Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Major Benchmarks in LGBT History?

I came across this article last week, and thought that I would pass it along to you.  This is the first half of an article titled "Two Major benchmarks in LGBT history."  You can read the rest of the article by clicking the link below. I hope that you will read it, and let me know what you think.

Major benchmarks in LGBT historyby Mark SegalBay Windows contributor
If you sneezed last week, you might have missed them. Two major changes in the fight for LGBT equality took place -- and they literally will change the playing field forever.
During the Republican presidential debate last Sunday on NBC’s "Meet the Press," before the New Hampshire primary, a new benchmark in LGBT equality -- at least for Republicans -- was christened. And the surprise was who set it and who shrugged it off. The frontrunner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, did the honors.
Here’s the thumbnail version. One of the moderators quoted a pro-gay equality statement from Romney that was published in Boston’s LGBT newspaper Bay Windows, then asked Romney what he will do for nondiscrimination. (A well-phrased question, journalists should note.) Romney, who, it seems during this nomination process has cast aside his previous limited LGBT equality record, stated very clearly that he supports nondiscrimination and that, as governor, he appointed LGBT people to his administration and as judges. He then said clearly that he does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. So he answered the question and you’d think that was it, but the journalist -- this guy was good -- then asked: "But what will you do to further the rights of LGBT people?" (Again, journalists please note the phrasing of the question.) Romney clearly says, "I just did that." Applause. He adds that the only difference he has with the gay community is that he believes "marriage" is solely between a man and a woman. Applause from the audience again.
Here’s the surprise, and why this is a moment that will be marked as the beginning of the long road to reality for Republicans: They then went to Santorum with the question. He attempted to make a joke but it was obvious that the audience was not amused, so he sidestepped the question that has been a hallmark of his campaign. It was his chance to stand out and he knew that disparaging gays would no longer work. And so did every candidate standing up there, since no one took Romney on.
How serious of a change is this? The Obama campaign was quick to send out a press release Monday morning suggesting that Romney was stepping away from comments made at the debate, but that was based on a 2002 flyer that Romney’s team had disavowed. Point is, the handwriting is on the wall and Republicans see the inevitable. Americans are tired of them trashing the gay community. So the frontrunner has drawn a new line in the sand: We believe in nondiscrimination up to the issue of marriage.
So enjoy the next few months and watch the dying gasps of the anti-equality Republican rhetoric, since this is the last presidential race you’ll hear it. They won’t go quietly, but Romney’s statements, if he’s nominated, make that change inevitable.

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. He can be reached
With Newt Gingrich's win in South Carolina yesterday, is this really "the dying gasps of the anti-equality Republican rhetoric?"  I honestly do not think so.  The Republicans have had three Primaries and three different winners, Santorum (after a recount in Iowa), Romney (NH), and Gingrich (SC).  Trends show that since no Democrat has won in South Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976, that it is the trend setter for the Republican nomination.  Since 1980, the winner of the South Carolina Republican Primary has soldiered ahead and captured the Republican Presidential nomination.  So I have three questions for you:

  1. Do you think that Romney's comments in the debate mentioned above really was  "the dying gasps of the anti-equality Republican rhetoric"?
  2. Do you think that winning the Republican Primary in South Carolina will give Gingrich the push to win the nomination?
  3. How can the religious right and family values Republicans support a candidate, i.e. Gingrich, who has had two failed marriages because of infidelity and is currently on his third marriage?


tamayn said...

I think the gasps will continue for a while. The loudest wing of the republican party seems to be the most bigoted. Until the republicans stop dog whistling for anti gay measures, I don't see how they're going to move on as a whole.

I think Gingrich's win in South Carolina is just bizarre. Do people not remember the government furloughs under Gingrich as Speaker of the House? There's a lot still up in the air though, and personally I think that we're early now. We haven't seen the full effects of the commentary from Gingrich's ex wife. It would be incredibly hypocritical of the evangelical christians to be fine with Gingrich.

Will said...

1) No, we have not heard the last of anti-LGBT slurs and outright lies; we will not have heard the last until the Republican Party manages to disengage itself from the virulently homophobic Radical Religious Right which they have embraced in their whoring for votes no matter how many lies and how many outrageous illegal anti-gay procedures they have to espouse.

2) Not necessarily. I think this is still a horse race, largely because of Romney's massive campaign war chest -- as well as the much mooted possibility that the Republican leadership is dissatisfied with the field and may still try to bring in a dynamic dark horse.

3) a) Because their much vaunted religiosity is matched only by their hypocrisy in pursuit of their thirst for power;
b) Because -- and this has been demonstrated again and again -- all the great sinner has to do is to say he had renounced his wayward ways and embraced Jesus and all is forgiven. In the old days the fact that Newt has embraced the Catholic Jesus would be a problem; no more, as the Catholic Church and the Evangelicals became the strangest of bedfellows over their shared homophobia. They formerly loathed each other but have a common goal now via the old saw, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

In other words, our fight is not yet over and we must remain on guard for the foreseeable future.

silvereagle said...

The race is still wide open. And, as noted above, there may be a "dark horse" to enter the race when there is no clear winner in the various primaries. The primary season serves one purpose for sure - open all (or many if them) the closets and see what is in there.

Also, the over-the-hill-hate-the-gays are loosing their fight. It takes time, but the issue is slipping away each day.

Jay M. said...

1) The anti-gay, discriminatory thinking is so entrenched in these religious wingnuts that there is no way one little debate statement can indicate a change away from that. Politicians say what they think will placate any given audience, then do their very best to spin it another way if necessary later on. And until Romney and the rest get off this "no gay marriage" stump, and realize THAT is as much discrimination as any other, then I won't vote for them.
2)I think it will be very hard for Gingrich to get the nomination. He is the consummate politician, though, so look out!
3)I think they want ANYONE who can beat Obama. The question is, can any of these idiots who apparently put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible actually get elected? I don't know, and hope not, at least until things like DOMA are settled.

Peace <3

fan of casey said...

1. Toning down of the anti-gay rhetoric is a ploy to try to win moderates and independents -- once they get into power (running on fiscal conservatism), the social conservatives will pressure a republican president to roll back a host of social advances -- and our demonization will continue.

2. Gingrich won SC because of the overconfidence of Romney making a series of unforced errors. It will now will be a longer primary fight, which benefits Obama. If Gingrich wins the nomination -- they lose the moderate and independent votes; if Romney wins the nomination, then conservatives will be turned off -- but then they have no choice but to support him, no way they would support Obama.

Similarly, liberals/progressives dissatisfied with Obama as president -- will they really vote republican? I doubt it, but they may stay home and not vote at all unless there are positive reasons.

3. Practicality trumps intellectual honesty. Every candidate comes with pros and cons so the whole of the man has to be weighed. For some, the ends justifies the means -- so it's not important how one gets the job done, as long as the results are achieved. Overall, I find conservatives more willing to compromise their principles to obtain power.

The disconnect is one has to compromise to get things done -- but to get elected, one often has to run like you won't be settling or cutting deals. The result: Our current gridlock.

Will said...

I posted your questions, with credit, on Designerblog and promised to pass on any answers to you -- here's the first:

Blogger Stan in NH said...

1. No. I believe that the homophobia won't die as long as the religious right are calling the shots. Those are basically hateful people by definition, although from their perspective they are not hateful, they are just pointing out sin where they see it. Because they fail to see their own hypocrisy in action, it will be very hard to let go of the homophobia sometime soon. And since hate is learned, and they continue to pass it on to their children, it won't be dying out of the gene pool soon enough.
2. It might. The Repugs want to win. If they think Newt will be their best chance to win, they will push him forth. Remember that the Repug Primary is always a blood bath. But once the victor emerges, they all get behind their candidate, lock step. And Newt, like Romney, will say and do anything that will please the crowd. He has no values that he personally believes, save getting power and wealth. While I do agree that the Repugs will hope for a dark horse to emerge, they also saw what happened to their first late comer, Dickhead Perry.
3. Yes, definitely. It's all about the repentance for them. They are hypocrites all, remember that. They don't really care about "family values" or anything spiritual at all. They just use that as rhetoric to redirect the focus of their campaigns so their base will understand and follow them. Think about all the wealthy televangelists that have come, fleeced their flocks, gotten into scandalous trouble, cried on TV, and were graciously allowed to continue to fleece their flocks. They have to show "forgiveness", or they will be seen as the cold, callous, greedy people they are. It's all about money for the Repug politicians. Not one of them are truly spiritual people. So they will fully support Newt, if it comes to that. He is an old insider, and knows how to play by the rules. What they don't want is a wild card.

Will said...

From David of the blog Domani Dave:

1) Pardon me, this question is just absurd. For the record, no.

2) No, though the word is that the GOP leadership are panic-stricken over the possibility. Their best hope IS a "last minute" dark horse who will not have been stained with over-scrutiny. But who?

3) Newt Gingrich IS the Jimmy Swaggart of politicians. Fundamentalist Christians cannot get enough of a man redeemed from the clutches of Satan. And who KNOWS how many voters can convince themselves that his transgressions are just fabrications from that Liberal Media?

4) (I know there wasn't a #4) As far as nominations go, I subscribe to the notion that the Republican party threw the last election intentionally by nominating John McCain, so that they could blame the black man for all the ills in America and set up a landslide in 2012. A landslide is not looking good. That said, I wonder if we aren't at the tipping point, where someone even worse than Dubya could be elected President.