
Currently the only viable republican candidate has refused to sign NOM’s hate pledge which includes calling for witch-hunt investigations of Queer rights groups who’ve attacked anti-equality organisations by calling them Hate Groups. Jon Huntsman has refused to sign the pledge, but in his view marriage equality is not on the cards, he’s a supporter of civil unions, but he makes it clear that they are second class relationships. Huntsman doesn’t even disguise the fact that he’s calling for “separate but equal” treatment of Queer americans.
Now Obama’s record on Queer Rights is far from great, he’s had opportunities to fight for true equality like ENDA and Repealing DOMA when he had huge majorities in the Senate and House, but he’s now supporting a limited marriage equality bill that he knows has no chance of coming law. However under Obama, despite his lack of action, hate for Queer americans is no longer the explicit policy of the US government which is a huge improvement. Under any of the republican candidates, the lives of Queer americans will get worse, varying from HHS rules forcing hospitals accepting medicare and medicaid funding to allow partner visitation rights, to the recent “consideration” DHS is now applying to binational queer couples as far as deportation is concerned.
Forty years ago, Harvey Milk said, that we had to step out of the shadows and be heard, that we could no longer be closeted from our friends, our families and our coworkers. Across the US, in a wave that was not unlike the “Great Awakening” in True Blood, Queer americans stepped out of the shadows, and started to find their voices.
Now we’ve become a generation of Good Queers, who’ve accepted that our republican and independent friends cheerfully vote for people like Bush, McCain, and others who relish the thought of hurting us. The republican party has chosen to make hate part of their platform. Barack Obama has been a centrist President, and I’d challenge anyone to argue with a straight face that any of his policies have ended up being anything but centrist, if not center right. So its time to go out and tell your friends and families about the hate they are considering voting for.
“A vote for a republican president, is a boot stamping down on the faces, lives, families, and livelihoods of your Queer friends and family members”
I was reading this piece on the NOM blog about lack of DOMA defense, and I was planning to write a piece about how it proves that the Republicans are LGBTQIA-phobic bigots.
However despite not finding the smoking gun I was looking for, I found something rather hopeful.
If you look at the 8 candidates interviewed, who exclude the self-aggrandizing Herman Cain, the results are rather interesting. Of the 8 selected, only one actually said “I will continue to do everything in my power to fight back against Barack Obama’s attacks on Marriage” from everyone’s favorite lunatic Michelle Bachmann.
We’ve got a ” This is yet another example of our president’s effort to erode the very traditions that have made our country the greatest nation on earth.” from Rick ‘really doesn’t like his internet nickname’ Santorum. A light confused rebuke from Mike “god’s law before the constitution’” Huckabee “That’s hypocritical. It’s hypocritical and it’s dishonest, because when he ran for president, Chris, he said he supported traditional marriage. He’s on the record. Now, the question is was he dishonest then? Is he dishonest now? Or did he change his view, and if he did when and why?”. This triad of half hearted candidates is rounded off by Tim “i’m a real conservative, i have chest hair and everything” Pawlenty, in one full breath saying “I firmly believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, as President Obama told us he believed in 2008. But now President Obama and his Justice Department would have us believe that traditional marriage laws are unconstitutional. I oppose the Justice Department’s political decision to reverse its policy defending the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal statute passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. The job of the Justice Department is to enforce and defend laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. I am disappointed that the President and his Justice Department have abdicated this responsibility, all for the sake of partisan political gain”.
Newt Gingrich came out with “The President is replacing the rule of law with the rule of Obama. The President swore an oath on the Bible to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed, not to decide which laws are and which are not constitutional.”. All Mitt Romney could say was the decision was “an unfortunate mistake, the President has an obligation as chief executive to enforce and defend the laws of the nation. He should not abdicate that responsibility based on his own interpretations and personal views.”.
The new kid on the block, Mitch Daniels admitted the issue was unimportant for him via a spokeswoman saying “hasn’t, commented and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.”.
Finally the reality TV star who makes Snooki look presidential, Sarah Palin actually ignored the call and has yet to get back to NOM.
So we have one virulently anti-marriage equality candidate, who probably needs some anti-psychotics to make the black helicopters go away. Three people who say “traditional marriage is being attacked” but fail to take a strong anti-equality position. There’s two “president isn’t doing his duty in defending an indefensible law” candidates. On candidate who’s not given it any thought to the situation, and one candidate who can’t be bothered to return a phone call.
Now I’m not saying that this group of comedy misfits are not dangerous or LGBTQIA-phobic and given the chance would love to burn all of us at the stake or at least drive us back into the closet. What I am saying is that these guys aren’t exactly coming out guns-a-blazing for hatred… I guess they know gay-bashing isn’t going to win them 2012…
I’m not expecting the President to actually grow a backbone and fight for equality, because that sounds too much like being a progressive, but at least the country has changed enough that the gay bashers are worried that they can’t exactly win votes from independents by bashing LGBTQIA folk.
Following up on the interviews of three of the contenders for the RNC chair, and theinterview of the current RNC chair Michael Steele, we now have the fifth and final serious contender for the position being interviewed again by NOM.
You’d hope that at least one candidate would stand up for civil rights but we have another candidate who seems to be virulently opposed to LGBTQA equality, who wants to pander to the worst elements of their party, rather than bring the republican party into the 21st century.
Maybe its too much to hope that the republicans would at least nominate one candidate who wasn’t opposed to gay rights.
However the republican party is showing is colors as an unrepentantly homophobic party, and despite the efforts of groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans the RNC seems gearing up for 2012 to be a campaign with anti-gay values at its core.
Maybe this will drive the moderates back to the democrats again and there will be a 2012 landslide back towards the more socially progressive party. While that makes things somewhat better it doesn’t solve the undeniable bigotry in American politics.
If you are a moderate, stand up for sanity and justice, but if you are committed to the republican party, then you need to save your party. No longer can you support people who peddle hatred and bigotry. Yes for over 50 years the party of Lincoln has suffered the consequences of the dixiecrats and the southern strategy, and has identified itself with intolerance and bigotry.
Republicans, it is time for you to save your party.
Following up our previous article about the candidates for the RNC chair being interviewed by the National Organization for Marriage.
We keep assuming that each victory we win, those victories cannot be rolled back, but already the Republicans are salivating about rolling back marriage equality in New Hampshire, and NOM is demanding that the remaining Iowa justices are stripped of their rights for daring to rule for equality.
Now Michael Steele, is arguing for a federal gay marriage ban, while at the same time claiming he’s not opposed to gay equality. In the same conversation he says he’s not a bigot, but at the same time tells us that gay relationships are inferior for children, despite countless independent studies showing that LGBTQA parents are as good as straight parents.
On the one hand he wants to use the sabre of states rights, like the slave trading south, and later the segregationist south. On the other hand he wants to use the club of federal restrictions, not disimilar to the evils of DOMA, Plessy vs Ferguson and other bigoted actions.
The republican party no matter how you feel about its other policies is as bad as the southern democrats or the dixiecrats, who opposed civil rights in the 1960s talking about civil rights, traditional family values, and religion. Through intolerance, misinformation and fear, they seek to not only hold the line against justice and equality, they want roll back the progress we’ve made.
If you are a republican, please ask yourselves if you would have voted for the dixiecrats, because by voting for the republicans and not calling them to task for their homophobia, you are supporting a no less disgusting a party than that abominable party.
Equality will win out, but scumbag bigots like Michael Steele just make our lives harder to feed into their dislike of LGBTQA people.