30 August 2007

He's not gay...

My spouse, who wishes to remain blogosphere-anonymous at this point, came up with a fine rejoinder to Senator Craig's protestation "I am not gay" (see previous post for more details).

Simply put, he does have a wife and several children and grandchildren. We believe what he's telling us. He's not gay...he's bisexual! This is clearly a heartfelt plea from a conservative Republican Senator for greater understanding of the peculiar plight of bisexual persons in our society! I'm sure that any day now Senator Craig will introduce a bill in the Senate calling for anti-discrimination protections for bisexuals; maybe he'll even go so far as to includes gays and lesbians in that legislation.

Of course I'm saying all this tongue-in-cheek...and I am reminded of my friend Kevin Isom's hysterical book, Tongue in Cheek (and Other Places): A Seriously Humorous Look at Queer Life. You can click on his name to go to his website (not sure of the frequency of updates there) to read reviews and buy one or more of his fine books.

28 August 2007

Sometimes it’s too easy…

I could go on about this, but let’s try to do it in an efficient manner.

Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges arising out of his arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. The official charges were “misdemeanor disorderly conduct” The circumstances, according to the Washington Post, are as follows:

Craig was arrested June 11 in an undercover sting operation organized by Minneapolis-St. Paul airport police who had received complaints of sexual encounters by men in a particular restroom at the airport. The undercover officer was in a restroom stall around noon that day, and a few minutes later Craig entered and sat in the stall next to him. Craig began tapping his right foot, touched his right foot to the left foot of the officer and brushed his hand beneath the partition between them. He was then arrested.

This isn’t the first time Senator Craig has been associated with questionable sexual practices. According to CNN, “In 1982, Craig denied rumors that he was under investigation as part of a federal probe into allegations that lawmakers on Capitol Hill had sexual relationships with congressional pages, saying the ‘false allegations’ made him ‘mad as hell.’” Further rumors of homosexual activity have followed Senator Craig, including reports in the Idaho Statesman alleging, “Craig had engaged in similar restroom sexual encounters with other men. The paper said its most serious finding was the report by an unidentified "professional man with close ties to Republican officials," who claimed to have had oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004.”

The interesting point here isn’t the apparently conflicted sexual orientation of Senator Craig; rather, it’s the hypocrisy inherent in this situation. Again citing CNN,

In recent years, Craig's voting record has earned him top ratings from social conservative groups such as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council.

He has supported a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, telling his colleagues that it was "important for us to stand up now and protect traditional marriage, which is under attack by a few unelected judges and litigious activists."

In 1996, Craig also voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition to same-sex marriages and prevents states from being forced to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples legally performed in other states.

Craig has also opposed expanding the federal hate crimes law to cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias and, in 1996, voted against a bill that would have outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, which failed by a single vote in the Senate.

Why is this so common? Why do so many of the most stridently anti-gay public figures wind up in compromising situations? Perhaps that’s the wrong way to ask the question – perhaps it’s better to ask, why do so many internally conflicted, repressed homosexuals get married and have kids and then campaign for “traditional family values”? Wouldn’t they be better off if they were able to accept their sexual orientation from the beginning, rather than consider it “sinful” or “evil”? Then they wouldn’t have to hook up with random guys in public restrooms, or campaign loudly for anti-gay legislation in order to prove their homosexual bona fides.

See my previous post about “marriage for the religious, civil unions for all” (as my friend Keith has put it in his blog). Isn’t it finally time to let folks out of the closet and into the light, where everyone can flourish according to his or her own sexuality?

As for Senator Craig and others, they should try reading a little Jung, so they might realize that the more one represses one’s shadow, the more it finds its way out in insidious ways.

26 August 2007

A modest proposal

Here’s a simple solution for a complex issue. First, some background: I watched the Democratic Presidential candidates’ debate on Logo (the “gay” cable TV channel) a couple of weeks ago. Well, OK, it wasn’t exactly a debate, as each of the candidates appeared sequentially rather than together. All of the front-runners and most of the others went a long way toward supporting same-sex partnerships, but very few of them could say “yes” to same-sex marriage (the exceptions being Kucinich and Gravel).

So here’s a thought – if “marriage” is such a holy, sacramental institution, why do all the Christo-fascists want to entrust it to the federal government? Why not leave “marriage” to the religious institutions instead?

Here’s my modest proposal: Do away with all government-recognized marriages. In their place, have governments establish “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” for all consenting adult couples, be they heterosexual couples or homosexual couples. Then, you would go to the government for your registered civil union, and the government would grant you all the benefits that currently inure to “married” couples. Meanwhile, if you’d like to get “married”, go to your favorite church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other spiritual congregation and have a marriage ceremony.

There you go, in 80 words, the solution to the entire same-sex marriage debate. Why is this so hard? Why isn’t this a solution we all can’t agree on (well, I know why we all can’t agree, because there are some of us who are completely hateful and bigoted, but maybe we can go with “most of us” instead)? Is it such a radical idea that no one of note can propose it?

Actually, one candidate came fairly close to proposing this in the Logo forum. That candidate was Barack Obama. Senator Obama also had one of the best lines of the entire forum, when he described the so-called Christians who are anti-gay as “taking one line out of the book of Romans and elevating it above the entire Sermon on the Mount”.

So maybe I’ll send this post to Senator Obama and see if he’ll adopt the idea in his own campaign. What do you think? Simple answer, or glossing over too many technicalities? Let me know what you think.