December 9, 2006

"'We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern,' Mr. Romney wrote..."

Poor Mitt Romney, who tried to reassure the Log Cabin Club of Massachusetts in 1994, during his unsuccessful run for the Senate, and now has the social conservatives irked, even as the gay rights groups are hostile to him for his opposition to gay marriage. And those who expect consistency need placating:
Aides to Mr. Romney... said that the governor’s opinions on gay issues had not changed. They said Mr. Romney had always been an opponent of same-sex marriage, had always opposed discrimination against gay men and lesbians and had been consistent in his views about allowing them to serve in the military....

Mr. Fehrnstrom, echoing the language that Mr. Romney has frequently used on the campaign trail, said Mr. Romney had been "a champion of traditional marriage" and "fought the efforts of activist judges who seek to redefine marriage."

Nonetheless, the breadth of the letter’s language and the specificity of many of the pledges stunned conservative leaders. Many of them had turned to Mr. Romney as a conservative alternative to Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, whose position on issues like abortion had been considered suspect.

"This is quite disturbing," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who had praised Mr. Romney as a champion of traditional values at the group’s conference in late September....

Paul Weyrich, a founder of the modern conservative movement, said: "Unless he comes out with an abject repudiation of this, I think it makes him out to be a hypocrite. And if he totally repudiates this, you have to ask, on what grounds?"
Abject repudiation is not what's needed. He should demonstrate how well he can finesse discord like this. Is he a skillful candidate? It's a good test for the man.

77 comments:

Dave said...

It's "quite disturbing" that gays raise so much ire among conservatives.

Surely they have better things to worry about than the sexual proclivites of adults.

Oh, wait, I was being rational for a minute here. Sorry, I forgot. When it comes to sex, all semblance of rationality flies out the window.

David said...

Discussing the sexual proclivities of adults, gay or straight, borders on narcissim and exhibitionism. There are more important things to talk about.

The local EEOC notwithstanding, most people accept those with different views up to the point where it becomes self-flagellation and prurient.

The gay pride parades do nothing for the image of gays trying to go mainstream.

AJ Lynch said...

Nagourney wrote Romney is creating a "storm of outrage".

But I think that is what Nagourney hopes will occur in the republican ranks cause the quotes (see below) from his story certainly don't fit my description of a storm of outrage. Here are the two story quotes:

“This is quite disturbing,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who had praised Mr. Romney as a champion of traditional values at the group’s conference in late September. “This type of information is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney. He is going to have a hard time overcoming this.”

Paul Weyrich, a founder of the modern conservative movement, said: “Unless he comes out with an abject repudiation of this, I think it makes him out to be a hypocrite. And if he totally repudiates this, you have to ask, on what grounds?”

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree that the issue is how Romney handles this. He had been coming out as one of the more promising not-McCain Republicans in the race, and I see this being thrown in front of him as an attempt to derail that.

Yes, I am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist when it comes to this sort of thing - it is hard not to be after 8 years of Clinton in the White House, and then six years of gotcha politics aimed at bringing down the current Administration. The reality is that there is a lot of dirty playing in politics.

So, at one level I can be outraged when one of my candidates is hit below the belt (like springing a long ago DUI a week before the 2000 election). But more importantly, this will show how much Romney is ready for the big time. If he doesn't survive this, he isn't going to have a prayer against Hillary in two years, who most likely has the FBI files on all her potential foes and their families, etc. safely stored away for that time (Well, at least on McCain, Gulliani, Gore, Kerry, Biden, and any other potential enemies who were on the radar when her husband left office).

The political landscape is littered with the political bodies of those who tried for the highest offices, and were unable to overcome attacks just like this one. The winners come from the group of those who can do so.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add that the reason that this was thrown at Romney is that he has made so many inroads in the last months into the ranks of religious conservatives. He was fairly effectively showing them that he was their candidate, despite whatever oddities his Mormonism might entail.

gj said...

As a citizen of Massachusetts, I'm happy to see Romney run into trouble for his history of insincere pandering. Rather than being a public servant, he has used the state of Massachusetts to forward his own political career.

Yes, we elected him four years ago. But it wasn't long before it became clear that his real constituency was outside of Massachusetts, and that his actions were chosen to serve his national image rather than the good of the state.

Paddy O. said...

I guess I don't see the problem. Gay marriage wasn't really an issue in 1994, as far as I can remember.

In 1994 when someone talked about equality for gays this would be referring to real equality, such as with housing and jobs and protections from violence.

Only in the last few years has equality basically become an argument about gay marriage.

Sounds like Romney is responding with just this sentiment.

My suspicion is that the storm of outrage language is more to provoke than to describe the reaction.

"When it comes to sex, all semblance of rationality flies out the window."

That's been true since the beginning of time for all sides.

Conservatives would say this as well as liberals, though would point to different sorts of irrationality.

Menlo Bob said...

I for one appreciate how the butt boys for the Democratic party are concerned about the political fortunes of Republicans. Last month Barack Obama does a real estate deal with a corrupt Chicago businessman and it rates no interest (Google Obama Rezko). Last week the Boston Globe wanted us to be shocked that the landscape service Romney uses hired illegal Mexicans. What would be shocking if they were citizens of Irish decent.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Bruce: You seem to be saying that this a dirty Democratic conspiratorial plot to undermine Romney before he has a chance. I don't get it. Its challenging him to reconcile some seemingly conflicting stands that he has publicly taken. That seems like the best, most substantive kind of politics there is.

downtownlad said...

It just proves that Romney is a liar and that he has no problem scapegoating an entire community (gays in this case) to further his political ambitions. So what if violence increases against gays because of his tirades? So what if gays end up committing suicide as Romney calls on Americans to hate them and treat them as second class citizens. Gays are the largest threat to civilization in the world right now according to Romney.

Will this hurt him? Of course not. Most Americans think gays are scum and want to see them disposed of, in whatever ways possible. George Bush has proven that this is a winning proposition.

All Romney has to do is say that he was wrong and OF COURSE he favors discrimination against gays. His support for non-discrimination clauses in the past was just a youthful indescretion.

tjl said...

"what if gays end up committing suicide as Romney calls on Americans to hate them."

DTL, I have a hard time imagining anyone, no matter how sensitive, deciding to kill themselves because some politician says something mean. If such a feeble creature does exist, and chooses to end it all, they're little loss to the team.

Tim said...

I agree that how Romney handles this is, practically speaking, the most important issue of this dust-up.

"Will this hurt him? Of course not. Most Americans think gays are scum and want to see them disposed of, in whatever ways possible. George Bush has proven that this is a winning proposition."

Riiight. Because the death camps are overloaded with churning through what remains of America's gay scum, seeing how George Bush proved that was a winning proposition. I hate walking past those places, having to dust the ash off my shoulders...

The hysteria of the irrational is so over the top one couldn't write it as fiction for fear of being laughed out of the room. Too funny, and too sad.

Theo Boehm said...

As another citizen of Massachusetts, I agree with what gj said above.

There has been a good political discussion here—just what I like to read on Saturday morning—but if you'll permit me to simplify the situation, I think I can sum it up:

Mitt Romney is an idiot.

The only recent good Republican Governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld, dealt with gay issues by flatly declaring he was for non-discrimination and treating everyone equally. Next question?

Of course Weld didn't have to deal with gay marriage, but I can't imagine he would have been so tone deaf, clumsy, and hypocritical as the soon to be ex-Governor of Massachusetts.

downtownlad said...

Timy - Maybe you should read up on your history. The death camps WERE overloaded and churned with gay people. Man - are you ignorant or what.

And this country has killed gay people for simply being gay as well. Read up on your history.

George Bush had three gay men imprisoned for three months just over a year ago - simply for having gay sex.

And tjl - please explain why the suicide rate amongst gay teens is 2-3 times higher than the national average. If you have "reputable" politicians like Romney and Bush demonizing them - of course it contributes to teen suicide. It's no coincidence that suicide rates amongst teens plummeted in the 90's as tolerance spread across the country. That decline of course has come to a halt once Bush took office.

But then again - more gays killing themselves makes people like Bush and Romney quite happy. That is their goal after all.

Anonymous said...

As the NY Times itself acknowledges toward the end of the story...

Viewed from some angles, Mr. Romney’s positions on gay rights seem consistent. He still says he opposes discrimination against gay men and lesbians and he always said he opposed same-sex marriage.

But his emphasis has shifted in the last two years.


...this is a meaningless issue. Romney will have no problem "finessing" it. It is not inconsistent to be anti-discrimination and anti-gay marriage. It is not even inconsistent to be for gay marriage, but against the creation of the right through judicial decree.

Paul Weyrich has problems that politics can't cure. Demanding that Romney be "abject" in his response...? What a sadistic demand. Makes you wonder what other little fantasies has he got bouncing around in that oddly-shaped head of his?

tjl said...

"tjl - please explain why the suicide rate amongst gay teens is 2-3 times higher than the national average."

Well, DTL, gay teens have genuine, immediate problems to deal with, like self-acceptance, acceptance by their families, bigotry from schoolmates, and terrible loneliness. If this mix of problems hasn't already made a teen suicidal, I don't think dismissive remarks by some politician will drive him or her over the edge.

Anonymous said...

Downtownlad -- What the hell are you talking about? George Bush had three men imprisoned for having gay sex? Bush, himself? And, from your tone, we're all supposed to know about this, or else we're idiots.

Okay, I admit it. I'm an idiot. So, do me a favor and give me the following information.

1. The names of the three gay men Bush imprisoned.

2. Under what authority Bush imprisoned them.

3. Where they are or were held.

4. How Bush happened to choose these three men out of the millions who have gay sex on a regular basis.

5. The dates of these events.

6. Links to the statements by pro-gay organizations criticizing Bush for the act you've alleged he committed. I have to assume they would not let such a thing pass. If they did, some explanation as to why.

In short, the who/what/when/where and why of this event. Because I'm an idiot and you're smart, I am absolutely positive you will have no problem promptly posting this information.

Please... don't let us down. We all look up to you. It would be terrible if your credibility were to be undermined.

Tim said...

"The death camps WERE overloaded and churned with gay people. Man - are you ignorant or what.

And this country has killed gay people for simply being gay as well. Read up on your history."


Assuming these statements were made in good faith, they are unsurprising, as morons, illiterates and the mentally compromised have difficulty discerning the meaning and proper use of past and present tenses. Those ignorant of basic language usage should seek remedial instruction; others probably should seek medical attention.

downtownlad said...

johnstodderinexile - I'm not your secretary. Do the research yourself.

Ever hear of Google?

Hint - They were in the 82nd Airborne and imprisoned for sodomy.

Joe Baby said...

He's probably also a rabid anti-dentite.

downtownlad said...

" I don't think dismissive remarks by some politician will drive him or her over the edge."

But SUPPORTIVE statements do help. Which is why suicide amongst gay teenagers plummeted in the 1990's.

Bush and Romney are in favor of bullying against gay people. They have made every effort to stop anti-bullying laws.

Why? Because they are bullys themselves. Does anyone really think that they didn't engage in gay bashing when they were younger? Give me a break.

Joseph Hovsep said...

DTL is WAY over the top here, but I also think tlj underestimates the effect of anti-gay political rhetoric on real-life gay people. I think the effect is more notable on gay people who are not as politically-inclined as the people who tend to comment here. Its easy for people like us to be more cynical and realistic about the motivations behind political discourse, and so we don't necessarily take political demagoguery personally, even when we are critical of it. But a nonpolitical adult gay friend of mine watched a State of the Union speech a few years back where Bush made his usual politically-motivated stink about how important it is to protect traditional families from the threat of legally-recognized stable gay relationships and she just started crying because it struck her as so gratuitous and mean-spirited. The other factors tlj lists that affect gay Americans' self worth (self-acceptance, acceptance by their families, bigotry from schoolmates, and terrible loneliness) are all themselves influenced by anti-gay political rhetoric (and by pro-gay rhetoric). It may be politically expedient and not indicative of a politicians true intentions to make simplistic generalizations about gays and lesbians and rant about banning gay marriage, but these things have consequences on gay Americans and I think its fair to include demagoguing politicians in the mix of people who are to blame for high rates of suicide among gays and lesbians.

Anonymous said...

I'm not your secretary. Do the research yourself.

You've made my point. Your rants simply cannot be trusted for factual accuracy, and your sour, insulting rhetoric is just a protective cover for not having the goods.

Per your suggestion, I looked up the story and, as you well know, it's nothing like what you said. What really happened is three soldiers of the 82nd Airborne took pleas and served short prison stints, after having been charged with pandering and other crimes connected with their appearances on a military-themed porn site.

To dispense with the first part of your statement, George Bush had nothing to do with the case. Nothing. The military law that pertained to these soldiers' actions was not a Bush initiative. These soldiers would have been prosecuted under President Anybody.

Secondly, the three soldiers in question were not court-martialled for having gay sex, but for accepting money to be filmed having sex for a pornographic web site.

Although I'll grant that the some media covered this incident in the context of "don't ask, don't tell," it's a distortion to suggest their homosexuality was the issue here. If straight soldier of either gender accepted money to participate in a filmed sex act shown on a porn site aimed at heterosexuals, they would also face prosecution under the exact same statutes.

Perhaps your position is that, until all American soldiers are free to take money for being in porn, then the dark night of fascism still shrouds our nation. If so, why not say that? Then we can have a discussion over policy, law and philosophy. You might find that some people here would agree with you.

Unfortunately, the distorted, demagogic nonsense you spout adds nothing to any debate, because your defenders as well as your foes are relying on your knowingly false factual presentation of the case.

downtownlad said...

Joseph - You really don't think politicians like Romney and Bush will start to smile when they read that they made a faggot cry? Of course they will.

downtownlad said...

Such a liar John.

They were prosecuted for SODOMY. Why aren't you brining up that the straight soldiers didn't spend one day in jail.

The fact is that a soldier having heterosexual sex in a porn film could NOT be prosecuted, because there is no law against it.

Pornography is not a crime. Sodomy is. And your commander in chief is responsible for these young men going to jail for having gay sex. Hope you like your tax money at work.

Anonymous said...

DTL is WAY over the top here, but I also think tlj underestimates the effect of anti-gay political rhetoric on real-life gay people.

This strikes me as a valid point, but I think demagogic rhetoric like downtownlad's is just as damaging to the well-being of gays as the right wing's demonization of them. As my previous comment demonstrated, dtl presented as a fact that George Bush had three men imprisoned for having gay sex. This never happened, and his statement is sheer McCarthyism. But I assume he has repeated this terrifying lie to gays and lesbians who believe him and become frightened. Does he bear any responsibility for the atmosphere of fear engendered by such statements? I know he won't accept any, but should the rest of us condone it?

downtownlad said...

As my previous comment demonstrated, dtl presented as a fact that George Bush had three men imprisoned for having gay sex. This never happened, and his statement is sheer McCarthyism. johnstodderinexile

Please tell that to Wesley K. Mitten, age 21, who spent 3 months in jail when he "PLEADED GUILTY TO SODOMY."

http://wcbs880.com/pages/36403.php?contentType=4&contentId=143027

But johnstodderexile says that "never happened".

Why is he trying to rewrite history? Oh yeah - because his party is not reality based. They just like to lie and then call their opponents McCarthyites for telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

You people need to pay close attention to DTL's observation about Romney. I live in Massachusetts, and if anything, he's underexaggerating the threat this maniac Mormon poses.

Many and many a night I have been awakened by the clatter of the trains in the night. Those trains are filled with the gay men ensnared outside Barney Frank's townhouse, and hustled into Amtrak lounge cars to be worked slowly to death in the sequin mines of Provincetown.

When their poor ravaged frames can barely hold up their Calvin Klein boxers any longer, they are fed into an enormous disco inferno, and are consumed.

The horror... the horror.

downtownlad said...

I think demagogic rhetoric like downtownlad's is just as damaging to the well-being of gays as the right wing's demonization of them> - johnstodderexile

You heard it right from the horse's mouth. Johnstodderexile thinks that the brutal slaying of Matthew Shepphard is equivalent to my pointing out that people in the military have gone to jail for having gay sex.

He thinks it's perfectly understandable if gays are murdered, because after all, gays should know to keep quiet and they started this in the first place.

Hey johnstodderexile - you're entitled to your opinion. But it's a sick one.

downtownlad said...

"'Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years,
one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals."
Dr. Paul Cameron, a "scientist" often quoted by religious right groups (see below),
speaking at the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference


But hey - they're "tolerant" of gays. Yeah right.

http://www.hatecrime.org/subpages/hatespeech/hate.html

Anonymous said...

Such a liar John.

They were prosecuted for SODOMY. Why aren't you brining up that the straight soldiers didn't spend one day in jail.

The fact is that a soldier having heterosexual sex in a porn film could NOT be prosecuted, because there is no law against it.

Pornography is not a crime. Sodomy is.


DTL, I looked at a number of stories on this topic since you raised it. Not one reports the sexual orientation of the four who didn't go to prison. (Nor the other three for that matter.) The names of the four who received light sentences weren't publically released. But the website in question was reported to be a gay porn site.

So, if you have a reference to back up your "fact," about straight and gay soldiers being treated differently in this case, let's see it. Your accusation that I'm a liar rests on it, so I don't think I'm out of line to say "put up or shut up."

But the bigger point you've distorted is the fact that the military code of justice is not the same thing as civilian law. It is not true that a straight man or woman from the military who appeared in a porn video would get a pass. These men were charged with sodomy, yes, but also pandering and engaging in sex acts for money. For at least one soldier, there was also a narcotics charge.

Furthermore, the sodomy law under which these men were charged reads:

"Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense."

This law was in existence long before Bush took office. It was the subject of significant debate because of its seeming contradiction with President Clinton's "don't ask don't tell" decree. The law is also gender-neutral.

I realize that, in practice, sodomy laws are more of a threat to gays. And in my opinion, sodomy laws should all be abolished, in the military as well as on the civilian side.

Nonetheless, the facts are very different from how you've presented them. I'm not a liar, sir.

Joseph Hovsep said...

johnstodder: when DTL is an elected official and makes over-the-top statements, I'll be more inclined to accept your labeling of his rhetoric as McCarthyism. So long as he is a commenter on political blogs, I think its par for the course. Commenters on all sides of issues are inclined to sometimes exaggerate the evil of their opponents (see, e.g., the above comment by Bruce about Hillary Clinton having FBI files on her rivals). That's a benefit of having lots of commenters constantly fact-checking each other.

In the case of gay marriage and gay issues in general, I think there is a lot more demagoguery from conservative politicians than liberals politicians. In fact, when asked about same sex marriage, the typical liberal politician says something lame like "I'm uncomfortable with gay marriage personally, but I think gay couples should have equal rights and benefits," rather than exploiting the issue to demonize opponents.

DTL: No, I don't think politicians like Romney and Bush will start to smile when they read that they made a faggot cry.

Anonymous said...

Just to make it clear to everyone else here who might get the wrong idea, dtl's characterization of me is about as inaccurate as the rest of his alleged facts.

I am strongly pro-gay rights. I am strongly pro-gay marriage. I loathe the religious right. And I am a Democrat. I've made all those positions clear in my many previous comments.

I react to idiots like dtl because I'm sick and tired of the fascism-mongering of the left. These tactics breed fear and cynicism, and only empower the right, because they make the left look foolish and paranoid.

Anonymous said...

In the case of gay marriage and gay issues in general, I think there is a lot more demagoguery from conservative politicians than liberals politicians.

I completely agree!

I'm making a different point, though. When people like dtl rant about the fascist nightmare that America has become, that has consequences in how ordinary gays and lesbians feel about living in this country. The fact is, America is extremely tolerant of gays. We might not be the most tolerant country in the world, but we're in the top five. Gays should be proud of how far this country has come in just the past 25 years. DTL wants us to think we're reliving the 1950s, and it's just not true.

An analogy: A study came out this year that said black turnout was going to be lower because many blacks were convinced that "their votes didn't count," that evil Republicans would steal them. This has been a standard rhetorical line for the past six years, even though the factual basis for it is very thin. The constant demagoging on this issue, however, was actually suppressing black voter turnout. Who's fault is that? Do the liberals and civil rights leaders who grossly exaggerated the problem bear no responsibility?

Joseph Hovsep said...

johnstodder: I agree.

I'd also point out that DTL tends to be an equal-opportunity misrepresenter of commenter views, whether the commenters are gay or straight, liberal or conservative.

Anonymous said...

The stupidity has gone way to far...

* “This is a subject about which people have tender emotions in part because it touches individual lives. It also has been misused by some as a means to promote intolerance and prejudice. This is a time when we must fight hate and bigotry, when we must root out prejudice, when we must learn to accept people who are different from one another. Like me, the great majority of Americans wish both to preserve the traditional definition of marriage and to oppose bias and intolerance directed towards gays and lesbians.”
o Governor Mitt Romney, 06-22-2004 Press Release

* “Preserving the definition of marriage should not infringe on the right of individuals to live in the manner of their choosing. One person may choose to live as a single, even to have and raise her own child. Others may choose to live in same sex partnerships or civil arrangements. There is an unshakeable majority of opinion in this country that we should cherish and protect individual rights with tolerance and understanding. “
o Governor Mitt Romney, 06-22-2004 Press Release

The following is my response to this article in the New York Times about Mitt Romney.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/us/politics/09romney.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Governor Mitt Romney and Evangelicals are together on this. They have never tried to advance families with both mothers and fathers by discriminating against gays.

Evangelicals teach that you need to love the sinner, but hate the sin. Evangelicals agree with Romney: you don't advance families with a mother and a father, by allowing gays to be discriminated against in the work place. They are two separate issues. Romney and the majority of conservatives agree that you need to stop bigotry towards gays, and preserve the right for catholic charities to provide houses for needy children, even though they do not give children to gay couples. We should all be able to agree on this.

However the New York Times and Bay Windows don’t want to discuss the gay marriage issue with Mitt Romney, a sophisticated urbanite, with high levels of education, who speaks two languages, has been the head of a multi-national corporation, and worked well with gay rights groups. They don’t want to debate him, because they know that he is in the Majority. They know that he represents the majority of Americans who don’t hate gay people, but that believe that catholic charities aught to be allowed to continue placing children in homes with both a mother and a father. Even the majority of the citizens of Massachusetts think that Catholic Charities and Catholic adoption services should be allowed to operate in Massachusetts.

Bay Windows and the New York Times don’t want to discuss the issue with Romney, because they know the majority of Americans agree with him. They would rather have this be a debate between them, and homophobic-red-neck-gay hating bigots.

They don’t want this to be an issue over what is in the best interest of the children. They want this to be an issue of hate and acceptance, and they want to silence anyone who does not hate, but is still on the side of children’s rights to have both a mother and a father.

They know that if they can make this about hate and acceptance, they will win because they are in the majority. But if they could just get red of Romney, by calling him a hypocrite, and making everyone think he is a hypocritical-panderer, they will win.

They New York Times is not interested in the truth. They are interested in their side winning. They will stoop to character assassination in order to win, but they don’t have a leg to stand on.

David and Adam say the following, “But his emphasis has shifted in the last two years. As he moves into this new phase of his career, Mr. Romney rarely talks about the need to protect gay men and lesbians from bias, instead presenting himself as a conservative stalwart in the fight against same-sex marriage, arguing that legally recognizing same-sex unions endangers the cultural support for heterosexual families.”

This is the biggest load of garbage I have ever heard. Less than two Months ago, in the Biggest Speech of Romney’s life regarding this subject, on October the 16th 2006, Romney said the following:

“In fact, as Americans, I believe that we should show an outpouring of respect and tolerance for all people. I believe God loves all of his children, that no one is abhorred -- that regardless of the differences and different choices, we should show that same respect. As Americans, we must vigorously reject discrimination and bigotry.”

This took me 30 seconds to find. Is that how bad things are there at the New York Times? They are too busy to do 30 seconds of research before they write an article. How humiliating. What an embarrassment. They say Romney doesn’t say anything nice about Gays any more. Do you think that David and Adam will apologize for their character assassination of Governor Romney? No. They just make up stuff, chary out their character assassination, and go on. All that matters is that their side wins. And with all battles, the truth is the first casualty. Well congratulations David and Adam. You must be glad you have a much larger readership than me. You must be glad that hardly anyone knows what liars you are. Do you need more examples of nice things Romney has said about gays in the past two years? How many quotes do you need, until you apologize for saying that his town has changed as he ran for president? How many quotes will it take? I can produce 6 quotes in less than half an hour that show that Romney has been consistent on this issue. Brian and Adam, does the truth matter, or have you already written your play book? The New York Times will eliminate Romney by calling him a hypocrite. We, at the New York Times will repeat this over and over until everyone knows Romney Flip Flopped. Is that the game plan?

ADAM NAGOURNEY and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK of the New York use "Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who had praised Mr. Romney as a champion of traditional values at the group’s conference in late September. “This type of information is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney. He is going to have a hard time overcoming this.”

Actually it is Tony Perkins who has some explaining to do. What in Romney’s statements does he disagree with? Does he think that it is alright to discriminate against gays in the workplace? Does Tony Perkins think that it is good for gay people to be hazed, ridiculed and mocked? Tony Perkins is the one who has some explaining to do. What exactly did Mitt Romney say that Tony disagrees with. Tony. You might want to be careful if you want republicans to ever become a majority again, because the majority of people agree with Mitt. We need to not discriminate against gays, but Catholic charities should still be in the business of putting children up for adoption.

Is this quote from Adam or David taken out of context, because WHAT EXACTLY is Mitt Romney going to have to overcome? The belief that people should be treated with respect? Does the New York Times think that this will become an issue with southern voters? The New York times keeps saying that it is Southern Evangelical voters that will not vote for a Mormon, but it is Liberal Democrats, who, according to actual surveys, would never vote for someone who attends a Mormon church on Sunday. The New York Times keeps implying that southern evangelicals who think children deserve both a mother and a father hate gay people. It is liberal people at the New York Times that hate and demonize those that disagree with them.

Paul Weyrich, a founder of the modern conservative movement, said: “Unless he comes out with an abject repudiation of this, I think it makes him out to be a hypocrite. And if he totally repudiates this, you have to ask, on what grounds?”

People keep accusing Mitt Romney of Hypocrisy because he dares asserts that we should be nice to gay people but he does not define niceness by putting their rights to have children over the rights of children to have a mother and a father.

“But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will.”

What is so wrong with this? It is the truth. Romney's dad always said that it hurts to be right too early, but this will not hurt Romney. It is not too early. Everyone knows that southern republicans will not want to listen to Ted Kennedy (the man who has killed more people with his car, than my gun) preach to us about how we need to show gay people respect. But southern republicans will listen to someone who stood up for the right of catholic charities to participate in the adoption process. Southern republicans will listen to a man who thinks the rights of children are more important than the rights of adults, say to them that they need to show respect to gays. We can make this not just be an issue between the parties.

Joseph McCarthy said that communism should not be made an issue between republicans and democrats. He said, and I think this is one of the times he was right, that if we made it a contest between our two great parties, that we will see one of the parties disappear of the face of the earth, and that would be bad for America. The New York Times is trying to make this an issue BETWEEN the parties. They are trying to make it look like everyone in the Republican Party hates gays. This is not the truth. Republicans don't hate gays. Republicans just think the rights of children are more important than the rights of adults.

Most gay people will tell you that they love both their mother and father, and they will tell you that they are glad they had parents representing the two great genders: Women and Men. Let’s not make this an issue between the parties, were one party is assumed to hate gays. If we don’t want the Republican party go away, lets not make this an issue between the parties. We need republicans to stand up with Mitt Romney against bigotry, and for children’s rights.

There is nothing in Romney's statements that a red blooded American who is comfortable with his or her own sexuality has to be embarrassed of. Romney said that both parties should be nice to gays, show them respect, and hire them in the work place.

When he ran for governor in 2002, Romney declared his opposition to both same-sex marriage and civil unions. "Call me old fashioned, but I don't support gay marriage nor do I support civil union," said Romney in an October 2002 gubernatorial debate. He also voiced support for basic domestic partnership benefits for gay couples.

These people at the New York Times are some of the stupidest people I have ever read. They say stupid stuff, like Romney is a hypocrite without giving any example of hypocrisy, and they say that he doesn’t talk about equality any more, when it took me 30 seconds to find a great quote that shows how consistent Romney has been.

Once again let me provide the quote from less than 2 months ago. On October the 16th 2006, Romney said the following:

“In fact, as Americans, I believe that we should show an outpouring of respect and tolerance for all people. I believe God loves all of his children, that no one is abhorred -- that regardless of the differences and different choices, we should show that same respect. As Americans, we must vigorously reject discrimination and bigotry.”

Joseph Hovsep said...

myclob: "The stupidity has gone way to far..."

Romney may be able to reconcile his strident opposition to same sex marriage and civil unions with other policy positions which are kinder to gay families, but the reconciliation is not as obvious as you make it out to be and its an issue that Romney should be expected to address at length given the extensive attention he has given it in his most important job to date.

The NY Times also quotes Rich Tafel, who worked for gay-marriage-supporting GOP Mass. governor Bill Weld, led the Mass. gay Republicans, then the national Log Cabin Republicans. Tafel seems like a pretty obvious person to interview about Romney's gay rights platform and someone who should theoretically be as predisposed as anyone to recognizing the gay-sensitive aspects of Romney, but expresses skepticism, as would most people.

tjl said...

"the sequin mines of Provincetown."

LOL, Sippican.

I was in Provincetown 2 weeks ago and I'm happy to report that even in the dead of winter the sequin mines were meeting their full production quotas.

One highlight was a seventy-something drag queen pulling a red wagon with a karaoke machine up and down Commercial St., while doing Frank Sinatra torch songs. Apparently the homophobic iron fist of Gov. Romney has failed to land its blows on Provincetown as yet.

boston70 said...

Romney was also pro-choice when he ran for governor only 4 years ago and said he would be better for gay rights then the boogie man Ted Kennedy during his 1994 senate campaign. He also said that he thought "Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be eliminated and went off on Jesse Helms. Many in the national republican party won't look kindly on these statements.

These are facts folks, not some media conspiracy.

He said these things because he was running in Massachusetts and he wouldn't get elected if he wasn't pro-choice and supportive of gay rights.

Now that he is running at the national level he has said his views over the past 4 years "have evolved.

I think this is what the republicans would definitely call flip flop, no?

His views "evolve" based off the audience that he is speaking to.

Joe Baby said...

Question: is it preferable for a child to grow up with two parents of opposite sex over two parents of the same sex?

And if so, is it fair for our legal system to give preference to such?

Cedarford said...

The NYTimes piece is a predictable hatchet job by the now-reliable tool of the Left Wing of the Democratic Party.

Dredge up a fairly enlightened letter, then get the usual rube suspects on the Religious Right to become Hairy Thunderers of hellfire and brimstone (to the snickers of NYTimes elitists) to comment on it 12 years later. An old NYTimes tactic - get the likewise predictable religious Yahoo goys to predict Romney will lead the Jesus-Lovers to Sodom and Gomorrah.

What is the truth?

1. In 1994, Romney said he favored full civil rights for gays..which WAS more progressive than Teddy at the time, who in the last 12 years has counter-pandered and all but handed his rectum over to the Moneymen of the Gay Agenda.

Since then, he has reaffirmed his civil rights pledge to the Log Cabin group with formal support of Civil Unions.

2. Romney at the time said he supported "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", which is still the case, though he hopes for more evolution in military thinking - he correctly says the military is the best judge of what they can and cannot make work in their ranks - not the ACLU or Hollywood activists.

3. Gay Marriage was on no one's platform in 1994. Not Romney, not Teddy, not anyone else. The Gay Agenda groups had not begun fundraising for their crowning objective (besides making pederasty legal...) Since it cropped up as the be all and end all of gay activists (except their quiet pursuit of legitimizing pederasty and right of access to smooth young boys at places like the Boy Scouts), Romney has opposed gay marriage, as 70% of the public does..

4. Would Romney soft-peddle his more moderate stances in meetings with Southern snake oil evangelists? Sure. Just as Lefties underpeddle their extremist views with statements like "We support the Troops!". The problem is with the Religious Right more than Romney. If they reject mainstream views and mainstream candidates, moreover condemn the famously strong family values of religious Mormons, Catholics, and Orthodox Jews - the Religious Right will be further marginalized.

Note: Downtown Lad is getting rather well-known here as a serial liar, or misrepresenter and distorter of truth.

Anonymous said...

Well, I noticed downtownlad chose the "shut up" option after I wrote the following:

So, if you have a reference to back up your "fact," about straight and gay soldiers being treated differently in this case, let's see it. Your accusation that I'm a liar rests on it, so I don't think I'm out of line to say "put up or shut up."

It's been crickets chirping ever since.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You people need to pay close attention to DTL's observation about Romney. I live in Massachusetts, and if anything, he's underexaggerating the threat this maniac Mormon poses.

Many and many a night I have been awakened by the clatter of the trains in the night. Those trains are filled with the gay men ensnared outside Barney Frank's townhouse, and hustled into Amtrak lounge cars to be worked slowly to death in the sequin mines of Provincetown.

When their poor ravaged frames can barely hold up their Calvin Klein boxers any longer, they are fed into an enormous disco inferno, and are consumed.


LOL

This is so amusing you might want to check Ian McEwan's next novel for traces of it.

Robert said...

I'm always a bit confused when opponents of gay marriage start the 'children deserve two parents of the opposite sex' shtik.

My husband and I have two adopted sons - both of them had been _years_ in foster care, and there is every reason to believe that, if we had not adopted them, they would have never been adopted by a two-parents-of-opposite-sex married couple. Would staying in foster care until age eighteen have been preferable to being adopted by us?

For some people, the answer would be 'yes'.

Mortimer Brezny said...

He thinks it's perfectly understandable if gays are murdered, because after all, gays should know to keep quiet and they started this in the first place.

Now, waitasecond. There are many cultures in which martyrdom is exalted. Christ died for our sins in an act of great sacrifice. So what exactly is wrong with gays being marytrs or saviors? It seems you are a closet heterosexist!

Joe Baby said...

I didn't ask if two same-sex parents is better than two opposite sex child molesters or one great parent + one axe murderer, or if Superman could outbox George Jetson.

I asked if a kid is better off with two parents of opposite sex instead of two same-sex parents.

Cedarford said...

SippicanCottage said...

What he said was hilarious.

Theo Boehm said...

I left a more-or-less run-of-the-mill political discussion a few hours ago, and have come back to this.

Broken chairs, smashed glasses, the piano player hiding behind the bar. Jeez! Can't you guys just talk politics?

Sippican's finally shown up and calmed the crowd down a bit with his standup routine. None better.

Anyway, I'll just repeat my simple assertion: Mitt Romney is an idiot.

Cedarford, above, is absolutely right about everything he says. Romney's stated positions are quite in keeping with the respectful, quasi-libertarian, Log Cabiney sorts of things Bill Weld used to say. Of course, marriage was not on the table back in Weld's day, and he had no national ambitions, so he didn't have to come up with weasel words for every occasion. Romney comes up with the weasel words, and, unlike Bill Clinton, you just don't believe him. He comes across as a square-jawed, blow-dried phoney. He may, in fact, not be a phoney. But perception is everything, and Mitt Romney has been a transparent grasper since the beginning. If he thinks people on a national level are going to buy what he has to offer, well, he's an idiot.

Democrats took a patent out on stupidity a while back, and it wasn't supposed to expire for a few years. The Republicans have started to produce a knockoff, and it looks like the Democrats aren't going to bother to sue. Republican phoneys have better hair and whiter teeth, as you might expect, but the underlying manufacturing methods are pretty much the same.

Gay marriage is not so much a wedge issue as a sharp knife issue. As soon as a politician takes a clear, forthright position, he or she has just handed his or her opponent a large, sharp knife with which to cut his or her throat. Ergo, the mumblefritz rhubarb rhubarb you hear from most politicians.

"Governor Throttlebottom, what is your position on gay marriage?"

"I'd just like to say, it's crackers slips a rosin dropsy in snide.

Next question!"

"What would you say to the many Catholics and Evangelicals who are opposed to gay marriage?"

"You know, strong and abiding faith is at the center of my family, but let no one doubt that lorem ipsum dolor sitt aett, cosen ceur adipscing elitt, a no nummy ni euisimod ttincin ditt laorett dollore a ali eratt volupatt.

"And we'll cut taxes! Thank you very much! Goodnight!"

Anonymous said...

***sheepish overtone****
Hey Mortimer. I had no idea who the hell Ian McEwen was. So I looked him up, because I imagined you had secreted a joke in there somewhere, and I wanted it; but like Donny, I had no frame of reference. So for me it was an Easter egg hunt, not the Christmas you intended.

So I found some McEwen and....I....


jbnklcjda;Kcjav BNsl;b va;flhka;bja;gb afv b.n,va fj


I'm sorry. I dozed off there for a minute and my head must have hit the keyboard. What was the topic again?

Mortimer Brezny said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/28/books/28aton.html?ei=5090&en=998492a2933f783c&ex=1322370000&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

Clayton said...

"Most Americans think gays are scum and want to see them disposed of, in whatever ways possible."

I can't think of more than two or three people that I've ever met--that have any fierce antipathy towards homosexuals.

Quite a number of Americans don't approve of homosexuality, but you know, we'll make you a deal: treat this as a privacy issue, and you won't get any fuss from us. That means, "Don't have parades in the streets where naked men are either simulating or actually sodomizing other naked men. Don't insist on having the government put a stamp of approval on your relationship. Don't insist on fining people who don't want to print your 'wedding announcements'--and there won't be a problem."

Clayton said...

Dave said...

"It's "quite disturbing" that gays raise so much ire among conservatives.

"Surely they have better things to worry about than the sexual proclivites of adults."

Yes, like the corruption of the legal system, in which what was a FELONY in every state in 1789 (and in 1868) is now a Constitutionally protected right.

There are very, very few people that have any interest in jailing homosexuals. I've never met such a person. There are a lot of us that want you to stop using the public schools to promote your sexual confusion to kids.

If you don't want to be bothered by straight people, don't spend so much energy bothering straight people.

Anonymous said...

John Stodder: That DTL hasn't got a clue just how damaging his rants can be is actually somewhat frightening. He obviously does not know that his rage and hatred has caused him to become a mirror image of those he despises and fears.

It is a frightening thought because his comments read like those written by an isolated and lonely individual who dwells excessively on real or imagined slights and has some difficulty dealing with reality when confronted by it.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I took a look at DTL's blog, which he has stopped writing in. My take is that he is aping what his friends say. A lot of politics these days is about identifying with a social circle, and apparently he's in with a group of very bitter left-wing people. Within that circle, someone might say, "Bush has concentration camps for gays." If anyone challenged that statement factually, they would be ostracized. It would be like betraying his friends.

downtownlad said...

There you go again John - lying your freaking head off.

Because you OBVIOUSLY haven't read my blog. I'm a registered REPUBLICAN you moron. Although I am a self-professed libertarian now.

Now please - talk about something you know - before spreading more lies about me. Why don't you just continue beating in the brains of gay people - as you like to do for fun.

downtownlad said...

The fact is, America is extremely tolerant of gays. We might not be the most tolerant country in the world, but we're in the top five.johnliarinexile

Another lie.

Canada
Great Britain
South Africa
The Netherlands
Sweden
Denmark
Norway
France
Finland
Spain
Italy
Ireland
Israel

That's more than five and I'm tired of typing. But there are probably another 40 countries that are more tolerant of gays.

We're behind South Africa in terms of tolerance. Enough said.

Meanwhile - it's fun to hear Cedarford talk about tolerance. The same Cedarford who has called on people in this blog to ban insurance companies from providing AIDS medications - so that gay people will die. Which was exactly my point. That most Americans think gays are scum and would be happy to have them disappear (i.e. die from AIDS, brainwashed by ex-gay therapy, commit suicide, etc.).

They just get angry when I point out these obvious facts.

downtownlad said...

Internet Ronin - What is really disturbing is that bigots like Cedarford and Clayton talk about silencing gays - and you do everything in your power to support them - by denying that they are a danger to gay people.

What upsets you is that 90% of gay people agree with me and gay people don't buy your Uncle Tom Attitude.

And gay conservatives complain that they can't get dates. Shocker.

tjl said...

"most Americans think gays are scum and would be happy to have them disappear (i.e. die from AIDS."

DTL, this is exactly the kind of remark Ronin was addressing in his comment that you do more harm than good. It's the kind of remark that suggests you live encapsulated in some toxic bubble.

For those outside the bubble, most Americans are people of good will. That does not mean they are prepared to embrace every gay person as a brother or sister. It does not mean that they are ready to implement gay marriage. It does mean that they are willing to live and let live. Of course there are still many bigots, many bigoted groups and churches, and there are still occasional nightmares like Matthew Shephard.

But the reality that most gay and lesbian people experience in this country is that we can live our lives as we see fit. We don't have the equal protection of the law, we still suffer some lingering prejudice, but the description that best applies is not "oppression," it's "occasional inconvenience."

So which outlook do you prefer? 1) Our lives aren't perfect, so until they are, I'll live in a constant state of biterness and outrage; or
2) Our lives aren't perfect, but I'll work to make them better by showing those around us how much we all have in common.

Juliet said...

Why don't you just continue beating in the brains of gay people - as you like to do for fun.

Yeah, speaking of lies, I'm pretty sure that's one, too.

Anonymous said...

DTL: For some strange reason, perhaps your repeatedly demonstrated willingness to perpetuate inaccurate negative stereotypes, I doubt you ever read Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and are thus unaware that the fictional character is portrayed as a paragon of virtue, a man of high principle, and one willing to die for his beliefs rather than submit to the tyranny of another. As I make no pretense of being a paragon of virtue, I must decline the honor you would bestow upon me.

Fortunately for me, I live in a free country and am not compelled to justify my existence at the pleasure of zealots such as yourself. That said, I am confident that the record will show that I have contributed far more time (and money) to those causes you accuse me of ignoring than you ever will, should I ever be forced to defend myself at some show trial of supposed enemies of the people organized by totalitarians such as yourself, should you and your kind ever obtain political power in this country.

Unlike you, I have no desire to shout down or suppress anyone and everyone who happens to slightly disagree with me. I'm interested in conversation not polemics. With that in mind, but without hope that doubt you will ever understand my point, there are occasionally some comments made here (and elsewhere) that are unworthy of being dignified with any response, the comment being sufficiently self-damning and so obviously delusional that the best thing to do is to let it sit there: stark, unanswered, a pariah amidst a slew of otherwise sane and civil contributions. Cedarford's long-winded nativist, anti-Semitic and convoluted ramblings full of conspiracy theories and the shortcomings of others are very good examples of the genre.

While I believe that the original topic at hand had interesting possibilities for a genuine discussion, I was reasonably certain that once you arrived all productive conversation would cease, the subject would change to being about you, as it almost always does, because you want it to be about you, and the rest of us fall into the trap of allowing it be about you. That is why so many people find being a troll or zealot so satisfying: controlling the conversation, hijacking a thread, trashing a blog and destroying a community raises their pitifully poor self-esteem.

downtownlad said...

So which outlook do you prefer? 1) Our lives aren't perfect, so until they are, I'll live in a constant state of biterness and outrage; or
2) Our lives aren't perfect, but I'll work to make them better by showing those around us how much we all have in common.


You forgot option 3.

3) I'm going to live my life to the maximum enjoyment. And for those who try to stop gays from pursuing happiness, I'm going to point out the obvious fact that those people don't like gays.

As if it is my job to try and "change" these people and convince them that they wrong. That is a losing battle. They are brainwashed by the Bible and will not change. I'm allowed to have fun pointing that out. And it is 100% rational to avoid sucking up to the bigots as I go about my daily life.

When a majority of Virginians vote to void any contracts between two gay people, it is not irrational to think that most Virginians think gays are scum.

Gee - I guess I should have interpreted that law to mean that Virginians really, really, really like gay people????? I guess I should think Romney's damning statements about gay people are supposed to be POSITIVE for gays. Sorry - but THAT is "self-damning" and "delusional".

Internet Ronin - I've read your blog. Talk about being self-absorbed....

Anonymous said...

As my entire blog consists of 3 posts: an irreverant Thanksgiving post about ancestors inspired by a funny conversation with my father while he was still in the hospital, another about my mother's subsequent admission to the hospital and diagnosis Friday with Guilian-Barré Syndrome, and the first a link to a video that admirably demonstrates the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable, I should be mystified by your off-the-wall inappropriate comment.

But I'm not.

downtownlad said...

Internet Ronin,

I am one opinionated man. And I admit I can be quite blunt if not downright rude. But the truth is you know jack-shit about my personal life. And you never will.
Stating my opinion strongly does not make me self-absorbed. I'm allowed to draw the conclusion that most Americans think gays are scum when I see laws being passed that ban any types of benefits for gay couples by 80-20 margins. You are allowed to think differently. But I'm entitled to my opinion and the only thing that is dangerous is you saying that I don't have the right to have one.

Theo Boehm said...

Sheesh! When I left this place last night, there were broken chairs and pieces of glass all over the place. I come back the next morning, and you're still chucking plates at each other from behind overturned tables.

I think I'm just going to head up the street and see if there's someplace else open where you can shoot the breeze over a beer and not get the mug thrown at your head.

tjl said...

"You forgot option 3.
3) I'm going to live my life to the maximum enjoyment."

And what enjoyment, exactly, is society now denying you? You may associate with, sleep with, or commit to a relationship with anyone who will have you. The only thing you can't do, as a resident of NY, is get married. From your posts it doesn't seem that you at present have a candidate for the role of husband. So all this anger, all these jeremiads, are inspired by a purely theoretical deprivation which in practice does you no harm at all.
Why not enjoy what you have?

downtownlad said...

TJL - I live in New York for a reason. Because this is a very tolerant city and people here are VERY accepting of gays. The heartland New York City is not.

My original point (if anyone would bother to read it) is that being against gay people and gay rights is NOT a losing proposition. I said this would not hurt Romney as long as he renounced his prior positions in support of gays. That will lose him support in Massachusetts and New York, but let's face it - that's not the states he needs to win the election anyway.

Rep. William Jefferson, the $100,000 in the freezer guy, had a 100% record in favor of gay rights. Suddenly his job is on the line and what does he do - he resorts to gay-bashing. Guess what? He won re-election in a runoff yesterday. Romney will take the same strategy.

Which proves my point. Gay bashing is a winning strategy for politiicans. And the only way that is possible is that the majority of Americans don't like gays.

And somehow pointing out the obvious makes me "bitter" . . .

Anonymous said...

I never said you were not entitled to your opinion, now did I? As I said, it's a free country - feel free to say whatever you want, mix fact with fiction, shout people down, attempt to suppress them, libel them - do whatever you want. I'll express my opinions as I see fit.

Your feeble allegation that I have stated you have no right to an opinion is patently false. As you say, you are opinionated and rude, and, once again, you have diverted the conversation to yourself, as is your habit.

FWIW, as I have expressed no opinion about your descriptions of Americans or Virginians, the linkage you apparently perceive exists only in your increasingly narrow mind.

Anonymous said...

Hey Theo! I'm trying to catch plates and set them back down on the table unbroken. Really! Well, most of the time, I am, but every once in a while I succumb to the urge to let one fly ;-)

downtownlad said...

Actually internet ronin - I put the thread back on its proper subject in my prior post.

Stop throwing plates and talk to the subject at hand.

tjl said...

"The heartland New York City is not."
You seem to be suffering the delusion that the rest of the country is some vast fascist nightmare where the boxcars are always waiting to whisk gay people off to the camps.

I live in Houston, in the reddest of the red states. I've had a reasonably sucessful career, a comfortable income, a lovely home, stable long-term relationships, and a pleasant social life. In no way has anti-gay bias barred me from enjoying any of these things. On the contrary, I've always been able to do pretty much whatever I wanted to do.

I suspect that my experience is more typical of the lives of real-world gay people than your nihilistic imaginings.

downtownlad said...

TJL - Well my life was certainly impacted when I visited Texas prior to 2003 and had to refrain from having sex because of the anti-sodomy laws. If you ignored these laws - that that made you a criminal.

The lives of my gay friends have been also been impacted. If you want to hear about my gay friend and his experience with the hospital when his partner had a life-threatening illness, I can fill you in about that offline.

And I think my life will be impacted when New York City gets nuked, because Bush fired all the gay Arabic linguists and thus failed to track the terrorists down.

But let's get back to the point at hand. I said that most Americans don't like gays. Perhaps you'd like to explain the following platform in the TEXAS Republican party.

"No homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be limited to supervised periods."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2003_10/002380.php

There you have it. The Texas Republican party doesn't think a gay uncle should be able to take his newphew to a Dallas Cowboys game unsupervised.

But I'm sure the Texas Republicans really, really, really likes gay people. How silly of me to think otherwise.

Yes - the anti-gay platform has just hurt the Republican party in Texas tremendously, hasn't it????

Please explain how gay-bashing is NOT a winning strategy in most of this country. I'd like examples please.

OhioAnne said...

Theo,

As a general rule, I applaud your comments as cutting through the muck to the heart of the question with some lack of partisianship.

I even concede the possibility that Mitt Romney is, indeed, an idiot.

But William Weld as an example of what a stateman should be????

You have let me down. ;-)

For one, he DID have national ambitions. Unlike some other unnamed Massachusetts politicians, however, he did get the point that no one else was interested in his national ambitions fairly quickly and manage a fairly graceful exit.

Other than that, he was largely mediocre with a few moments of competency.

Joe Baby said...

Guess it all depends on how you define "gay bashing."

If discussions of societal recognition of marriage or what type of parental grouping is best for children = bashing, then yes, there are a lot of folks who must fall into that category for disagreeing with you.

tjl said...

"I visited Texas prior to 2003 and had to refrain from having sex because of the anti-sodomy laws."

DTL, you must be the only gay person in living memory to abstain because of the Texas sodomy law. Perhaps there were other factors that accounted for your lack of oportunities -- an attitude overload, perhaps?

You misread my comments if you think they claim that anti-gay discrimination is a thing of the past. Of course overt bigotry remains.

My point is that the impact of bigotry is now mostly peripheral to the lives we actually lead. Except for the rights conferred by legal marriage, any gay person can have and do and be practically anything he or she may want. There are still wrongs to be righted, but righted they eventually will be. In the meantime, the unfinished agenda is no reason to live walled off by anger and resentment.

If you remain bitter and tragic, the bigots will have won!

downtownlad said...

There are still wrongs to be righted, but righted they eventually will be. In the meantime, the unfinished agenda is no reason to live walled off by anger and resentment.

Who's angry? Pointing out that someone is a bigot does not make me angry. I like to speak the truth. And I like to speak it loudly. But if you mistake that for anger - you'd be wrong.

The laws are not peripheral by the way. I've seen my friends suffer when their partners had medical conditions. And I've seen two gay friends commit suicide because of the anti-gay attitude of their families.

But hey - two dead gay men - that's just "peripheral" to you. Next time I hear someone berating someone for being gay, I'll take your advice and just be quiet.

Theo Boehm said...

OhioAnnie:  Thanks for the nice words.  As far as Bill Weld is concerned, I must say I liked him a lot.  He was a popular Republican Governor, something Massachusetts hasn't had since Frank Sargent. He helped provide at least some relief from the one-party structure of politics here.  He was intelligent, witty, ironic, and a bit of a libertarian in his philosophical outlook, all things I appreciate.

I thought he was a pretty good Governor, something hard to do in Massachusetts.  Weld was quite business-friendly, and the economy and employment recovered nicely during his tenure.  So, from that standpoint, at least, I wouldn't call him mediocre.

The giant mistake Weld made was accepting Dukakis' Big Dig as a fait acompli and going forward with it pretty much as received.  He should have pulled the plug on that boondoggle but didn't.  I fully expect the whole mess to collapse and/or fill with water any day now. It's the most expensive highway project in history—a testament to the power of the Mass. Congressional delegation.  But, other than this admittedly very big issue, Weld was, in my opinion, the best Governor I've seen in my 25 years here.  And his amusing and intelligent personal style was frosting on the cake.

It's also true he did have ambitions for national office, but he gracefully left those behind when he lost the Senate race to John Kerry.  He seemed to grow bored with merely being Governor of the Commonwealth after the Senate loss, and resigned in favor of Lt. Gov. Celucci the next year.  A lot of us were irritated with Weld for doing it, but that little maneuver guaranteed Republican Governors for the next 10 years.  With Romney, that era is ending.

The thing about Weld was that his national ambitions were never obvious, as they have been since day one with Romney.  He was content to time his political career for a grasp at national office, but the whole thing seemed to flow organically, and during his first term, at least, one didn't have the sense that he had anything else on his mind.  When he resigned, he did the bizarre thing of campaigning to be Ambassador to Mexico, something I still don't understand to this day.

Overall, though, "graceful" is a good way to characterize Bill Weld. I have fond memories of him as one of the better politicians I have known.

OhioAnne said...

When he resigned, he did the bizarre thing of campaigning to be Ambassador to Mexico, something I still don't understand to this day.


Agreed - that coupled with his sudden resignation was what I remembered about him. Although you added that he ensured a Republican governor with his resignation, it came off as sour grapes and partisian to me. I would have had more respect had he finished his term instead of ensuring a Republican governor.

As to the rest, I understand a state generally has a better view of a local politician than the national stage.

The national media decided to torpedo our best bet for the next governor based on vague and so far unsubstantiated accusations.

So, instead of an experienced and well-educated individual with a record of bringing state government into the next century and who historically stood up even to his own party when they acted stupidly, we have a possibly genial but uninspired run-of-the-mill politician to replace the not-so-genial, uninspired, run-of-the-mill politician we've had for the last 8 years.