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Project Right Side
November 21, 2012 10:49 AM   Subscribe

During his tenure as George W. Bush's campaign manager and later as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ken Mehlman helped push an anti-gay agenda which eventually led to legislation that banned same-sex marriage in 21 states. He came out of the closet in 2010. Since then, he's openly supported gay marriage. Now, his newest endeavor, Project Right Side, is trying to attract conservatives to the fight for marriage equality. He discusses the non-profit's goals in a WSJ editorial: Making the Same-Sex Case.

Same-sex marriage laws in the US, state by state.

Huffington Post:
...Mehlman has... fundraised for marriage equality initiatives and has publicly spoken out in favor of such measures.
posted by zarq (58 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also: Andrew Sullivan has, since 1989, been pushing the notion that marriage equality holds an essentially conservative appeal.
posted by damehex at 10:54 AM on November 21, 2012


WSJ article is behind a paywall, at least for me.
posted by Hactar at 10:55 AM on November 21, 2012


Hunh. Websense does not like projectrightside.com.
posted by pointystick at 10:59 AM on November 21, 2012


So now that Mehlman is no longer part of the establishment and has no real power, he's ready to pretend all that horrific anti-gay stuff he signed off on didn't really happen, and lobby on behalf of legislation that will benefit him personally.

Am I supposed to applaud, throw flowers, or what?
posted by La Cieca at 11:00 AM on November 21, 2012 [77 favorites]


If you want to see the WSJ article, search for it with Google and you can view it that way. Otherwise, Andrew Sullivan and Towleroad have some excerpts.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:02 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: Andrew Sullivan has, since 1989, been pushing the notion that marriage equality holds an essentially conservative appeal.

Andrew Sullivan is pretty consistently the only conservative pundit who I can disagree with fundamentally but still like and read.
posted by bitdamaged at 11:02 AM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, this is the major problem I have with conservatives. I remember hearing a woman speak on NPR one time who was a conservative who was looking for her place in the democratic party. She was doing so because she had been driven out by anti-union rhetoric. Her husband, you see was part of a union (welder's, I think) and was glad to have been. I think she also had some issues with health care.

But she was anti-choice and anti a couple other things. And all I could think was "Yeah, because those things haven't happened to you." The American conservative mind suffers from a serious empathy deficit.

And until you can demonstrate that you've chosen the right side of history out of something other than self-interest, I guess I'm not that interested in listening to what you have to say.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:08 AM on November 21, 2012 [90 favorites]


Outside the US echo chamber, you might want to look at the UK, where Conservative leader David Cameron is a strong advocate of gay marriage.

No, this is not some bizzaro-world definition of conservative; he points out that marriage is a pillar of social stability so of course conservatives should be in favour of it.
posted by cstross at 11:09 AM on November 21, 2012 [16 favorites]


Oops. Sorry about the paywall. Thank you, filthy light thief for posting a solution.
posted by zarq at 11:11 AM on November 21, 2012


The googles don't let me see the WSJ op-ed either. It's stupid that they put op-eds behind a paywall.

Based on the excerpt from Towleroad, though, I'll sigh over the "let them get married and they'll get stable and have family values!' rhetoric, because cripes I hate it. Tons of unmarried people of all sexual orientations are community-minded people who love their families and have stable relationships of all kinds.

From the data points pdf on his site, this was very interesting - I knew that the voter base wasn't as hostile as the pundits make the party out to be, but still:
When you look at Republican voters, the data we have collected reveal a Republican electorate at odds with the conventional wisdom of a robustly anti-gay GOP. Instead, our surveys show that a pronounced majority of Republican voters are more favorable than unfavorable to an expansion of a variety of legal rights to gays and lesbians. For 9 out of 12 questions, a majority of Republicans express a pro-gay rights sentiment; for 12 out of 12, there were more pro-gay rights Republicans than there were those that were anti-gay rights. On a composite measure of these items, 65% of Republicans were more favorable than unfavorable to expansions of gay rights, while only a small minority of 29% were net opponents of gay rights. On marriage, 62% of Republicans believe that gay couples should have at least some legal recognition of their relationship, though only 14% are completely on board with full legal recognition called marriage.
posted by rtha at 11:16 AM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Am I supposed to applaud, throw flowers, or what?

Personally, I wish he gains the right to marry, while still sort of hoping that he never finds someone who wants to marry him, because who wants to be a relationship with that kind of guy? I sure wouldn't want my brother to marry him.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:17 AM on November 21, 2012 [11 favorites]


So now that Mehlman is no longer part of the establishment and has no real power, he's ready to pretend all that horrific anti-gay stuff he signed off on didn't really happen, and lobby on behalf of legislation that will benefit him personally.

Am I supposed to applaud, throw flowers, or what?


Totally, can we file this under "too little, too late?"
posted by zzazazz at 11:20 AM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Am I supposed to applaud, throw flowers, or what?

...

I guess I'm not that interested in listening to what you have to say.

...

Totally, can we file this under "too little, too late?"

Another thing to consider would be working together with someone whose goals appear for the moment to be aligned with yours. That could conceivably be more productive in the long run than getting one's judge on.
posted by Jpfed at 11:23 AM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


While I understand the frustration, this is on balance a good thing. He's a prominent conservative who has tremendous skill in PR and fundraising, and he wants to use those skills in service to a good cause. Like, okay, we wish you hadn't done all that other stuff, Ken, but this is a good thing you're doing now.
posted by Mister_A at 11:24 AM on November 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


While I understand the frustration, this is on balance a good thing. He's a prominent conservative who has tremendous skill in PR and fundraising, and he wants to use those skills in service to a good cause. Like, okay, we wish you hadn't done all that other stuff, Ken, but this is a good thing you're doing now.

Right on.
posted by zzazazz at 11:26 AM on November 21, 2012


@cstross - The argument that marriage is inherently conservative and that gay marriage is therefore a good thing is an obvious and even compelling one ... if you subscribe to a "common sense" definition of what marriage is (or should be) - a lasting partnership between two people.

However, the American right (and the Christian right in particular) prefer to push a definition of marriage based off a single man being with a single woman. From that starting definition gay marriage is impossible and Cameron's argument is a non-sequitur.

Every time I hear someone using this narrow definition of marriage I take them up on it, but unfortunately it is normally allowed to be used unchallenged in debates and the media.
posted by samworm at 11:28 AM on November 21, 2012


Mehlman often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."

Hm. Maybe, just maybe, because it's the Republicans who made this a plank in their party platform, who make money talking about how bad things will be if we recognize gay people as full and equal in all their rights to "real Americans," and are working to oppress and vilify this group of people in their own communities. I seriously doubt that you will find many gay Democrats that aren't concerned about terrorism... but not for their own self-interest but because terrorism in all forms really sucks and is bad for the world. The leader of the party-of-self-interest wants the gays to just put that aside and support them in their made-up wars? Hm. I think he has a couple more closets to come out of.
posted by amanda at 11:28 AM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Another thing to consider would be working together with someone whose goals appear for the moment to be aligned with yours. That could conceivably be more productive in the long run than getting one's judge on.

Or one could just ignore him and still work toward that goal. Hell, judge him if you want. He's clearly an opportunistic ass, just because he agrees with you on something doesn't change that. It's not like this guy's work is going to result in the cause of gay marriage suddenly reaching critical mass. Conservatives, in general, oppose gay marriage because of the jesus, at least in my experience. I'm not sure you can change that without killing them all off or changing the institution that they glean their morality from.
posted by IvoShandor at 11:29 AM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Like, okay, we wish you hadn't done all that other stuff, Ken, but this is a good thing you're doing now.

Absolutely this. Do we wish that he hadn't had his road to Damascus, that he was still on the side of the fight he was before? Of course not. He came around and is fighting on the side of the just. Isn't that what gay marriage advocates should want?
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:30 AM on November 21, 2012


Conservatives, in general, oppose gay marriage because of the jesus, at least in my experience.

I think Conservatives, in general, oppose gay marriage because of icky. They oppose homosexuality as a thing. Jesus is just a handy foil.
posted by amanda at 11:31 AM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Like, okay, we wish you hadn't done all that other stuff, Ken, but this is a good thing you're doing now.

Your point is well taken, and no doubt the better way to go. But I can't shake the feeling that allying with a sh*^&head who happens to agree with you one issue will come back to bite you somehow.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:32 AM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Mister_A: "While I understand the frustration, this is on balance a good thing."

Sure, it's a good thing now, while he is on our side. But what happens when a better opportunity comes along with a different perspective? The guy has shown that he is only an opportunist who will take advantage of the situation regardless of the cost, even if that cost is personal to him. He will bail and grab for the power, and then use the changes he made for progress to then hamper the movement.

I want no help from him.
posted by I am the Walrus at 11:35 AM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Capt. Renault: Like, okay, we wish you hadn't done all that other stuff, Ken, but this is a good thing you're doing now.

Absolutely this. Do we wish that he hadn't had his road to Damascus, that he was still on the side of the fight he was before? Of course not. He came around and is fighting on the side of the just. Isn't that what gay marriage advocates should want?
Is it wrong to hope he's wildly successful in achieving parity for gays before US law, but otherwise suffers karmically in every way, shape, and form in his personal life for all the suffering he's caused?

"So, with that phone call, another $1M in donations to the Anybody Can Marry Anybody federal law lobby, and - GODDAMMIT I STUBBED MY TOE AGAIN! That's like the 14th time today!"
posted by IAmBroom at 11:40 AM on November 21, 2012 [11 favorites]


This is better than a deathbed conversion, at least he has time to work to undo all the damage he has done in the past.
posted by arcticseal at 11:42 AM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ken Mehlman is the guy who shows up with a brand new set of power tools to help build you a house after he burned your old one down.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:43 AM on November 21, 2012 [23 favorites]


Sure, it's a good thing now, while he is on our side. But what happens when a better opportunity comes along with a different perspective? The guy has shown that he is only an opportunist who will take advantage of the situation regardless of the cost, even if that cost is personal to him. He will bail and grab for the power, and then use the changes he made for progress to then hamper the movement.

I want no help from him.


One could say the same thing about Sullivan. His conduct after the Presidential debates hinted at this same kind of ready-to-jump-ship-at-a-moment's-notice opportunism. I'm willing to let Mehlman help us, if he really wants to — not so much willing to allow him reinvent himself as one of our civil rights leaders, just because popular sentiment has momentarily changed direction.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:53 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Conservatives, in general, oppose gay marriage because of icky.

But where does the icky come from? Is it the same icky that boys and girls apparently feel about the opposite sex when they're young? I never felt that, and when boys made fun of me for playing with girls I was mystified. Later, in college, when my gay roommates showed me gay porn, it just seemed like straight porn but without anyone interesting in it... sort of goofy and ridiculous, without the redeeming factor of naked girls.

The people who would come over and be all grossed out and confused about homosexuality and get my roommates' eyes rolled at them I think were pretty much all from a religious upbringing. I always assumed that the ick factor was taught and based in religion.

Also, do religious guys who think guys kissing is gross think the same about two girls kissing? I bet not. Do girls think two guys kissing is hot? Mrs. Huck500 says no, but it can be romantic/sad... we just watched A Single Man :'-(

I don't know any religious guys well enough to ask this stuff.

Does anyone know a person who has never been touched by religion but thinks homosexuality is icky? No one I know does, or at least they won't admit to it.

I agree that the most disturbing thing about politicians (not just Republicans) is that they will stick to a position at the expense of themselves and the people they care about, even family... like Cheney and gay marriage. The power is everything.
posted by Huck500 at 12:12 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


From Wikipedia:
During his RNC chairmanship, Mehlman supported social positions of the Republican Party, including opposition to same-sex marriage. Mehlman claimed that he could not have gone against party consensus, but acknowledged that, had he come out of the closet earlier, he could have impacted Republican efforts to pass state initiatives and referenda banning same-sex marriage.
Also:
In June 2011, Ken Mehlman lobbied Republican members of the New York state legislature to support the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York and reached out to conservative donors and operatives
He helped dig a huge fucking hole and chose to do so. it's great that he's now changed his mind, but dude, you still helped to dig that hole.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:16 PM on November 21, 2012


But where does the icky come from?

I always say, if you want to deny civil rights to gays because you think to guys doin' it is gross, how do you feel about civil rights for your parents?
posted by lumpenprole at 12:16 PM on November 21, 2012 [16 favorites]


Metafilter: Sort of goofy and ridiculous, without the redeeming factor of naked girls.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:20 PM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Andrew Sullivan is pretty consistently the only conservative pundit who I can disagree with fundamentally but still like and read.

He'll always be the chickenhawk [1] English pundit coming to the US and pretending to be in touch with the real America, to the point where after 9/11 he denounce all liberals as traitors douchebag to me.

Mehlman is the same of course, jumping ship now the tide has already turned, secure in his privileges as a rich white man and knowning that whatever he did to out gay men could not have hurt him and who cares that his deliberate inflammation of anti-LGBT bigotry would end up hurting others not as lucky as him, all so his boss could win elections.

Fuck the fucking fuckwit. These are the sort of allies you don't need.

[1] In the is enthusiastic for somebody else to fight his wars for him sense, not the likes to have sex with younger men sense,
posted by MartinWisse at 12:22 PM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Huck500, it may have a religious component, but I also think that a lot of people are just grossed out by sex and all its fixtures and appurtenances, except for the very specific kind(s) of sex that actually turn them on. The tension between desire and horror/disgust is a big part of some people's erotic lives.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:32 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Conservatives, in general, oppose gay marriage because of the jesus, at least in my experience. I'm not sure you can change that without killing them all off or changing the institution that they glean their morality from.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:29 PM on November 21


Lots of people change their mind about what their religion means. Christianity can lead some people to be against teh gays, but lots of Christians find compelling Biblical support for a Jesus of love, who wants us all to love one another and isn't bothered about which bits we have. It may not be possible, at least in the short term, to change the specific denominations themselves, but people can switch denominations, or disagree with their minister on one thing and vote differently. We've already seen a huge change in what people believe on this issue, just in the past 30 years, and the proportion of Christians in the population hasn't changed much if at all in that same time.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:34 PM on November 21, 2012


Sorry, I see this the same way I will see any attempts by the GOP to rectify their "Latino Problem."

This isn't because Ken Mehlman actually cares about gays/himself. This is because Ken Mehlman wants to win elections and keep his money. It is convenient that it will also result in recognition of his fundamental rights, but this really isn't about that. This is a wedge issue that is going to continue to drive people away from the Right unless it is neutralized. Far from being the issue that can be used to win the election in 2004, this is now the issue that will prevent the Right from bringing in younger voters who might otherwise be interested in their agenda.

Similarly, any "gifts" to the Latino community in the next four years wont be because they stopped hating brown people who are come to take their jobs. It will be because they realize that in order to win an election, they have to fool some of those brown people into voting for them.
posted by jph at 12:37 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mehlman often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."

Mehlman was (is?) stupid, then. Or blinded. The "greatest anti-gay force" I face in my daily life in the U.S. is from his goddamn party, which has demonized me and mine much more often than I have been blown up by terrorists. Also, Ken, it's not like your party is the only one that opposes terrorism. I can vote for a party that opposes terrorism *and* that appointed a Secretary of State who stood up in front of the world and said
It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave. It is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished. It is a violation of human rights when lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments, or when people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives. And it is a violation of human rights when life-saving care is withheld from people because they are gay, or equal access to justice is denied to people because they are gay, or public spaces are out of bounds to people because they are gay. No matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we are, we are all equally entitled to our human rights and dignity.
What has your party done for me? For us, all across the globe?
posted by rtha at 12:43 PM on November 21, 2012 [14 favorites]


Lots of people change their mind about what their religion means. Christianity can lead some people to be against teh gays, but lots of Christians find compelling Biblical support for a Jesus of love, who wants us all to love one another and isn't bothered about which bits we have.

Absolutely. And the gay marriage train has left the station and is pulling into the end of the line, soon I hope. None of this has seemed to deter the Republicans from opposition though. If it's not the jesus, then they're just assholes (well, they are even with the jesus). And apparently, closeted assholes at that. Of course that won'tl stop me from seeing religion as idiotic.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:47 PM on November 21, 2012


Outside the US echo chamber, you might want to look at the UK, where Conservative leader David Cameron is a strong advocate of gay marriage.

The British Conservatives also have highest number of openly gay MPs of any party in the UK Parliament ( it's the all-boys public school (which is UK English for private school) effect )
posted by Bwithh at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2012


No. Fuck him.

He is the worst kind of person. He made other people's lives miserable with their own government as his tool. And he did it for money and power. There is no forgiveness for willful actions like this.

He should die alone, penniless, and hated.
posted by CarlRossi at 12:50 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rtha articulates my thoughts about this perfectly. It's great that he's all for gay people being equal members of society, now that he's come out of the closet. But he's still a member of a party that is actively dragging down the entire country and home to a largest collection of homophobes, racists and wanna be controllers of women.

It's the goddamn United States of America, founded on the principle that every citizen has the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and it's the 21st century. If you're taking any sort of step to prevent consenting adults from loving each other, then just get the fuck out. Because you clearly don't understand what the hell this country is about and you don't belong here.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:53 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's the same kind of icky that compels people to ascribe characteristics like "manly" and "feminine" to things which are cultural constructs. It's part of supporting the status quo of a white, male patriarchy. For those folks that are somewhere on the spectrum between strict hetero vs homosexual (many, many, many people), these feelings can be confusing to address in a society that actively discriminates against and pathologizes homosexuality. And that's not even to get into how weirded out and strange people are about sex in general. Especially in the American culture.

When I was a kid, raised in a Lutheran family, conservative, military with a gay uncle whose brother, my father, struggled to maintain his temper whenever the subject was brought up - I didn't get the whole marriage equality thing. And I was probably a little uncomfortable with all the concepts, too. I'm embarrassed to say that it took meeting my uncle's long-time partner (his, ahem, "housemate") at my grandfather's funeral to realize that, frankly, it's none of my business. I can feel however I want but it's not my business to tell people how to live their lives. And maybe I don't understand but so what? Since then, I've made some wonderful gay friends and support them unequivocally and have little patience for those who can't just step back and accept that their own little feelings don't trump someone else's whole life and happiness.

But, hey, my father (and many, many other people) have said that "it's disgusting." I believe them when they say this. It may or may not be mixed with religion but I have less patience with "feeling icky" than I do with religion. Not a lot less patience but a little.
posted by amanda at 1:00 PM on November 21, 2012


The Republican strategy of dragging out the troglodyte base by demonizing the other until it finally becomes too socially unacceptable to continue, then actually accepting that the other might be sort of human but still fighting against every new development while casting around for a new other is getting pretty damn old. Instead of "oh, maybe gays are people too" how about "hey, maybe we should treat people as people, and stop using every dog whistle we can think of."

Because you know what, I probably would never vote republican, even if they cleaned up their act, but at least I could respect them if they didn't keep using the same damn playbook, generation after generation.

In short: Fuck that, I hope Ken Mehlman dies miserable and alone.
posted by aspo at 1:07 PM on November 21, 2012


The only reason gay marriage doesn't have wide conservative appeal in the U.S. is that conservatives and fundamental Christians have allied themselves with each other. Granted, that's a hell of a reason.

Good luck breaking up those bed fellows, Ken. If conservatives didn't hoodwink the Jesus-ites into voting their essentially un-Christian agenda, there'd be no Republican party *at all.*
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:18 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really read this as some conservatives realizing that gay marriage is coming and they are trying to get on the winning side before it happens on an even larger scale.

This case is definitely unique, given his past history of anti-gay involvement, but it frustrates me to no end.
posted by glaucon at 1:20 PM on November 21, 2012


Mehlman isn't the only conservative who is supporting marriage equality. Original "vulture" hedge fund boss Paul Singer donated $250,000 to the Maryland marriage amendment. His son married his partner in Massachusetts a few years ago. Singer, who is Jewish, also was a huge Giuliani for prez supporter, so I guess a certain social liberalism is acceptable for him.

Singer's hedge fund also was the No. 1 funder of Paul Ryan's PAC.
posted by purpleclover at 1:35 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, a lot of Christians have watered down what the Bible says about divorce, and about helping the poor, and about loving their neighbor as themselves, and even about sex before marriage. It's a matter of time.


Following the Lord is about a whole lot more than whether or not you see gay marriage as something to support or not support. But if you'd like to talk about what Jesus says about anything it might be best to go with the Jesus that is rather than the fuzzy American Jesus most people seem to think they are following-the one they are confusing with Santa.

I wish Christians would quit pandering to politicians, period, and I wish politicians would quit pretending they care about what Christians think when the truth is they just care about the votes.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:37 PM on November 21, 2012


The Christians can forgive him as far as I care.

Maybe in 20 years if he's done REALLY AWESOME WORK he will have atoned enough to satisfy me.

But then again, I'm still kinda GRAR on Colin Powell, so my viewpoint is probably unhelpful.
posted by roboton666 at 1:41 PM on November 21, 2012


The US has long had a seriously schizophrenic right wing -- the usurping of actual arguably "conservative" principles by religious fundamentalists and corporatists has muddled the debate on many issues.

A few examples:

Single Payer health care is pro-entrepreneurial, and therefore classically a feature that old-school US-style conservatives (the more libertarian-leaning conservatives of the mid-20th C, not to be confused with modern US "conservatives") would promote. Freeing individuals from being tied to a specific job in order to keep their health favors people striking out on their own as business people.

Decriminalizing drug possession is a classically conservative value: the libertarian angle is obvious, but reasonable regulation and management of legalized drug markets promotes both economic growth and governmental revenues without the involvement of hiking a personal income tax.

Allowing abortions is a conservative value: both from a perspective of individual liberty / women's rights to determine what happens to their own bodies and health but also from economic benefits of women more likely to finish education and engage in higher paid jobs, being less likely to need governmental assistance, and the decrease of "unwanted" children who are more likely to be subject to abuse -- it's a win/win/win/win/win all around.

Gay rights in general and gay marriage in specific is a conservative value: marriage as a socially-stabilizing institution is well documented. People live longer, healthier lives, support networks expand among families, and promiscuity is diminished among populations who participate.

Get the religious bigots out of conservatism and the right wing in the US will go from being extreme (borderline fascist) in relation to the right wing of other industrialized nations to being much more in line with what most of the first world calls "Conservative."
posted by chimaera at 1:44 PM on November 21, 2012 [11 favorites]


But if you'd like to talk about what Jesus says about anything it might be best to go with the Jesus that is

Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality. He was, however, enthusiastic about love.
posted by Dasein at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Not in a position to back this up right now, but before we attribute Cameron's positivity on gay marriage to purely to dogma or ethics, it's also worth noting that amongst middle-class people under 45 over here, "full" gay marriage polls really well. Given how easy it will be to implement in parliament, it's an easy gift to the demographic he's going to have to win over in 2015, and who don't respond to the nasty party rhetoric that keeps many old folks voting blue.

He may actually believe it too, but it's an easy political win:win - if he really believes in marriage as a force for stability, I'd rather see him expend some actual political capital on it (say by integrating it into immigration and forced deportation policy) before actual crediting him with decency.
posted by cromagnon at 5:02 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality

Self-professed Christians who claim Jesus is opposed to gay people are bearing false witness against their deity. Not that this hasn't stopped them from chasing money or anything else in his name, but there it is.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:57 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jesus had plenty to say about sexual immorality. He had plenty to say about a lot of things. Go read the four gospels and then maybe we can have a basis for discussion-probably best done elsewhere than this thread, I think. (I have no desire to derail, I am simply weary of a simplistic view of the Lord Jesus Christ that unfortunately is prevalent in quite a few places, not just the occasional metafilter thread.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:43 PM on November 21, 2012


[No more of this back and forth starting now, period. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:50 PM on November 21, 2012


fuck this dude, seriously. whenever i'm confronted with assimilationist-gays i can't help but remember the Matt Dillon line from Over The Edge "a kid who rats on another kid is a dead kid."

you know, it's great that some people see the adoption of middle-class existence as some kind of privilege but, isn't the one blessing of being gay the freedom from all of that? to quote the Bard: "...I worry that you’ll work in an office! Have children! Celebrate wedding anniversaries! The world of heterosexuals is a sick and boring life...."

even Octavio Paz, that stalwart of the hetero-normative, said that the most revolutionary act is when two lovers turn their backs on the world. and Janis Joplin via Kris Kristofferson summed it up so succinctly when s/he sang "Freedom's just another word for taking responsibility for yourself and your actions"

What Would Jean Genet Do?
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 8:05 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


The nice thing about a group driven at its base only by the ideology of der Wille zur Macht is that all you have to do to make them change their minds is make it obvious that their ideas are out of vogue with the majority. The GOP will stick to its guns only on issues which poll at least about 40-45%. Push the numbers down and they'll flip like a fish in a pan.

Looking at the slope over the last decade on same-sex marriage, the tipping point has, I think, been reached. In another decade it'll be a part of the GOP platform (although probably buried a bit semantically, to prevent squicking out the doctrinaire religious wing of the party).
posted by Vetinari at 12:22 AM on November 22, 2012


That'll be my project: to squick out the doctrinaire religious wing of the party.
Send funds.
posted by de at 12:25 AM on November 22, 2012


"A majority of Americans favor civil marriage for same-sex couples. Election Day exit polls showed that Americans support marriage equality by 49% to 46%."

Uh Ken? 49% is not a majority...
posted by Dysk at 2:26 AM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mehlman often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."

Because he had his head stuck in the Fox News bubble, which is the only place on Earth that believes Democrats are not opponents of Islamic jihad.
posted by straight at 4:42 PM on November 24, 2012




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