August 10, 2007

Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson at the gay issues forum.

The Democratic candidates all submitted to interrogation on gay issues. (The Republicans all declined.) Let me make two quick points -- one about Hillary Clinton and the other about Bill Richardson:

1. Hillary Clinton:
Perhaps the most personal question of the evening was posed to Sen. Hillary Clinton by [Melissa] Etheridge, who told Clinton that she had felt personally hurt and abandoned by the Clintons after President Bill Clinton's inauguration....

"I remember when your husband was elected president. I actually came out publicly during his inaugural week. It was a very hopeful time for the gay community. For the first time, we were being recognized as American citizens. It was wonderful. We were very, very hopeful, and in the years that followed, our hearts were broken. We were thrown under the bus. We were pushed aside. All those great promises that were made to us were broken. ... It is many years later now, and what are you going to do to be different than that? I know you're sitting here now; it's a year out -- more than a year. A year from now, are we going to be left behind like we were before?"

Excerpt of Clinton's response:

"Well, you know, obviously, Melissa, I don't see it quite the way that you describe, but I respect your feeling about it. ... I think that we certainly didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but I believe that there was a lot of honest effort going on by the president, the vice president and the rest of us who were trying to keep the momentum going."
There was a lot of honest effort going on by the President... Why does that seem so funny? It's not just that Bill Clinton and "honest" fit together so poorly or that "honest effort" might get us thinking about sex. It's the sheer strangeness of the locution. She could have said, most directly, the President tried. But she buffers Bill with a lot of mushy verbiage -- "I believe that there was a lot of honest effort going on" -- and with an amorphous set of helpers -- "the vice president and the rest of us." And there's this odd picture of a political activity as impersonal energy -- momentum -- that various groups of people might try to affect. Doesn't one person ever do something? I think we can gain some insight into the mind of Hillary Clinton by thinking deeply about the rhetoric in that one sentence.

Go back and reread Etheridge's words. Look how simple and straightforward they are by comparison. Well, you may think Hillary is smarter or Hillary has a much more difficult task, positioning herself just right for the primaries and the election. But Melissa should be prepared to have her heart broken all over again. Unless somehow the momentum decides to do something different next time.

2. Bill Richardson:
At least one candidate, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, seemed to stumble when asked by Etheridge if he believed homosexuality was a choice or biological.

"It's a choice," he said at first. "I'm not a scientist. I don't see this as an issue of science or definition."

When pressed on the point that opponents of gay rights often assert that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, Richardson said, "I don't think it's a matter of preferences, I think it's a matter of equality."

His campaign later issued a statement "clarifying" his position: "Let me be clear -- I do not believe that sexual orientation or gender identity happen by choice."
Was that really a "stumble"? Maybe Richardson did waltz into a forum on gay rights unprepared to deal with the most basic gay rights subjects. I seriously doubt that. He's no fool. So what's up? It's possible that he takes science seriously -- as opposed to ideologically -- and he's refraining from making declarations about things that he doesn't know to be scientific fact. It's possible that he may mean -- and I think this is the best position -- that even if homosexuality is a matter of choice -- "preferences" -- gay people deserve equal rights. But I suspect that Richardson is interested in maintaining the distinction between sexual orientation and sexual behavior. People who care about gay rights ought to follow up on that, because it's the foundation for justifying discrimination.

58 comments:

Jim C. said...

People who care about gay rights ought to follow up on that, because it's the foundation for justifying discrimination.

Why the distance? Why not: "Those of us who care about gay rights ought to follow up on that"?

MadisonMan said...

Interrogation is right. Appearances by politicians in front of groups that push exactly one viewpoint serve no good purpose. The Real World is never the black or white choice that special interest groups try to cudgel it into -- why should a candidate try to appease these groups? (Yeah, I know, for votes)

ricpic said...

Do the Clintons ever speak directly to an issue, any issue? No, they both speak only in platitudes, wall to wall platitudes. The strategy is to never ever offend. And so far, it's worked.

AJ Lynch said...

A single-issue debate. Whata great idea? I look forward to the one that focuses entirely on fixing social security.

Pogo said...

"For the first time, we were being recognized as American citizens. "

Apparently, Melissa Etheridge couldn't vote before the Clinton-backed 28th Amendment to the Constitution. What a wonderful President he was.

vet66 said...

I look forward to the time that this minority group quits whining about their situation and quest for victim status.

Any goodwill the regular gay community builds up is set back by the activists among them and the ubiquitous gay parade studies in debauchery, and lesbian police chiefs, a la San Diego, that demand straight professionals attend said parades.

I personally could care less if Etheridge came out and now has hurt feelings because of a lack of fanfare. It is a silly waste of their time to worry about acceptance regarding their sexual orientation. Quit bringing it up or get rid of the politically correct police at the EEOC.

Gays should be more concerned with going toe-to-toe with straights in a business climate based on meritocracy and not gayocracy.

Paddy O. said...

If Hillary had said, "We tried" she sounds earnest but ineffective.

Brings to mind her efforts with health care. "We tried," is an expression of lack of power or authority or leadership. Do or do not, there is no try, as one Jedi Master once said.

"We made an honest effort", however, though more wordy, makes the issue less about the Clinton's inabilities and lack of effectiveness and brings to mind the Republican opposition. ""

My impression of her words: "We made an effort. We were honest. The Right Wing conspiracy, however, was brutal and dishonest in pursuit of their nefarious plans, so elect me and a Democratic Congress, and we'll get things done."

Hillary uses words very precisely, not for exact meaning but for the effect they have on listeners. "Honest effort" is just much more positive than "tried". So much more that it's worth being extra verbose to say.

Zeb Quinn said...

Hillary was just being Hillary, but based on the snippet you quoted, I don't find Melissa's words direct either. Yeah, she may have used pointed words, and a degree of parsimony too, but what were these promises that Bill supposedly made to the gay community that he then broke? What were their particulars?

What Melissa seems to be trying to do, and doing it very indirectly, is publicly corner the Democrat candidates, Hillary in particular, into signing onto and advancing some kind of specific political agenda --a "gay agenda" if you will-- but without reciting out loud what it consists of.

Roger said...

I do think the single issue forum is a good idea as aj lynch suggested above. It would be great to be able to spend a minimum of 30 minutes or so with each candidate asking them for specifics about, say, their health care proposals, or what should the tax rates be and for what levels of income. Those kind of specifics. Rather like a dissertation defense. Would probably make for bad sound bites, but good for realling probing candidates.

Roger said...

Sorry for consecutive posts, but a late firing synapse. Listenint to NPR coverage this AM, apparently the major candidates (HRC, JE, BO, and WR) failed to openly support gay marriage--the Obama clip was particularly weasle worded, but I havent seen the whole transcript.

Steve S said...

I didn't see the forum, but if the question to Richardson was posed as whether being gay is "a choice or biological" -- that's very poorly worded and muddles two distinct issues.

1. Is sexual orientation a function of nature or nurture? Is it determined entirely by biology without any influence by early years of nurturing is a question that science has not yet definitively answered. There's quite a bit of evidence that it is biological in origin, if not in full then in substantial part. But it's reasonable to be unsure about this question.

2. Is being gay a choice? The answer to this, for the overwhelming majority of people, is clearly and undeniably no. Only people who are ignorant or hostile refuse to accept that being gay is not a choice.

If Richardson thinks being gay is a choice, or isn't sure, then he deserves no respect.

paul a'barge said...

...Doesn't one person ever do something? I think we can gain some insight into the mind of Hillary Clinton by thinking deeply about the rhetoric in that one sentence...

I'm not as excited about this as you are. She's speaks in the passive voice.

This is common rhetoric for folks who want to appear as observers as opposed to actors, and who don't want to make positive-definite statements about anything, lest they be held to a position.

So many political morons do this, I just can't seem to get my panties in a wad about it.

Lindsay Harrison said...

Ann - I'm surprised you didn't seize on Clinton's bizarre comment characterizing the Federal Marraige Amendment as one that, "for the first time in our history," would have enshrined discrimination in the Constitution?

Umm....what about the 3/5 clause? The limitation of the presidency to US-born citizens? The limitation of the vote to men?

Etc. etc. etc.

Fen said...

It would be great to be able to spend a minimum of 30 minutes or so with each candidate asking them for specifics about, say, their health care proposals, or what should the tax rates be and for what levels of income.

I agree, but this article doesn't tell me if anything specific was resolved, and I didn't watch the debate.

So I'm curious to hear from our homosexual commenters: did you watch the debate, did you come away with any specific policies or promises? Or was it just another version the "standard" debates - all platitudes and talking points?

paul a'barge said...

Is it not possible that some gay folk are born gay and others made a choice?

Why does it have to be one way or the other?

Fen said...

If Richardson thinks being gay is a choice, or isn't sure, then he deserves no respect

I'm not sure. As are some gay people...

Ann Althouse said...

Jim C.: "Why the distance? Why not: "Those of us who care about gay rights ought to follow up on that"?"

Because I wasn't there on the panel, purporting to be someone who is capable and prepared to question the candidates!

Ann Althouse said...

People don't know how to do follow-up questioning.

Ann Althouse said...

Lindsay: I haven't read the full transcript of the debate. Just say the news articles (and heard NPR). I think she meant to say it would be the first time the Const. was amended to add discrimination.

Jim C. said...

People don't know how to do follow-up questioning.

Got it. And indeed!

Hoosier Daddy said...

At least one candidate, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, seemed to stumble when asked by Etheridge if he believed homosexuality was a choice or biological.

I have never understood this question. Who exactly ‘chooses’ their sexual orientation? I can’t speak for others but I don’t recall the point in my life that I decided to go for females over males.

As for gay rights, outside of being allowed to marry, what other ‘rights’ don’t they have that I as a heterosexual do? It’s a serious question as I really haven’t listened much to either side of the debate to know what the gay community is missing out on. Personally I could care less if the state allows them to marry. I don’t see why they should be exempt from the joys of divorce, property settlements, custody battles, child support, alimony, attorney’s fees and all the other ‘legal mumbo jumbo’ that comes along with that piece of paper that designates a couple as husband and wife or whatever. I guess that is the libertarian in me trying to claw itself out.

Jason said...

I think that whoever had the bright idea to line up all the Democratic candidates and grill them about gay issues in front of a largely gay and gay-friendly audience was a secret Republican mole, out to take whoever the Democrats may run in the general election and shoot that person in the foot.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Gays should be more concerned with going toe-to-toe with straights in a business climate based on meritocracy and not gayocracy.

I agree. So let's create a legal regime where sexuality is not a basis for lawful discrimination in employment or a bar on military service.

I'm a liberal, gay, politically-aware professional, presumably the target audience for this debate, but its just too frustrating and discouraging for me to watch the Democrats debate gay issues. Except for the fringe candidates, they all have the same agenda (anti-DADT, pro-ENDA, anti-SSM, pro-domestic partnerships, pro-hate crime laws) and are all afraid to say anything notable or interesting, unless they make a mistake, as Richardson has appeared to have done. I prefer that to the "save marriage from those immoral homos" rhetoric of the Bush crowd, but its less than thrilling nonetheless.

Fen said...

As for gay rights, outside of being allowed to marry, what other ‘rights’ don’t they have that I as a heterosexual do? It’s a serious question as I really haven’t listened much to either side of the debate to know what the gay community is missing out on.

Echo.

My understanding is that gay rights issues revolve around marriage and DADT. Is that a fair description?

Jim C. said...

But I suspect that Richardson is interested in maintaining the distinction between sexual orientation and sexual behavior. People who care about gay rights ought to follow up on that, because it's the foundation for justifying discrimination.

Sorry to keep focusing on this point. To me, it's much more interesting than more-of-the-same political speak, Hilary's or otherwise.

I agree that this is one of the foundations for homophobia. Biblical sanctions on gay sex and visceral disgust at gay sex combine to sanction anti-gay discrimination even in arenas completely unrelated to sex.

But I wonder if sexism and patriarchy aren't at least as much to blame. Gay men and lesbian cross traditional gender roles in ways that upset masculine domination and feminine subordination.

For a prime example, recall the Daily Kos cartoon with Lieberman on his knees before Bush. It wasn't just that Lieberman was figuratively performing a gay sex act; it was that he was being penetrated by Bush (again, figuratively of course). So the cartoon only works under a primary misogynist belief system that then sanctions a derivative homophobic belief system wherein to be penetrated and to assume the traditional role of the woman is to be weak and inferior.

I'm not entirely sure, but I'm leaning toward the belief that more homophobia operates under this patriarchal belief system than under one that equates separate sexual orientation and sexual behavior. Maybe, though, they're not as separate as I'm making them out to be.

Joseph Hovsep said...

My understanding is that gay rights issues revolve around marriage and DADT. Is that a fair description?

Those are probably the biggest issues because they affect the most people, but there are lots of other issues, including employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (its a legal basis for not hiring or firing in most state governments and the federal government). Some states also prohibit adoption by openly gay parents or by two parents of the same sex. There are lots of ways that gay couples suffer that are derivative of the inability to marry but which could be separately remedied (immigration rights for same sex partners, employee benefits/health insurance/pension eligibility and taxation for same sex partners, taxation and bankruptcy rights for same sex couples who jointly own real property and other assets, etc.).

The other big issue is inclusion of sexual orientation in hate crimes laws. I personally object to hate crimes generally, but if you accept the premise of punishing perpetrators of crimes based on their motivation and the intimidation effect on the population, then sexual orientation seems to me as relevant, if not more relevant today, for inclusion in such laws as religion or race.

Anthony said...

Note to Melissa Etheridge: Get over yourself.

Jeff said...

A problem with the "choice or biological" issue for the left is that it goes against the received wisdom of the post-Nazi era. The idea that anything- gender, intelligence, talent- is inherent or biologically determined has been verboten as racist. A large part of feminist theory is based on the notion that masculinity and femininity are social constructs imposed on helpless infants.

Leftists who insist that gays are born gay but everything else under the sun is artificially imposed behavior are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Fen said...

Thanks for the educational response Joseph. I had forgotten about adoption.

including employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (its a legal basis for not hiring or firing in... the federal government).

Are you certain of that?

My wife is a fed, her office is disproportionately staffed by gays and lesbians. So much so that they've formed a tribe ["family"], ostracize straights re office politics, network new openings out to their gay friends, hire each others lovers, etc.

[I'm not damning them for that last, I've seen lots of straight congress-criters hire each others "niece"]

So I'm kinda confused when you claim homosexuality is a legal basis for not hiring gays into the Fed[?]

Roger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

Back in the 1070s, particularly in the radical feminist community (the Karen de Crow era) the far out feminists were arguing unless you had a lesbian exeperience you couldnt claim to be a true feminist. And, as I recall, there was considerable talk in the gay community about homosexuality as a choice.

As work on human genetics and the whole genome project has advanced it is increasingly looking like our species is realtively "hard wired." And, as Jeff notes above, that has some real implications on the old nature-nurture debate.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Fen, perhaps I might have more accurately said that sexual orientation is not an illegal basis for discrimination in employment. Of course, gays and lesbians are not barred from working for federal or state governments and it is rare that a supervisor would fire someone on that basis, but a bad supervisor would not be acting illegally by firing an employee on the basis of his or her sexual orientation whereas it would be illegal for the supervisor to do the same thing on the basis of, say, the employee's religion.

Smilin' Jack said...

At least one candidate, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, seemed to stumble when asked by Etheridge if he believed homosexuality was a choice or biological.

"It's a choice," he said at first. "I'm not a scientist. I don't see this as an issue of science or definition."

Was that really a "stumble"? Maybe Richardson did waltz into a forum on gay rights unprepared to deal with the most basic gay rights subjects. I seriously doubt that. He's no fool. So what's up? It's possible that he takes science seriously -- as opposed to ideologically -- and he's refraining from making declarations about things that he doesn't know to be scientific fact.


But he did make a declaration--one that's both politically and scientifically incorrect. And the rest of his response is incoherent gibberish--you have trouble figuring out what he means because he doesn't mean anything.

He is a fool.

Fen said...

Ah okay. You meant that hiring/firing due to sexual orientation is not expressly prohibited, like it is for race.

Pogo said...

"He is a fool."

Oh, that's a little harsh. I gathered he meant that the scientific issues have no bearing on the larger need for equality.

But he missed the real question entirely. What Etheridge was actually asking revolved around the question she withheld: Do you agree with our agenda? It was a blatant ideology/party loyalty query. It had nothing to do with science.

SteveR said...

Melissa would have never won an Oscar for that dopey song if discrimination didn't exist, a sword that cuts both ways.

Joan said...

The hard-wired/choice debate makes me wonder if I'm the only one who ever knew someone -- several someones -- who experimented with homosexuality in their teens and early twenties, and then eventually drifted away from it. Some people are more suggestible than others. Some people could go either way, and find a same-sex partner first and stay with him or her. The lifestyle becomes a habit, more or less, until that relationship breaks, and then that individual can examine whether or not that lifestyle is what he or she really wants.

Ann Heche is just one of the more visible examples of this behavior. There are a lot of reasons for entering into relationships, both gay and straight, that have nothing to do with sexual orientation. Teens especially will get into relationships just to flaunt their ability to stick it to their parents. Inter-racial dating used to be tops on the list of ways to make your hidebound parents crazy, but now gay relationships have taken over that spot, just for the shock value.

Let's face it, anyone can have gay sex, but not everyone who has ever had a same-sex encounter is gay. When my niece was 15 she declared she was a lesbian; I told her there was no need to define herself that way at such a young age, and that she should be open to new experiences. Two years later, she's dating a boy. It's probably a lot easier for girls to "switch teams" than it would be for boys, but my impression is that even that stigma is falling by the wayside.

Some very small percentage of people never have opposite-sex attraction, I know. But I wonder how many members of the gay community fit that description, and how many are gay just because they self-defined that way when they were teens and easily influenced, and never re-examined their lives as adults.

tjl said...

"We were very, very hopeful, and in the years that followed, our hearts were broken"

Disappointed by the Clintons, yes, totally understandable, but heartbroken? I can't believe that Melissa Etheridge suffered too much heartbreak over Bill and DADT.

It doesn't help the cause when self-apppointed gay spokespeople routinely inflate every unfairness into a Crime Against Humanity on the level of slavery. When people like Etheridge go over the top in a public forum, mainstream candidates feel compelled to obfuscate and distance themselves from the maximum demands being presented. It also makes it easier for homophobes to ridicule and dismiss legitimate gay issues.

Dylan said...

Does anyone else think it is strange that Ann uses this sentence, "It's the sheer strangeness of the locution. She could have said, most directly, the President tried. But she buffers Bill with a lot of mushy verbiage," to complain about HRC's overuse of flowery words?

Joseph Hovsep said...

I think the nature/nurture is an interesting and worthwhile question to ask in this context, but I'm willing to give Richardson the benefit of the doubt here. I think it is a complex question with a complex answer but there is a simple "right" answer if you're asked in a political debate organized by gays and lesbians: its not a choice. I give Richardson some credit for trying to give a more complicated--if not coherent--answer.

I personally think of sexual orientation like religion in this context. And I could agree with all but the last paragraph of Joan's comment above either as its written or after replacing religion for sexual orientation. People choose to follow or not follow a given religion and they choose to date or not date a given person or sex. In both cases, you can argue that a rational, free-willed choice has been made, but I don't think most people think they choose to be gay or straight or Catholic or atheist that way. Its a deeper calling. You just feel deep down that's the way it has to be. Whether that feeling is from your genes or from what your mom fed you (literally or figuratively) or some combination (most likely) doesn't seem really to matter that much in terms of deciding whether people should be treated equally under the law without regard to the sexual orientation or religion they espouse.

As for the last paragraph of Joan's comment, I have two comments. First, I think that there are lots of incentives for people to choose to be straight and not very many to choose to be gay so I don't really see very many people rationally "choosing" to adopt a gay lifestyle because they are easily influenced and just want to be cool or to rebel against their parents and without some deeper biological desire. And those people who do make such a choice (of which there certainly are some) have plenty of incentives to go back to being straight once they realize homosexuality isn't making them happy. Second, I think its fair to say gay people reexamine their lives and their sexuality plenty as adults. I'd say its much, much more common for straight people (and long-term gay couples) to avoid such adult introspection.

Jim C. said...

Some people could go either way, and find an opposite-sex partner first and stay with him or her. The lifestyle becomes a habit, more or less, until that relationship breaks, and then that individual can examine whether or not that lifestyle is what he or she really wants.

...

Let's face it, anyone can have straight sex, but not everyone who has ever had an opposite-sex encounter is straight. When my niece was 15 she declared she was straight; I told her there was no need to define herself that way at such a young age, and that she should be open to new experiences. Two years later, she's dating a girl.

...

I wonder how many members of the straight community fit that description, and how many are straight just because they self-defined that way when they were teens and easily influenced, and never re-examined their lives as adults.

Jeremy said...

Agree with Joseph re: the religion analogy.

I never understood the retort (see Hoosier) about straight people choosing to be stright. There are lots of characteristics that define individuals which we never explictly chose but that we wouldn't call biological or genetic.

I like pizza a lot but I never decided to like pizza. I just ate it and had good experiences eating it and now I like pizza.

Or I'm an engineer but never chose to like engineering. I was just good at math and physics (biological maybe?) and took some classes (and lots of non-engineering classes too!) and agreed to an internship and now I'm an engineer. But I never sat down and decided "By Golly, I'm gonna be an HVAC designer today."

I think most people would find that that's a true of a lot of things in their lives.

Jim C. said...

Jeremy,

My guess is that Hoosier, like the rest of us, sees his romantic and sexual attractions to (some) women as categorically separate from his preference for pizza.

Society sees it this way too. If it didn't, people would be organized into identity categories based on their preferences for pizza or burgers. (My guess, for what it's worth: the pizza lovers would dominate, though death rates might be about the same.)

P. Rich said...

"Gay rights..." If you allow the discourse to begin there, you have already conceded that there are rights specific to homosexuals that are different from, and in addition to, the rights all the rest of us enjoy. And this is, of course, the fundamental victim position complete with presumed special entitlements. 'Chance or choice' debate is irrelevant. My personal position:

Homosexuals are human, as am I.
I believe in human rights. End.

Revenant said...

So let's create a legal regime where sexuality is not a basis for lawful discrimination in employment or a bar on military service.

I'm with you on the military service bit, but why should sexuality not be a valid basis for lawful discrimination by private citizens, in a business environment or otherwise? The problem fixes itself. Those who reject talented homosexual candidates in favor of inferior homosexual candidates will pay the business costs of having done so (and, of course, lose some business from people who dislike homophobia).

Getting the government involved will, ironically, make businesses LESS willing to hire gays. Part of the cost of hiring an employee is the risk that the employee will sue you. Employees that are more likely to sue you effectively cost more to employ. I'm a white man. Hiring me is safe, lawsuit-wise, because the odds of me suing you for racial and gender discrimination if I'm passed over for promotion in favor of a black woman are essentially zero; I'll be laughed out of court. The odds of a black woman suing because she's passed over in favor of ME, however, are much higher. This makes the black woman a more expensive hire, and hence a worse candidate. Better to legalize all forms of business discrimination and let the market cull the bigots from the herd.

And YES, I know this wouldn't have worked in the Jim Crow south, but that time and place had a huge amount of cultural inertia discouraging people from treating blacks as equals in a business environment. Homosexuals face discrimination, but it isn't even remotely that serious or pervasive.

Roger said...

I like P Rich's formulation. From a scientific standpoint we simply dont KNOW whether homosexualtiy is genetically hard wired. Moreover as some on this thread have noted, genetic predisposition aside, homosexuality is also defined be some as sexual practices with a partner of the same sex irrespective if either partner is, in fact, "genetically homosexual." In short, Ms Etheridge asked a dumb question that takes a complex issue and reduces it binary choice.

Jeremy said...

Jim C.
Strange isn't it? Cause you gotta eat three times a day everyday of your life but people are only having sex like, what, a couple times a week for only maybe 50, 60 years tops.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Revenant: I'm kind of ambivalent about private discrimination. I don't think anti-gay employment discrimination is as pervasive as racial discrimination, but nor its as irrelevant or easily fixed by the market as you suggest. I also think your argument is logically appealing to me if you also promote repealing laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, etc. I don't think sexual orientation is a special case that the market can figure out where as religion needs the state's heavy hand interfering.

I'm less ambivalent about discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation by the state or federal government (including the military).

Revenant said...

I'm less ambivalent about discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation by the state or federal government (including the military).

My view is that the government should hire the people the voters want it to hire. It works for us, after all. If we want it to treat homosexuals and heterosexuals equally, it darn well ought to.

Cedarford said...

Richardson got caught in a pandering quandary. He as a poor politician, stumbles through moments like this. He is "hard-wired" to appeal to Democrats that believe abortion, fighting terrorists, giving a million bucks to each welfare mother, and electing NOT to develop any meaningful energy sources while expecting cheap electricity is simply a matter of "CHOICE".

Then he butts up against the Gay Hollywood activist crowd, which is pushing the "biological determinant" as a way of saying all discrimination against gays is simply the same as discriminating against other unalterable physical traits like black skin, gender.

But of course gays that get hysterical when it is suggested that it is a genetic or physiological development abnormality that impairs a human organism from functioning as biological design intended - to reproduce.

The truth appears obvious that some people are queer as a 3 dollar bill from Day 1. Child development psychologists include some that have published 20-30 year long studies showing that observing preschool kids for certain traits will not predict all the future gay men and lesbians, but they can predict with 95% certainty that a subgroup of boys ARE gay, will grow up gay.

The truth is equally obvious though, that homosexuality is a matter of choice in various historical, international, and American subcultures.
The commmon pederast phenomenon is called "child molestation" in America, but to other cultures that permitted it - Greek, Thai, Polynesian, Prussian military camps - a homosexual man and a scrumptious young boy 12-17 years old was a not-unusual thing.

And we know of many young women in America that experiment with lesbian or are recruited as lesbian toys by feminist "sugar mommas" - that later return to hetero practices. We are familiar with the men in prison phenomenon, where hetero men go in, "switch teams" during their stay, and return to civilian hetero life on release.

And the bisexual phenomenon where a significant percentage (enough to make for a significant AIDs and other STD disease vector) of people are not anchored in either "team", but go through life as open or secret "switch-hitters".

Though Richardson failed to give the slick answer he should have had in the can, it's hard to blame him for flailing if he wanted to give an honest answer given the heated disputes that exist between religious people, gays, geneticists and other scientists, and various scial groups.

downtownlad said...

Who cares which orientation women "choose". Compared to men, women have almost zero sex drive anyway. Besides - the thought of women having sex is disgusting.

With men, however, science has shown that you are either gay or straight. Bi people are also called liars.

http://www.queerday.com/2005/jul/05/do_bisexuals_really_exist_new_research_says_no.html

And let's not forget, that the organization that discriminates against gay people the most is the US Government. They routinely fire thousands of people just because they are gay.

And for the bigots on this board, here's a nice story about some bigot Indiana parents that are preventing a man from visiting his partner of 25 years in the hosptial.

The "activist" courts have intervened, but I'm pretty certain it will be overturned on appeals.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070806/LOCAL18/708060398/1006/LOCAL

Fen said...

Bi people are also called liars... And for the bigots on this board

I find it interesting that you claim to be victimized by bigots, but are similarly bigoted toward bisexuals...

downtownlad said...

"Bi now, gay later" as all my friends say.

I'm not bigoted towards them. Bi people don't exist. And I just provided proof.

downtownlad said...

And my comment about bi liars only refers to men.

For women, as my straight friend who has f%cked over 500 women has said "All women are bi, they just might not know it yet".

Joan said...

Who cares which orientation women "choose". Compared to men, women have almost zero sex drive anyway. Besides - the thought of women having sex is disgusting.

I've long suspected it, but this almost convinces me -- DTL is the Jonathan Swift of Althouse. No one could write (or read) such things with a straight face, right?

tjl said...

"DTL is the Jonathan Swift of Althouse. No one could write (or read) such things with a straight face"

Joan, you've unmasked DTL at last. In reality he's a homophobe whose apparently artless comments are purposely designed to make gay people seem shrill, hysterical and paranoid. His secondary goal is to stir up fratricide within the gay community -- look at the effect he has on Palladian, for example. Now in this thread he can be seen trying to convince Lesbians that gay men hate them.

But it's unfair to compare DTL to Swift, because Swift knew how to entertain as well as provoke.

Fen said...

In reality he's a homophobe whose apparently artless comments are purposely designed to make gay people seem shrill, hysterical and paranoid. His secondary goal is to stir up fratricide within the gay community -- look at the effect he has on Palladian, for example.

FTR, in case any of our homosexual friends are worried, we know dtl is not representative of the gay community.

If anything, he's evidence that any "victim" can be just as hateful-insane-stupid bigoted as the "perp"

Nathanial said...

After reading some of the commentary here -- and particularly the type of drivel posted by "Cedarford" -- I am struck by one thought especially forcefully: I am sure glad that I live in a *civilized* country like Canada.