Monday, June 01, 2009

Dick Cheney-- The New Champion Of Gay Rights?


On the same day Cheney admitted that there was no link between Iraq and 9/11-- something most Republicans, having been told so over and over by his regime, still believe-- he also sort of came out for same-sex marriage... or at least more so than Barack Obama has. Just hours after the Nevada legislature surprised everyone in the state by overriding a veto by the state's viciously homophobic Republican Governor, Jim Gibbons, Cheney reiterated his support for states having the right to decide marriage issues. In answer to a question on the topic, he replied "I think that freedom means freedom for everyone... I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don't support. I do believe that ... historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis."

I guess there was no one in the press corps with much knowledge of history-- and no fans of the new Nanci Griffith album, The Loving Kind. On the title track of her new album Nanci lays out the story of how the miscegenation laws-- which prevented mixed race marriages well into the 1960s-- were struck down... nationally. Her song is based on the story of Richard and Mildred Loving and their court battle against the commonwealth of Virginia, which arrested and imprisoned them for getting married. Eventually the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down the miscegenation laws in all the states (although Alabama insisted on keeping it on its books, unenforced). Both Mildred Loving and Nanci Griffith have made it clear that the quest for marriage equality for gay couples is no different from the quest the Lovings went through in the '60s. I guess Cheney was too busy dodging the draft back then to have caught the news.

Watch the clip below and see if I'm correct about this quote from the sour old coot: "As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay, and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family." Sounded just glorious--like he wanted to commit ritual suicide to assuage the shame he obviously left when he talked about it!

Now, if Cheney wants to get serious about lending a hand to gay civil rights, he couldn't do better than starting with a book edited by Mitchell Gold called Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America. This review by evangelical David Gushee calls on Christians to apologize to the LGBT community.
As an evangelical Christian whose career has been spent in the South, I must say I find it scandalous that the most physically and psychologically dangerous place to be (or even appear to be) gay or lesbian in America is in the most religiously conservative families, congregations and regions of this country. Most often these are Christian contexts. Many of the most disturbing stories in this volume come from the Bible Belt. This marks an appalling Christian moral failure.

In contrast to the love and mercy that Jesus exemplified, Christian communities offer young lesbians and gays hate and rejection. Sometimes that rejection is declared directly from the pulpit. But even when church leaders attempt to be more careful, to "hate the sin but love the sinner" (as that hackneyed formulation has it), the love gets lost. Perhaps we need to focus on refining our ability to love; maybe we are not actually capable of compartmentalizing hate.

Christ's command that we love our neighbors, especially the most despised and rejected, means that we must respond immediately to the crisis outlined in this book. Such love requires not only that we be vigilant about the impact of individual and congregational words and actions, but also that we consider seriously the broader ramifications of Christian activism that seeks to oppose all social advances for gay and lesbian people. Many Christians act as if opposing gays and lesbians is fundamental to the church's mission, which leads many gay and lesbian people to perceive Christianity as their mortal enemy. Is this how we want to be perceived?

And remember, if you oppose gay marriage, don't get one. No one is trying to force you to.

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At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Bil said...


I prefer Budweiser on top of my coumadin when huntin' don't you?

Remember, "they will welcome us with flowers"...

No, not the Gayz, teh Iraqis!

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous david scott said...

Although, I personally am so far to the left, that even the even the democrats appear to me to be "right-wing," I consider myself to be a strict constitutionalist. It is my opinion that since its inception there has been an organized and systematic assault by the conservatives in the United States on the civil liberties written into the US Constitution. The “War on Drugs”; “War on Terror”; “War on Communism” and a host of other wars waged by the right wing are really nothing more than a War on People--an excuse to erode civil rights to the point of non-existence. I invite you to my website devoted to raising awareness on this puritan attack on freedom:


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