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Methinks Gay Activists Seek to Protest Too Much

I had meant to blog on “Town Hall” on Proposition 8 I attended now nearly two weeks ago in West Hollywood. I had some interesting experiences where I was pegged as “the gay Republican,” yet my remarks were treated with respect and my person with dignity.

I, like everyone else who signed up to speak, was given a chance to address the gathering. I received a few hisses, but no one interrupted my comments (limited to two minutes as were those of all speakers) nor did anyone attempt to shout me down.  Kudos to the organizers for leading a civil discussion.

That’s not to say I don’t have some criticisms of the event. While some time has passed since the meeting, some of the issues that came up remain timely. One thing which struck was how many speakers contended the passage of Proposition 8 had at least one positive outcome: it sparked a new spirit of protest in the gay community.

They seemed to think that protest was a good thing and wanted to return to the heyday of the 1960s and 1970s where such angry gatherings were a regular occurrence.

I thought of that enthusiasm for demonstrations when, earlier today, I read Patrick Range McDonald’s LA Weekly post on an upcoming protest against President-elect Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to offer the invocation and his inauguration next month. That Orange County pastor supported the “Yes on 8” campaign.

It seems that some gay activists are just looking for an excuse to take to the streets. Why this need to be perpetually angry and to vent their spleens so publicly?

Maybe they should ponder Camille’s Paglia’s post about how such protests often lead to a backlash. Instead of taking to the streets, they should engage in some introspection, wondering why they’re so ready to rant and rave.

A Grande Blogress Diva Delayed is not a Diva Denied

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:18 pm - December 19, 2008.
Filed under: Blogress Divas,Divas,Strong Women

And Bruce and I review the seconds to our nominations for Grande Conservative Blogress Diva, we are a bit delayed in determining who will win a spot on the official ballot.

First, there were so many seconds for these talented blogresses so it’s going to be tough to winnow the list down to a manageable number. Second, we wish to avoid the problem of last year’s competition, when we announced the finalists, then posted a poll which didn’t work, aggravating some of the aspirants.

As soon as we determine the finalists, we’ll post a poll (hopefully no later than Sunday) and alert the nominees. And then it will be up to them to alert their supporters.

Paglia: Anti-Prop 8 Protests Will Cause Anti-Gay Backlash

As I’ve been finally getting around to cleaning out my e-mail boxes (which contained on Monday more than 400 missives), I have discovered some gems, notes from friends I mistakenly missed, praise from readers and links to thoughtful posts and articles on the web.

On reader alerted me to Camille Paglia’s extremely rich post from about a week ago.  While the whole thing merits reading, in large part because of her praise of Sarah Palin (yet again) and criticism of the snobs who belittle her, it struck me how this diva (and yes, she is a diva and would delight at that appellation) offers an opinion on the Prop 8 protests nearly identical to my own:

After California voters adopted Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to prohibit gay marriage, gay activists have launched a program of open confrontation with and intimidation of religious believers, mainly Mormons. I thought we’d gotten over the adolescent tantrum phase of gay activism, typified by ACT UP’s 1989 invasion of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the communion host was thrown on the floor. Want to cause a nice long backlash to gay rights? That’s the way to do it.

Emphasis added.

She has more on marriage, stuff I may get to in a subsequent post where she wonders, given the lifestyles of many gay men, if they (i.e., those gay men) really want marriage. There, she understands that marriage is not an open-ended commitment where each spouse has (sexual) relationships outside the union.

Just read the whole thing. And note how many diverse voices see the recent rallies as counterproductive. And how this wise woman uses a term, “tantrum,” I have used to describe them. I’m honored to be in such company, particularly on this issue.

New Strategy Needed on Same-Sex Unions/Marriage

When it comes to gay issues, I don’t always agree with my friend David Benkof.W hile sometimes I think his ideas are off-the-wall, more often than not, even when I disagree with him, I think he raises an important point which, all too frequently, others have ignored. In his latest Op-ed, he puts forward some sensible ideas for ensuring that more states protect same-sex relationships:

A strong case can be made that more same-sex couples would be protected if the gay and lesbian community . . . would jettison the whole marriage campaign and focus on a new, national strategy of “mutual commitments” to protect same-sex couples not only in states like New Jersey and Massachusetts, but also in places less welcoming to gays such as Georgia, Nebraska and Texas.

The 30 constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, including Proposition 8 in California, are a direct result of the lawsuits-for-marriage strategy practiced by gays and lesbians since the mid-Nineties, including successful suits in Massachusetts, California and Connecticut. So achieving marriage in three gay-friendly states (two now that Proposition 8 has passed in California) came at the expense of barring marriage in 10 times as many states, many much less hospitable to same-sex couples.

In short, he believes, that if gay activists weren’t so hung up on the word, “marriage,” and focused instead on promoting state-recognition of same-sex unions, they might have great success in finding voters — and state legislators — more response to their pleas. This may not be ideal, particularly for those obsessed with “achieving full equality” (whatever that means), but it will improve upon the current situation.

I agree with David that litigation to force gay marriage through the courts has led to a backlash at the ballot box. And I’m not the the only one. Even Jonathan Rauch, the most thoughtful and articulate defender of same-sex marriage, has observed that gay marriage has lost in each of the thirty states where it has been on the ballot.

With social attitudes towards gays changing, we should focus on something that wasn’t achievable as recently as ten years ago, promoting civil unions, what David calls “mutual commitments,” through state legislatures.

You may not agree with David on this point, but at least he has put forward a different strategy than the failed policy of the gay organizations.  So, just read the whole thing!

Log Cabin Reacts to Rick Warren Inaugural Invite

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 3:00 pm - December 19, 2008.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics,Obama Watch

From Log Cabin Republicans National Office (via email):

President-Elect Barack Obama hasn’t even taken office yet and he’s already using the Bill Clinton playbook on gay issues.  Politics over principle. Not exactly change you can believe in.

Exhibit 1:President-Elect Obama didn’t appoint even one openly gay person to his senior staff. 21 senior staff positions in the White House. Not one LGBT person. (You’ll recall that Sen. John McCain has a long record hiring openly gay people to senior positions both in his presidential campaign and senate office.)

Exhibit 2: No openly gay cabinet appointees. Maybe it’ll still happen, but with only a couple slots left, don’t hold your breath unless you want to pass out. Read more about grumbling from the gay left about the lack of appointments.

Exhibit 3:Lowering expectations on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. News reports say Democrats won’t consider the issue in 2009. Of course, in 2010 it’s easy to predict that congressional Democrats will say, “Sorry, but we have to wait until after the mid-term elections.”<

Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan writes, “”[It’s] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now.”

As the New Year begins, Log Cabin will continue reminding gay and lesbian voters that actions speak louder than words.


EXCEPT… what Log Cabin (and the entire The Gay(TM) Establishment) forgets is that OBAMA OPPOSES GAY MARRIAGE.  So picking Rick Warren IS sticking to Obama’s principles.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Will Obama Defer to Congress on Controversial Issues?

His reaction to the choice of his Senate successor certainly suggests he will.

In an editorial today, the editors of the Chicago Tribune point out that while Obama aides, notably Chief of Staff-designate Rahm Emanuel, talked to “Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s chief of staff about Obama’s preferences” for the Senate seat he has vacated the president-elect and his staff have, in recent days*, avoided “commenting on the selection of his successor:”

. . . we’d like to hear Obama say one thing loud and clear right now: The best thing for Illinois citizens would be to hold a special election to fill his Senate seat.

There’s no legal issue that stops Obama from expressing his views on this. It’s a critical decision for Illinois. Do we hold an election or leave the appointment of a senator in the hands of the governor?

Earlier in the week, when a Tribune reporter asked Obama about this, Obama said he would leave the decision to the legislature.

Leave the decision to the legislature?

While Obama has so far done a reasonably good job of selecting competent individuals for his cabinet, he has so far failed to make controversial decisions about policy. Here, he has a chance to stand up for the citizens of the state he once represented.  In doing so, however, he would take on some in his party who would prefer a Democratic Governor appoint the state’s next U.S. Senator.

Instead, he punts, deferring to the state’s Democratic legislature.

Does this indicate once he takes office next month as president, he will defer to the Democratic Congress on controversial issue?

Given how his fall campaign and recent cabinet pick suggest a move to the middle and the leftist agenda of the congressional leadership, let’s hope not.


*Particularly since the media have raised the questions in the wake of Governor Blagojevich’s arrest earlier this month.

UPDATE:  Jim Geraghty offers a similar sentiment to that of the Tribune‘s editors:

I would note that a few words like “I think a special election is a good idea” from the president-elect would go a long way towards making that happen. He doesn’t have to say so as the next president; he can say so as a citizen of Illinois.

A Little Taste of Hopeandchange Last Night

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 11:25 am - December 19, 2008.
Filed under: Obama Hopenchange

You have to know a bit about me to appreciate this story.  I am a very courteous person.  I’m the guy that still opens doors for people (men or women).  And I try my best to show my manners during the trying times (weekly) that I fly for work.

Last night I was boarding a full flight from Philadelphia to Charlotte.   I was in row 4 (middle seat), but had to use the bathroom in the back as the plane loaded.   After doing my business, I slowly and courteously made my way forward — ducking into rows to allow others by as I progressed forward.

At about row 7, an African-American woman with a shirt blaring “OBAMA — HOPE AND CHANGE FOR AMERICA!” faced me.

I quietly said, “I am a couple rows ahead, may I get by?”

Her LOUD response with her palm in my face:  “NO!  JUST HOLD ON AND WAIT!”   I rolled my eyes, fearing that this is a sign of the World of Hopeandchange that we are in for beginning in 30 days.

Her husband behind her saw what happened and his face showed signs of embarrassment.  He asked what row I was in and I showed him four fingers, but then said “Never mind.”   I wanted them to get past me.

The two other people in row 4 who brazenly stole my personal magazine I had brought onto the plane — well, that’s a story for another day.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

An Indian Forrest Gump

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:38 am - December 19, 2008.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

That’s my three-word (four if you count the article) review of Slumdog Millionaire, a brilliant, touching Indian movie I just saw.

Of course there are many (many, many, many) differences between the recent release and its 1994 American counterpart, but they have a certain thematic unity–and one key element which makes each film a brilliant sum of its component parts — and then some.

Since I went into this film knowing little about it, save that numerous friends and acquaintances from different walks of life loved it, I will not offer a more comprehensive review, save to say:  See this movie!