It’s one thing to disagree on a particularly divisive issue–it’s entirely something different to engage in haughty, disreputable politics. Mitt Romney’s shameful display not only reinforced his strained attempts at humanizing his candidacy–it showcased an utter lack of political savvy and genuine compassion.
At an event that was meant to highlight the endorsement of Romney by Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, veteran Bob Garon of Ebson, N.H., asked the presidential candidate, who stopped by his breakfast table, whether he supports the repeal of the New Hampshire same-sex marriage law. A Republican-controlled legislature has moved toward repealing the law, enacted in 2009 when Democrats controlled the legislature.
A vote could come next month. Romney told Garon, who was chowing down on his everyday staple of scrambled eggs and shaved ham at the restaurant Chez Vachon, that he supports a repeal of the same-sex marriage law, prompting an emotional exchange.
“I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman,” Romney said, joining Garon in the diner booth after shaking hands with several other patrons. Garon responded, clarifying that what that meant was that if Romney is elected he would not support any legislation that would change the law so that gay servicemen would get the same benefits as heterosexual couples.
“I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” Romney said. “We apparently disagree on that.”
Romney’s problem here is two-fold: How legitimate is it to ask people to fight and die for a country that tries to disenfranchise them? Romney may think he shrouds himself in the cloak of the constitution, but he only weakens his hand by subscribing to a distorted reading of that document. I wonder how the Constitution views polygamy, a practice often associated with his Mormon faith? Continue reading →
(This was originally published in October. On the verge of DADT repeal, I felt the need to re-publish it.)
In America, we have certain preconceived notions of masculinity, and what it means to be a “man.” The perception that men exhibit and exude strength — both physically and emotionally — and bravery is widely acknowledged and accepted. These traits are necessary, for they provide the basis for a man’s role as the protector. You might also add stoicism and machismo to this list.
And no where is this exhibited more than in the military, where masculinity is a badge to be worn proudly. But how does this work exactly? Do these notions of manhood apply to all men? What if a man is gay? If you’re a gay man, are you still considered masculine? Take a look at this quote from The Weekly Standard’s James Bowman, regarding gay men in the military:
Cliff Kincaid believes the end is near if “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is repealed:
“A vote to repeal the homosexual exclusion policy would inevitably mean more disease and death for members of our Armed Forces,” stated Cliff Kincaid, the veteran journalist who runs ASI. “It is unconscionable to add this danger to the risks they already face in fighting for our freedom around the world.”
Another danger, the video explains, would be the admission of transgendered individuals who want to dress up as members of the opposite sex and would cry “discrimination” if they are not allowed to do so.
“If Congress repeals the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ homosexual exclusion policy,” declared Kincaid, “Corporal Klinger could become a reality in the Armed Forces.” Klinger was the bizarre character on the MASH comedy show that dressed up as a woman so that he could be kicked out of the service.
The video discussed is entitled Asking For Trouble, created by public policy group America’s Survival Inc. Watch it below:
I’ve gone on record with my feelings on DADT. I question the mindset of those who feel that homosexuals are somehow bereft of souls, and will deliberately infect heterosexuals with some malignant strain of gayness. This is beyond the pail to me. In your opposition to repeal, try not to wander too far from the plane of reality.
The above quote is from Congressman Steve King (R-IA), in reference to a discussion regarding Iowa state senator Jerry Behn’s talks with lesbian and gay activists:
And he said (sic) “let me ask you a question.” “Am I heterosexual or am I homosexual?” And they looked him up and down, actually they should have known, but they said, “We don’t know.” And he said, “Exactly, my point. If you don’t project it, if you don’t advertise it, how would anyone know to discriminate against you?” And that’s at the basis of this. So if people wear their sexuality on their sleeve and then they want to bring litigation against someone that they would point their finger at and say, “You discriminate.” …This is the homosexual lobby taking it out on the rest of society and they are demanding affirmation for their lifestyle, that’s at the bottom of this.
The problem with this thinking is not the invitation to discrimination. It’s the discrimination itself. The act is the crime, and no matter which justification is chosen by its perpetrators, the germ lay in its symptoms. Steve King isn’t immune to nonsensical rhetoric. His speech on not recognizing the contributions of slaves in the nation’s capitol was not only factually wrong, it was shamefully hurtful.
If the “homosexual lobby” is demanding anything, it is to not be used as a test kitchen for radical cultural experiments, and social vilification. King is entitled to his opinion, but his perception is skewed if he believes gay men and women bring discrimination upon themselves. And if he really thought about it, he would see that everyone has a gender and sexual identity–heterosexuals and homosexuals. It shouldn’t preclude anyone from existing in a tolerant environment.
Lauren Ashley, 2010′s Ms. Beverly Hills, tries to one-up former Ms. California Carrie Prejean in her hatred of homosexuals. Quite frankly, I do believe she succeeds. Here’s the lovable 90210 queen expounding on her delightful theory about gays– and how they should be stuffed into hot ovens and roasted for their gayness:
“The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, ‘If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.’ The Bible is pretty black and white,” Ashley told Pop Tarts.
“I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.”
Of course she spoke to Fox News. In her defense, she does have friends who are gay. Does that help the situation any? Yeah, I don’t think so either.
I am a US Army (82nd Airborne) veteran, I share an office with a Navy veteran (and ironically I am a Red Sox fan and he is a Yankee fan and despite this we get along excellently.) We’ve been following your anger at Obama for not repealing DADT immediately. Let me offer the following thoughts: Clearly you’ve never served in the military. You’ve never lived in a crowded barracks, cramped ship or bivouacked in the field or experienced the day-to-day military. That’s not a dig, just an observation. My perspective comes as an enlisted person as does my officemates and strictly from that of a heterosexual male. Continue reading →
Andrew Sullivan live-blogged President Obama’s speech to the Human Rights Campaign’s Annual Dinner. Excoriation is the most polite term I can use to describe Sullivan’s assessment of the president. A few points:
He says he will end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell but he has done nothing, and he offered no time-line, no deadline for action and no verifiable record that he has done anything, despite his claims that he has.
He says he is ending the HIV ban, but it is still in force, a year and a half after it was signed by George W. Bush and passed by massive majorities in both houses.
He says he favors equality for gay couples but said nothing tonight to support the initiatives in Maine or in Washington State or the struggle in Washington DC for marriage equality. That’s a test of real sincerity on this matter. He failed it.
I don’t believe the president is deliberately shuffling his feet on these issues. After all, there seem to be quite a few things currently occupying his time. One can’t help but wonder though, if some type of goodwill gesture would temporarily placate this important segment of voters. Perhaps one is in the offing? Or perhaps not.
In America, we have certain preconceived notions of masculinity, and what it means to be a “man.” The perception that men exhibit and exude strength — both physically and emotionally — and bravery is widely acknowledged and accepted. These traits are necessary, for they provide the basis for a man’s role as the protector. You might also add stoicism and machismo to this list. And no where is this exhibited more than in the military, where masculinity is a badge to be worn proudly. But how does this work exactly? Do these notions of manhood apply to all men? What if a man is gay? If you’re a gay man, are you still considered masculine? Take a look at this quote from The Weekly Standard’s James Bowman, regarding gay men in the military: Continue reading →