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April 20, 2009


In the afterglow of dual victories in Vermont and Iowa, it seems that GLBT causes are finally taking on a whole new perspective.

Many who have long been identified with right wing ideologies and homophobic hate rants have recently begun to publicly alter their supposedly long-held beliefs to reflect everything from a "subtle" reworking of their past statements to outright admissions of defeat.

A couple of weeks ago I ran a story on well-known conservative pundit, Cal Thomas' opinion piece that outright said that the battle against gay marriage was now all but lost. Since then, the chorus has been growing exponentially.

On Saturday, New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a brilliant comprehensive and insightful opinion piece that started off by lambasting the sad and pathetic idiocy of the anti-gay marriage video released last week by the right wing group, National Organization for Marriage. The video intended to portray homosexuality as a national threat second only to terrorism.

In his piece, Mr. Rich said:

Far from terrifying anyone, “Gathering Storm” has become, unsurprisingly, an Internet camp classic. On YouTube the original video must compete with countless homemade parodies it has inspired since first turning up some 10 days ago.

Yet easy to mock as “Gathering Storm” may be, it nonetheless bookmarks a historic turning point in the demise of America’s anti-gay movement.

What gives the ad its symbolic significance is not just that it’s idiotic but that its release was the only loud protest anywhere in America to the news that same-sex marriage had been legalized in Iowa and Vermont. If it advances any message, it’s mainly that homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain-dead.

Rich's piece is well worth taking a couple of minutes to read in it's entirety.

Add to these declarations of the demise of the frenzied anti-gay campaigns, the following:

At the recent Log Cabin Republican convention, Steve Schmidt, chief campaign strategist for John McCain and senior advisor to George Bush, gave a 20 minute speech in which he voiced his unequivocal support for marriage equality and said that denigrating gay people in any way is “un-American.”

He went on to say:

“It cannot be argued that marriage between people of the same sex is un-American or threatens the rights of others. On the contrary, it seems to me that denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic national rights affirmed in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence: liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

“I believe, and I think most Americans believe, you are born with your sexuality -- it is not a choice. It should offend us as Republicans and Americans when gays are denigrated as un-American or undeserving of the government’s protection of their rights. And the Republican Party should give voice to genuine outrage when anyone belittles the humanity of another person; it is offensive in the extreme to the values of this nation and we should be in the forefront of rejecting such truly un-American prejudice."

At the same convention, John McCain's wife and daughter, Cindy and Meghan, both made their support of gay marriage and GLBT rights in general very clear. In an opinion piece written for the Daily Beast, Meghan McCain, a strong supporter of gay marriage, said:

"Of all the causes I believe in and speak publicly about, this [gay marriage] is one of the ones closest to my hear. If the Republican Party has any hope of gaining substantial support from a wider, younger base, we need to get past our anti-gay rhetoric."

Also at that convention, former Republican Governor of New Jersey Christine Whitman called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and for the Republican party to remove their opposition to same-sex marriage from the GOP platform.

Queers United reported:

She [Governor Whitman] argued that "civil marriage should be for everyone, and that gay couples marrying does not threaten her marriage". She went on to say that she respects that "there is a place for Conservative Christians in the party, but said that there should be a place for pro-equality Republicans as well".

Christine Whitman along with other moderate Republicans have created the Republican Leadership Council which seeks to get back to the fundamentals of the Republican party while striving for pro-LGBT, pro-choice, eco-friendly, and racial justice legislation.

Add to all of this the recent comments by the "previously" ultra homophobic Dr. Laura Schlessinger and the ambiguously confusing on-the-bandwagon/off-the-bandwagon, Pastor Rick Warren.

According to Box Turtle Bulletin, Schlessinger said on Larry King Live that committed gay and lesbian couples were a “beautiful thing,” totally contradicting all of her past statements. And Warren told Larry King, on a different show, that he “never once even gave an endorsement” of Proposition 8 which, of course, we all know is a flat-out lie.

Clearly Schlessinger and Warren both see the same writing on the wall and are now trying to remake their public images into the likenesses of today's emerging realities. They're not stupid (well, maybe Dr. Laura - a little), they both know that if they don't, their respective careers and healthy incomes will soon vanish.

This is all very heady, feel-good stuff BUT let's remember two very important things...

One - four states is only a beginning and you can bet that there are still A LOT of other right wingnut fanatics out there who aren't going to give up that easily. They're already raising money and planning strategies to defeat ANY pro-gay legislation that comes up anywhere in the country. And, they still have strong enough support to do exactly that if we let our guard down even a little.

And two - I've said this many times before but it needs to be repeated again because with the economic meltdown and the added pressures of so many people losing their jobs, there are more and more people running around out there who are already pushed to their emotional limits - please remember that the more we win, the more desperate and the more violent the unstable fanatic fringe will become - so, please, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!!


Rebecca said...

Very well written and said Steve.
It is very encouraging to see so many finally realize that it isn't the "family" the Anti Gay Industry wishes to protect but their hate and pocketbooks.

And yes, we must remember that the haters will be livid as we finally are allowed to enjoy our full constitutional rights, we must be careful because surely there will be backlash.

Yet, like so many of us, I will never settle for less than full citizenship, I will just be aware of my surroundings.

Steve Krotz said...

Thank you for your comments Rebecca.

I'm very encouraged by everything that's been happening but I'm also glad to hear that you'll keep an eye on your surroundings whenever you're out.

Also, thank you for the compliment.

Queers United said...

Thanks for a great article, its nice to see this shift. I think we really need to jump on the GOP moderate bandwagon (not in voting for them) but in supporting their efforts to revitalize the party an inclusive party.

Steve Krotz said...

Thanks for your comment QU. I agree. We need to support this new direction within the Republican party - if not by votes, then at least by acknowledging their efforts.

This Log Cabin Republican's convention certainly seems to have gone a long way in restoring some credibility to that group.

Meghan McCain is right - there is a battle shaping up between the moderates and the extremist - I just hope the moderates win it! It's time for a change - everywhere.