In issue 11
Are Politics Sexy Yet?
A Match Made In Heaven?
Former Representative Bob Allen, the Florida statesman arrested in 2007 for offering an undercover police officer $20 to allow Allen to perform oral sex on him, has reportedly exhausted his appeals and accepted his fate according to PageOneQ.com. His sentence consisted of probation, a small fine, and the lifelong humiliation that goes along with claiming that the reason for his actions was that he was scared because the undercover cop was African-American and there were other African-American men around. Maybe Allen and former Senator Larry Craig should get together and compare notes. Or perhaps Bishop T. D. Jakes’ stepson, who was recently arrested for indecent exposure in a public park, would be more his type. It’s a match made in heaven – or an airport men’s room, a public park, wherever.
ABC News recently reported that 8 out 10 states that went Republican red in November are actually purple. This irregularity came to light when a credit card company analyzed its receipts for “a major online adult entertainment provider” and found that the majority of the receipts tend to come from states that are “more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption.” In fact, the states that passed laws against same-sex marriage recorded 11% higher sales than other states and those that agreed with the statement “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage” bought more subscriptions than those that disagreed. To their credit, though, the zealots did buy less porn on Sunday.
You may be asking who the number 1 consumer is. It’s Utah, the land of Mormon!
Obama’s Little Helper
Last week we discussed President Obama not being able to deliver right away on every promise he made because he has urgent issues, such as the economy, to work on. Though he’s proven himself a capable multi-tasker, having improved equal pay rights for women and healthcare for children, ended torture, declared the closing of Guantanamo, established a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq and signed a stimulus bill into law within less than 45 days in office, Politico.com reports that Representative Ellen Tauscher apparently felt he needed a helping a hand and submitted a bill repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell last Monday. The repeal, as characterized by Politico, would become a political minefield for Obama, so Tauscher has done him a favor. DADT was the result of President Clinton’s attempt to repeal the ban on gays in the military and the political give and take and that usually ensues in mixed party relationships, so it’s only fair that the same should work in reverse. Let both houses of Congress pass the bill and present it to Obama to sign into law with the understanding that he won’t get any cooperation from Congress if he doesn’t sign it. Let’s call it the Clinton Paradox.
Corvino on “Compromise”
John Corvino, a columnist for 365Gay.com, recently discussed a proposed compromise on same-sex marriage. The compromise, published in the New York Times and written by David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch, two authors from different sides of the same-sex marriage debate, essentially allows for federal recognition and benefits for same-sex couples, either through domestic partnership or marriage, if the relationship is recognized by the couple’s state. Yes, they’re proposing federal recognition of our relationships and all the benefits that go along with it, but only if your state approves. Let’s look at it from a different angle: under the compromise states and religious organizations can continue to discriminate against us and the federal government will join them. That sounds fair, doesn’t it? Isn’t that the way it is now? Oh, and the compromise has to promise that religious organizations won’t be forced to recognize the same-sex couples relationships. On the surface a reasonable person might think the First Amendment already takes care of religious organizations, but what the religious organizations want is the right to violate anti-discrimination laws in employment practices by being able to reject gay candidates for employment and refuse their partners benefits; they also want to be able to deny gays the use of facilities they make available to the general public for weddings. Corvino’s column seems to be pleased with the compromise and he appears to think it’s a good start. I suggest negotiations begin again and that all parties start with the basic premise that marriage under the law is a civil institution, not a religious institution that exists solely for the purpose of shooting out babies like a sprinkler. Maybe then we’ll get somewhere. Better yet, let’s try to figure out why people even think that individual rights are up for discussion or negotiation.