On Saturday and again today the president made his case for a constitutional amendment defining marriage. If opponents of the amendment were serious about debating this important issue, they would have offered thoughtful rebuttals taking issue with his arguments. They could thus have turned the occasion of the President’s public statement into an opportunity to advance their own cause — promoting gay marriage.
Leaders of gay organizations have, however, attacked the president (in rather childish terms) and ignored his arguments. Instead of contributing to the debate on gay marriage, they have provided more rhetoric for the burgeoning files of Bush-hatred. And won few converts to their cause. Despite some recent sensible actions, on this issue, the ostensibly Republican gay group, Log Cabin, has shown itself to be no different from the left-of-center gay activists.
All have used language which further poisons political discourse on gay issues.
In a statement filled with hysterical language (at odds with his recent statement on anti-gay actions in Moscow), Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) called the president’s action an “immoral attack on gay people, our families and fundamental humanity.” Geez, the president may be wrong on this one, but all he’s doing is offering his opinion on an important social issue. And while his solution may be the wrong one, his remarks did not include any attack on gay people or their families.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights campaign (HRC) who seems to have made it a priority for his organization to avoid debate of gay marriage, called the president “out of touch.” His statement on the president’s address was similarly inflammatory, faulting the president for using his radio address “to divide us as nation” (as if no president had previously addressed a divisive issue in his radio address) and for suggesting he has failed to “lay out an agenda to address the challenges facing our country.” But, I guess to Joe Solmonese the failure to lay out an agenda to his liking means the failure to lay out an agenda altogether.
It seems that on the issue of gay marriage, an issue which is indeed controversial, all Joe can do is call the president’s position divisive while failing to put forward an agenda on the topic which might unite the nation.
In a longer piece which Bruce wisely posted on this blog, Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero also seems to prefer name-calling to serious discussion. The tone of his open letter to the president hardly seems that of one Republican writing to another. He lectures the president, calling his stand an “insult” as well as “offensive and unworthy of the office of the Presidency”! Great way to engage someone with whom you disagree!. Seems he’s been taking lessons from some of those who comment to our blog.