Washington is for Lovers!

Not surprisingly, King County Superior Court Judge William Downing ruled today that Washington state’s so-called defense of marriage act violates the state constitution.

In his words, “The Court concludes that the exclusion of same-sex partners from civil marriage and the privileges attendant thereto is not rationally related to any legitimate or compelling state interest and is certainly not narrowly tailored toward such an interest.”

Falwell to open GOP convention

If it weren’t such good news for Kerry, this news would cause my head to explode. Falwell will pray, pray, pray! the Republican National Convention into session in New York next month.

While the media had a field day with Al Sharpton hitting W a little harder than the script read, do you think they will recap some of Falwell’s greatest hits? Who can forget Christofacist ramblings like these?

“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.'”
— Rev. Jerry Falwell, 9/12/01, quoted in “God Gave U.S. ‘What We Deserve,’ Falwell Says,” The Washington Post 9/14/2001

“The idea that religion and politics don’t mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.”
–Sermon, July 4, 1976

“I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!”
America Can Be Saved, 1979

“The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible,without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.”
Finding Inner Peace and Strength, 1982

“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”
–CBC television debate debate between Falwell and gay minister Rev. Troy Perry, 7/6/83

Falwell isn’t just some kooky preacher. He founded the group “Moral Majority” that spawned the “Christian Right” politcal apparatus and has done more than any one person to twist the faith of my fathers into a hateful force bent on hijacking our democratic process with the ultimate goal of asserting theocracy. Before Pat Robertson, before Ralph Reed, there was Falwell, spouting a doctrine that sucks all the love out of Christ’s ministry and replaces it with fear and discord. He is simply a false prophet, and the Bible he finds infallible is pretty explicit about what happens to them in The End. Let me just say, if I’m wrong, and Falwell ends up in Heaven I’ll be happy to enjoy brimstone cocktails with Beelzebub every day at 5 for all eternity.

We had been hearing that the RNC wanted to keep the convention mainstream, but the far-right was pissed that prime slots were going to moderates like Rudy and Ahnold. And we know how thoroughly they have W by the, um, ear. If this is how the convention is starting it will likely turn into a repeat of 1992–where the Christian Coalition flexed its muscle and Pat Buchanan’s “religious war in America” invocation terrified reasonable Americans and helped elect Clinton.

More on outing

MAJeff, the official homo on the DailyKos blog, has a great post on the Big Gay Controversy of the moment–the outing of gay staffers who work for anti-gay lawmakers (as I commented on last week). If you think Virginia is for Haters is tough, check out BlogActive, run by Michael Rogers–who has now replaced Michaelangelo Signorile as political outer-in-chief. (Don’t miss the post about Rogers’ beating O’Reilly at his own game.)

Having had my own first-hand view of the twisting of healthy sexuality that invariably comes when power heads into the Capitol Hill closet, I am unconflicted on this issue. The people outed recently aren’t just closeted–one has even modeled in his underwear for a gay weekly–but leading double lives. And as the editor of the Washington Blade stated in an article in yesterday’s NYT, the media have no obligation to protect anyone’s double life. The idea that they do rests on a fundamental misunderstanding that MAJeff brilliantly lays bare: the idea that sexuality is a private matter. To quote MAJEff:

The larger point here is that heterosexuality is far from private. It’s publicly enacted every day. Every time a married woman refers to herself as “Mrs. So-and-So”, she’s coming out as a heterosexual. When straight folks talk about their spouses or boyfriends or girlfriends, they’re publicly enacting their heterosexuality. When the men on this site swoon over Stephanie Herseth, they’re making their heterosexuality public. I’m not complaining about that, I’m just putting forth some of the ways that heterosexuality–as a social construct and a personal “lifestyle”–is far from private.

In the same way, when the people who have been outed belong to gay groups, when they frequent gay restaurants and bars, when they bring partners in public, they’re making their homosexuality public.

What happens is that sexuality gets conflated with sexual acts alone. When I state on this site that I’m gay, I have told you absolutely nothing about what I do or don’t do in bed. That part, for me, is private. My overall sexuality, however, is not. I’m part of a public community. I take actions in public settings; I frequent gay establishments. These are public, and they are related to my sexuality.

What many people need to understand are the myriad ways that sexuality is publicly enacted–and enforced. Sexuality is more than what we do in bed. It shapes so many other areas in our lives. Often, we aren’t aware of the ways these things are done. But, just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t occur.

While words like “Gay Uncle Tom” are undoubtedly hurtful, the metaphor is on target. The Times seems to sympathize with the “chilling effect on how many people navigate their lives, professionally and socially.” I would hope so. The DC gay scene for too long has been happy to quite literally sleep with those who sleep with the enemy. That’s the crux of this–as Republicans come to get us where we live, so the gay community is hitting the henchmen of the haters where they live.

We are talking here about people who are complicit with a political movement that would deny them–and all gays–full citizenship. For most of these lawmakers, their position rests on a denial of our full humanity. There will always be people who want to kiss the boot as it stomps on their face, to paraphrase one of the comments on Kos’s site, so I don’t really need to know much about how these staffers defend their choices. What I do know is that any argument about “trying to change the Republican party from the inside” rings more hollow at this moment than ever it has. Just ask any Log Cabin Republican you know–after years of laboring under the “change from the inside” delusion, they are faced with a party that has made it clear it doesn’t want them. Or us.

I’ve read recently, on several VAhaters posts, that “the only good fag is a dead fag.” While perhaps most Republicans don’t go that far, it is clear is they believe “the only good fag is a silent fag.” This new round of outing is about denying collaborators of their silence–and thus their utility to the masters they serve. Just as I intended with the Virginia boycott, these outings are a clear signal that we as a community are fighting back with whatever means necessary. Given the stakes, I find the moral calculus behind this new round of outing unassailable.

Outing is OK

I think we have reached the point where being gay is mainstream enough that if you are closeted you are simply a cheater. Proof that you can’t have it both ways–especially if you’re in politics–comes from the Washington Blade, via AMERICAblog

Wow, the Washington Blade just released TWO amazing stories outing a flurry of gays who work for anti-gay Republicans.

The first story outed two gay advisers to anti-gay Republican Senate candidate Mel Martinez from Florida. Martinez, who recently ran a radio ad comparing gay marriage to life under dictatorship in Cuba, not only has a gay finance chair for his election campaign (Kirk Fordham) but he also had a gay adviser to his campaign WHO WAS THE FORMER HEAD OF THE FLORIDA CHRISTIAN COALITION, John Dowless.

The second story outs the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (Jay Timmons), the organization under the helm of anti-gay Senator George Allen (R-VA) that regularly uses gays to bash Democratic candidates.

But the more egregious story is clearly the first where it talks about the anti-gay gay who headed the Florida Christian Coalition.

Seriously, if you have any qualms about outing, read this story. Un. Be. Lievable. And what fun for all the wingnuts in Florida… to imagine that their Christian soldier was a polesmoker the whole time!

“I Ruck, therefore I am”

The Village Voice’s “25th Annual Queer Issues” has a great meditation on gay rugby by Christopher Stahl of the Gotham Knights. But if you really want to see what the Knights are all about, check out this month’s issue of Out magazine. Fashionable ruggers? It was inevitable when you think about it! Seriously, they are running like 20 pages of Gotham’s hottest. I have to say, though, I’m feeling like this “gay rugby” thing might have peaked. It felt so much more transgressive in, like, 2002. Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just dreading the work involved in getting my fat ass back on the pitch!