Skip

Dear Mary:
January 27, 2004 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Mary Cheney: "The next time you walk into a gay public place, be prepared for a chorus calling you everything from a quisling and a betrayer to a selfish, fiendish, nasty example of a human being." Michelangelo Signorile's open letter to the VP's gay daughter.
posted by archimago (78 comments total)

 
Isn't that a bit like all those people who say that Colin Powell is "not black" because he doesn't support everything that the "black establishment" (i.e. Jackson & Sharpton) support?
posted by clevershark at 6:29 AM on January 27, 2004


He's got a legitimate point because of her public engagement in the campaign in 2000. But I'm seriously bothered by the way that the left is now indistinguishable from Bush's "you're either with us or against us" rhetoric (and not just on this issue).

It should be easy to get a majority consensus on civil unions that gives gays the legal protections they evidently deserve, and placates the right by studiously avoiding the words "gay marriage", but right now both sides are being led by their extremists. This article may be right, but as political rhetoric it's an objective step backwards for gay rights.
posted by fuzz at 6:37 AM on January 27, 2004


She has a history of covering for bigots--the whole Coors job existed solely to do that for them...we'll see if she is as visible this time out. (and I love signorile--he's not afraid to call people out)
posted by amberglow at 6:39 AM on January 27, 2004


Isn't this a lot of "the sins of the father are visited upon his gay daughter." I don't like Chaney and I definitely oppose any anti-gay legislation, but this just seems like a dumb stunt to me.

Yes, Mary, I’m laying part of the blame for the 2000 election fiasco on you.

That's a bit much. I'm willing to bet that a lotta people didn't even know she existed and even if they did, coulda cared less in terms of voting. It's not like somebody standing in the voting booth said, "You know, I disagree with everything this man stands for, and his policies will make my life harder, but he's gotta gay daughter! Hell, with it, I'm sold!" Not to mention, it's not like whatever gene makes you gay also makes you liberal. People have all kinds of reasons for political decisions.

"The next time you walk into a gay public place, be prepared for a chorus calling you everything from a quisling and a betrayer to a selfish, fiendish, nasty example of a human being."

Lovely. Do what we say or will tear you apart mercilessly. Even if it's on the side of good, that's still a lynch mob mentality. And that I can do without.
posted by jonmc at 6:42 AM on January 27, 2004


I don't know, you've got to think he's right about what Cheney might be saying to his daughter about the necessity of nailing down the base in election season. I kind of shudder at the prospect of a politician willing to sell out his own kid for such purposes, but maybe that's par for the course.
posted by kgasmart at 6:58 AM on January 27, 2004


Everyone knows Cheney has no children. Minions of evil don't reproduce like us, they *spawn*.

I've heard rumors that Cheney's Secret Service call name is "Flakjacket", referencing his protective effect upon the President.

Not even a crazy assassin would want Cheney as prez.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:59 AM on January 27, 2004


You're either with the bigots that want to bring gratuitous grief on us or you're with us - I can't see anything wrong with that. The difference with (at least) the latest right-wing "with us or against us" rhetoric is that - well, them right wingers completely made up the "against us" part. Not the same case here AT ALL.

jonmc I think he is trying to make the point that many in the gay community were aware of the facts - and her involvement in the campaign and that it did have an impact on some people's minds. I'm not sure if that is the case or not. Neither, it seems, do you. So your point gets kinda blurred.
posted by magullo at 7:02 AM on January 27, 2004


I find the lynch mob, with us or against us, tone of this article to be fairly offensive. Just because Ms. Cheney is gay doesn't mean she owes other gay people anything. That's like saying that every heterosexual owes every other breeder a favor.

Perhaps she believed her father was a centrist, or didn't realize how powerful the religious right would be in this administration. Perhaps she's conflicted about her own sexual identity. We don't know. We can't know.

I agree that the VP is the scariest lizard-pod person we've had in elected office in my lifetime, but that's not his daughter's responsibility.

I want the BushCorp out of office as much as the next girl, but blaming the kids of the regime seems petty and shortsighted. It seems to me that time would be better spent recruiting voters and making sure the voters get to the polls than in petulant, childish threats and demands of a person whose impact is negligible at best.
posted by dejah420 at 7:23 AM on January 27, 2004


Gay Republican = idiot
posted by Outlawyr at 7:35 AM on January 27, 2004


"The next time you walk into a gay public place, be prepared for a chorus calling you everything from a quisling and a betrayer to a selfish, fiendish, nasty example of a human being."

But when Mary Cheney walks into any public place, she doesn't do so as a gay woman. She does so as a wealthy and powerful woman.

One of the great privileges of such wealth and power is that it buys you out of having to be gay, for all intents and purposes. She will never suffer from a single one of the indignities inherent in the government's discrimination against us -- she'll never be fired by a bigoted supervisor, she doesn't have to worry about paying her partner's health insurance premiums, and no one's going to dispute her will after she dies. If anyone ever tries something like that, the wrath of the Cheney family will be swift and terrible.

Under the circumstances, it's very easy for her to forget that being gay is a problem for anyone, and underestimate the pain she causes by working (if indirectly) against gay rights efforts. And, unless her social or professional circles somehow bring her in contact with a lot of middle-class gays, very unlikely that she's going to encounter many people who see her situation as at all hypocritical.
posted by Epenthesis at 7:39 AM on January 27, 2004


Amen, Epenthesis.
posted by stonerose at 7:48 AM on January 27, 2004


fuzz: Jim Crowe. Why should that be okay in 2004?

dejah420: Mary's been openly gay for many years and has a partner. I don't think she's conflicted about her identity. She was the lesbian/gay corporate relations manager at Coors, she sat on the pro-gay Republican Unity Coalition, a civil rights group, and is now running her father's re-election campaign, so with all due respect, she does owe gay people something. At the very least a statement as to why she supports her father's ideals that fly in the face of what she has been working toward her adult life. The tone of the article is meant to be offensive. I personally was offended by Bush's SOTU address where he said that he would change my Constitution if need be to ensure my second-class status but then threw me the dignity of asking people not to kill me in the streets when they see me.

I agree with amberglow in that Signorile is calling her out. She's a public figure, acting on behalf of some of the public's interest, and asking her to answer for her actions is extremist? I suppose Rush Limbaugh shouldn't be held to the standards of drug punishments he was so fired up about?

Doesn't it bother you that for some people, dignity has a price tag, and these are the people who are selling you your next president?
posted by archimago at 7:55 AM on January 27, 2004


Very nicely put Epenthesis.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:08 AM on January 27, 2004


archimago: Nobody here is supporting Bush's proposed anti-gay policies, just saying that despite Mary Cheney's familial connection, she's ultimately got very little ability to affect legislation, and that focusing gay people's anger on "calling her out," however emotionally satisfying that might be, is kind of like saying your kids should beat up your landlord's kids at recess cause he raised the rent.
posted by jonmc at 8:10 AM on January 27, 2004


Doesn't it bother you that for some people, dignity has a price tag, and these are the people who are selling you your next president?

I think most people have a price tag...and one of the problems with American politics is the very act of "selling" a president.

I agree that a Constitutional amendment is obscene. I'm not disagreeing with you on any of that. I believe we are in agreement that the religious right should not be making decisions for everyone.

But I don't think that an individual who is not themselves running for office, owes anyone any explanations for their political beliefs, despite their sexual orientation.

I understand that she could be a powerful voice against this regime, but she chooses not to be...and that's her right. She doesn't deserve to be threatened for exercising that right, any more than she deserves to be threatened for being gay.
posted by dejah420 at 8:12 AM on January 27, 2004


jonmc, yes, you are correct, no one has made reference to supporting Bush's policies. I was spinning off of the comment about Signorile's piece being offensive. To me it seems that I'm offended daily by so many different outlets when I all want is the dignity that is afforded the majority. Mary Cheney has every right to do whatever she wants, but that doesn't mean there aren't consequences, and while Signorile is not threatening her, he is saying that she should be prepared to reap what she sows, in the form of public scorn.

As to her ability to affect legislation, I think she could have a strong impact by standing up to the bigotry that is served to her at her own table. It's just my opinion, but to me that is shameful.
posted by archimago at 8:28 AM on January 27, 2004


Just because Ms. Cheney is gay doesn't mean she owes other gay people anything.

That's not why she owes other gay people. She owes them because she campaigned for her father and misled voters.

Perhaps she believed her father was a centrist, or didn't realize how powerful the religious right would be in this administration.

C'mon, dejah. Even if that were true--which I can't imagine it is--she had a responsibility to know what she was campaigning for.

I agree that Signorile's tone is harsh, but then no one is trying to keep me from marrying the person I love.
posted by jpoulos at 8:38 AM on January 27, 2004


Let's hear a big cheer for the continuing attempt by the "Liberal" world to dictate to the rest of us what's good for us, how we must think, how we must act, what we must believe.

I for one welcome our new Liberal masters.

Never Mind that the Bush administration has more minorities than the Clinton administration - they're not the RIGHT ones.

Never mind that Mary Cheney is Gay, she's not toeing (how do you spell that?) the right Gay line.

Never mind all of that, you don't think like us, you're eeeeevil.
posted by swerdloff at 8:51 AM on January 27, 2004


Gay Republican = self loathing homosexual
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:53 AM on January 27, 2004


What a hateful peice of claptrap this article is. I think I will go purge my cache.
posted by ilsa at 9:03 AM on January 27, 2004


Signorile is not threatening her, he is saying that she should be prepared to reap what she sows, in the form of public scorn.

But is she sowing, or is Signorile doing a little sowing on his own? Seems more like he's found a convenient target for his political goals. Being right is no excuse for self-righteousness.

Gay Republican = self loathing homosexual

Exhibit A. I am neither gay, nor a Republican, but this is simplistic to the extreme.

One, not all Republicans are anti-gay.

Two, not all gays are liberal.

I mean do you agree with every postion your party takes? Anyone who says "yes" is either a liar or the worst kind of idiot.

Three, not all homophobes are conservative.
posted by jonmc at 9:03 AM on January 27, 2004


Signorile's point is good, but he did make one formatting error, which I will hereby correct.

...folks will be pointing fingers at you and asking,
"WHAT
THE
FUCK,
MARY?!"

posted by soyjoy at 9:04 AM on January 27, 2004


NOTE: If gay marriage was put to a vote, it would be illegal in the united states by a land slide. Even if everyone voted.

This is one of the fundemental problems of democracy, some things should not be decided by the people, some things should not be put to a vote. eg - should fat people be banned from spandex? The majority might thinks so, but that doesn't make it so.

This is what disturbs me, people actually believe that another's right to marry is *their* business.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 9:13 AM on January 27, 2004


Signorile is now what he's always been - a self-appointed spokesmodel for all that's Good and Gay and who brooks no deviation (pun intended) from His Party Line, not mentaion a first-class, self-important party pooper. Fuck him. Just... fuck him. Oh, yeah, and fuck Larry Kramer, too, while we're at it because I can't ever remember which one is which and I don't even care any more. Fuck them both for no other reason than they're satanic banging of the drum for outing and public humiliation as a means to an end that lots of us 'mo's of assorted shapes and consistencies refuse to condone.

Ending discrimination by violating the very rights of privacy we use as the basis of our own self-determination is hypocritical and just downright despicable. I just so hope there's a cold, lonesome, loathsome junior high school gym in Hell where Signorile gets to wile away Eternity sitting unnoticed on the bleachers while all the handsome varsity male athletes tustle over who gets the quiet, introspective arty-boys and the boys all come together and they just dance and dance and dance...
posted by JollyWanker at 9:20 AM on January 27, 2004


I for one welcome our new Liberal masters.

That's right, bow down. It will go better for you if you surrender now.
posted by Hildago at 9:31 AM on January 27, 2004


Let's hear a big cheer for the continuing attempt by the "Liberal" world to dictate to the rest of us what's good for us, how we must think, how we must act, what we must believe.

I can't speak for the "Liberal" world, but I can tell you I'm not too happy about the current administration's willingness to change the Constitution so that my fifteen-year monogamous relationship with my lover has less standing that Britney Spears' half-day marriage. I helped put him through law school, we're sharing a mortgage, but we don't have the rights that any heterosexual person can easily get through marriage.

Never mind that Mary Cheney is Gay, she's not toeing (how do you spell that?) the right Gay line.

The fact that she's gay, by itself, is irrelevant. When she uses that fact to campaign for the administration - the same one that's happy to keep me a second-class citizen - then she's crossed the line. Who's dictating to whom again?

Ending discrimination by violating the very rights of privacy we use as the basis of our own self-determination is hypocritical and just downright despicable.

How's he violating her privacy? Isn't it public knowledge that she's working on the reelection campaign? I think that justifies a higher level of public scrutiny. Signorile may be histrionic and annoying, but in this case he's right.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:31 AM on January 27, 2004


Three, not all homophobes are conservative.

Has anyone here ever met a lefty homophobe?

As for gay repub = self hating gay, its really a subset of a larger truth. The republican party has never come close to advancing the iterests of the gay community, and often has stood in opposition to those many interests.

Its a subset of if you make less than 200k a year and you vote for the elephant you're throwing your vote to the party that isn't in your corner. Would you find fault with that generalization, JonMC?

Back to Ms. Cheney: Yes she's coming under fire in a classic Signorile attack (he made his name as a writer as the one who popularized outing famous closeted homosexuals.)

Yes, the article is strongly worded and righteous. Isn't that the natural response to one of your own selling you out in an intense conflict? If you accept that she is selling out the Gay Community's political interests, is egalitarianism really the appropriate response?
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:06 AM on January 27, 2004


Has anyone here ever met a lefty homophobe?

They're not about to admit it, but trust me, homophobia isn't a political condition so much as a psychological disorder.

Its a subset of if you make less than 200k a year and you vote for the elephant you're throwing your vote to the party that isn't in your corner. Would you find fault with that generalization, JonMC?

I don't disagree with your assessment that they are throwing their support in the wrong corner, but others may see it differently. Dosen't make them self-hating neccessarily. Where you prefer to put your dick, dosen't neccessarily have any connection with how you feel, about say, the war in Iraq or farm subsidies. So that's why I considered it a cheap rhetorical shot.
posted by jonmc at 10:16 AM on January 27, 2004


Imagine the black daughter of a US politician (was it Strom Thurmond? Ah, google tells me it was) campaigning for her daddy, in the conviction that he would be a force for reform of Jim Crow/Civil Rights era.
Then she discovers he thinks the time ain't right, or his paymasters have gone off the idea, whatever.
Does the daughter have any obligation to her community - to take political responsibility for the swing votes that clinched a finely balanced election?

Please, don't tell me that the analogy isn't the same. I know that: I'm asking for you to use your imagination, an essential part of an empathetic human conscience.

Then, tell me, if the daughter was silent: would the community have any understandable anger at the outcome?
posted by dash_slot- at 10:17 AM on January 27, 2004


I've met lefty homophobes...they're no better than righty ones.

And: Mary Cheney is not a daughter who has been tucked away in some mountain home out of sight. She has been an open and honest, proud lesbian for years. In fact, she specifically had a role at the Coors Brewing Company as marketing liaison to the gay and lesbian community. Some have tried to swat back journalists simply for making an inquiry about this daughter, and about her sexual orientation - and they've been sharply rebuffed based on some false notion of privacy. ...But her sexual orientation is not a private matter and it has not been a private matter for some time. And the press, we hope, will not be intimidated by this pseudo argument of privacy. This wall has been apparently erected, no doubt, by the Bush-Cheney campaign team.
Why is this relevant at all? It is relevant because Mary's presence is precisely what we have been saying for years; gay people live inside of American families. Even inside the family of an individual who is now seeking to be vice president of the United States. If Mary were a commercial fisherman and a major candidate for national office was for banning commercial fishing - you would anticipate quite a stir from the nation's media. At a minimum, there would be inquiry, commentary and analysis. Put another way - If there were some proposal to ban all left-handed people from many aspects of American life, again, you would think there would be analysis and a stir. The fact is this: the presence of Mary Cheney as an openly lesbian person - that fact alone - (that status, her mere presence) shines a light on the fact that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have positions of grave concern to gay and lesbian people in this country. It also shines a light on some amazing ironies and it opens areas of inquiry that have not been explored with precision. Whether someone is fired from their job, or left to hang on a fence to die, banned from adopting a child, obstructed from full and honest service in the armed forces of the United States is not a private matter. These are important areas of public policy inquiry and so far they have not been probed deeply.
-- from Human Rights Campaign in 2000. These issues still haven't been probed deeply (funny choice of words tho) : >

and i can't find a transcript, but over and over during the last election, Mary Cheney would go on CNN and say things like, "I'm proof of the tolerance and openness of the Republican Party" and "My father is not bigoted or discriminatory", and all that shit...it was her job to present a front for those assholes. Any shit she gets from anyone is deserved.

(excuse the length, but many stupid and/or wealthy gay folks did vote Bush in 2000, based entirely on what people like Mary Cheney said. Fools.)
posted by amberglow at 10:32 AM on January 27, 2004


You know what gets under my skin? We hear all the time the most disgusting vitriol from the right wing--and not just wackos on the fringes, but members of the current administration and congress--aimed at people for being gay and trying to marry, or not loving the country enough, or not praying enough, or not hating Iraq enough, or whatever. But someone comes out and criticizes a public figure when their way of life is at stake, and suddenly it's "now now, don't be so self-righteous". These are real issues that affect people's everyday lives in very concrete ways, and somehow being angry about it makes you an "extremist".

For the president of the united states to use the state of the union to propose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is not just wrong--it's disgusting. It's atrocious. It's UN-A-FUCKING-MERICAN. you're damn right people are pissed--and not just about this. I think people are showing a tremendous amount of restraint, given the circumstances.

What a hateful peice of claptrap this article is. I think I will go purge my cache.

Did you do that after the president's speech the other night? This is just some guy with a column on the internet. The real hatred is institutionalized and coming out of (i assume) your elected officials. How can a little article like this bother you so much, but the state of this country bother you so little (and it must bother you very little, or you'd have a little more understanding why people like Signorile are so angry).
posted by jpoulos at 10:41 AM on January 27, 2004


Her father's a fat-cat republican, she's collecting her due, and Signorile is really posting a follow-up to a newsworthy issue from the last election in which the querstion was "can the lesbian daughter of a repub VP actually get gay votes and help her community."

I recall that the during the 2000 election, when the news started duscussing mary's sexual orientation that she gave lots of interviews discussing how she was walking a fine line between both worlds but that she felt she had something worthwhile to contribute as a gay woman in that election.

In hindsight, the apple fell not far from the tree and her faux-balancing act was political camouflage. Not easily distinguished from the entire cheney/bush 2000 platform.

If you don't see that as good cause for anger on the part of gay voters, then you're likely quite OK with the current administration and congrats on that mighty pay check in your hand.
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:54 AM on January 27, 2004


For the president of the united states to use the state of the union to propose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is not just wrong--it's disgusting. It's atrocious. It's UN-A-FUCKING-MERICAN.

It also didn't happen.

I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under federal law as a union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.

Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people's voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.



What I take this to mean is that a Judge should not force a state to recognize another state's laws, not that the federal government would outlaw a State's right to permit same sex marriage.
posted by Mick at 10:58 AM on January 27, 2004


So if gay marriage is so obviously a good thing, can someone explain this?
posted by techgnollogic at 11:00 AM on January 27, 2004


think people are showing a tremendous amount of restraint, given the circumstances.

I have to agree here. I have little to no patience left with this kind of shit, the outright hatred and bigotry spewed from the mouths of our elected leaders, for any segment of the population, not just gay people. Yet we're expected to play nice and be tolerant of the people who want to legislate us back into the closets and back alleys, or the people who turn their backs on us when the political winds shift? Not gonna happen. Oh look, everyone on the floor of the government building whose heat I am paying for is applauding the president when he says that marriage is a sacred institution between a man and woman and should never be challenged!! Excuse me while I skip down the road!!

I may not always agree with Signorile's tactics but I have infinitely more respect for him than someone like Bush who couches what he says in doublespeak and obfuscation.
posted by archimago at 11:09 AM on January 27, 2004


I for one welcome our new Liberal masters.

uh, that should be "overlords"
posted by centrs at 11:16 AM on January 27, 2004


So if gay marriage is so obviously a good thing, can someone explain this?


You are kidding, yes? Gay marriage didn't save the already declining marriage rates in Scandinavia, therefore gay marriage is a bad thing.

The only other explanation is that it is an article from the future, having been published in September 2004.
posted by archimago at 11:18 AM on January 27, 2004


What I take this to mean...

It was very carefully worded for a specific reason--so that you could say "he didn't call for an amendment banning gay marriage", while those who support the idea could say "what a good president! he called for an amendment banning gay marriage".

and if that is really what he meant, why would we need to use the "constitutional process"? The Defense of Marriage act is law. And I don't see any court decision--in Vermont or Massachusetts or anywhere--that requires other states to recognize their definition of marriage.
posted by jpoulos at 11:21 AM on January 27, 2004


uh, that should be "overlords"

Actually, I prefer the term "God-king" but your heart is in the right place so I'll let it slide...
posted by aramaic at 11:23 AM on January 27, 2004


Kurtz's claim isn't that gay marriage hasn't saved the institution, but that gay marriage has further weakened it. Is he wrong, if so how so, and if he's right that it has had a negative effect there, what effect would it have here?

And dude I have no clue what's up with the date on that thing. Weird.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:26 AM on January 27, 2004


So if gay marriage is so obviously a good thing, can someone explain this?

Why don't you first explain why you think it's relevant.

Gay couples can't just accidentally have children like straight couples can. Child-raising by a gay couple is a conscious choice. Any couple, gay or straight, that wants to adopt a child has to go through an evaluation process first, followed by lots of legal red tape. I think it's more likely than not that by the time a gay couple has completed the process of adopting a child, the members of that couple have thought long and hard about their commitment to each other.
posted by Tin Man at 11:26 AM on January 27, 2004


Gay marriage didn't save the already declining marriage rates in Scandinavia, therefore gay marriage is a bad thing.

Exactly. The fact that marriage is, for many people, becoming an outdated and useless social convention has to do more with the idea of marriage itself, and not with gay marriage. Blaming people who LIKE the institution enough to want to participate in it for its downfall is illogical. I find it extremely weird (as usual) that people think other people's private lives and choices are their business. Why does it matter if fewer people are getting or staying married? What's it got to do with you? I think marriage as a widely-relevant thing is highly over-rated (and I'm happily married), and the whole "defense of marriage" claptrap drives me insane (what are you defending it from, exactly? How does other people getting married or not affect you in any way, shape or form?). People who are threatened by the idea of "marriage" being between any two people, regardless of gender, must have a pretty insecure idea of what marriage means to them.
posted by biscotti at 11:31 AM on January 27, 2004


If you don't see that as good cause for anger on the part of gay voters, then you're likely quite OK with the current administration and congrats on that mighty pay check in your hand.

No one said you shouldn't be angry about the proposed amendment, and I loathe the current administration, and I'm willing to bet that your paycheck dwarfs mine.

I'm in favor of allowing gay marriage because I could honestly care less what grown people want to do with eachother. Marry a tree stump in your back yard if it makes you happy.

I didn't like the article because of Signorile's petualant attitude and the fact that his anger would be more productively aimed at Bush & Cheney themselves rather than their offspring. Plus the "gay rebub=self-hating" just struck me as the epitome of tolerating diversity of everything except opinion.

But that's my classic dilemma. I'm a person who supports most leftist principles but can't stand most leftists. It's a wonderful quandary.
posted by jonmc at 11:32 AM on January 27, 2004


So if gay marriage is so obviously a good thing ...

Good, bad, I don't give a rat's ass. I want the same rights as everyone else. Period.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:35 AM on January 27, 2004


Has anyone here ever met a lefty homophobe?

Fidel Castro is a well-known homophobe & Cuba is no picnic for (local) gays.

Disclaimer: If I have to choose, I'm a lefty. And I think Fidel Castro and the rest of the heads of Cuba are lefties too. And I admire many of the things they've done and still do. But I loathe their homophobia.
posted by magullo at 11:45 AM on January 27, 2004


Has anyone here ever met a lefty homophobe?

Oh, very yes.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:51 AM on January 27, 2004


I didn't like the article because of Signorile's petualant attitude and the fact that his anger would be more productively aimed at Bush & Cheney themselves rather than their offspring.

If by "productive" you mean "more likely to make a difference", I think he's right on target. I don't think Mary Cheney is self-hating, and I suspect she's more willing to change her behavior than her father's administration is.

I'm a person who supports most leftist principles but can't stand most leftists. It's a wonderful quandary.

Maybe the cries of the dispossessed are unpleasant listening?
posted by me & my monkey at 11:59 AM on January 27, 2004


Kurtz's claim isn't that gay marriage hasn't saved the institution, but that gay marriage has further weakened it.

It's the logic of it that bothers me. How can you measure the weakening effect of a factor on something that is already successfully cannibalizing itself? Who's to say that the same results would not have been attained without legalized gay marriage, considering the downward spiral it was already on? The majority of that article is about what the heterosexual people have done to the institution themselves, and he goes as far back as the 60s, so to say that gay marriage in the last handful of years has further weakened a system that was already headed toward collapse just seem silly. If anything, that is an argument FOR gay marriage. Hey look, the gays treat it just the same as the straights!! They really are just like us!! Gay marriage has never been about saving the institution, despite the random claim by Andrew Sullivan, but about getting equal opportunity to make the same messes out of our lives as everyone else.
posted by archimago at 12:00 PM on January 27, 2004


Maybe the cries of the dispossessed are unpleasant listening?

Actually, most of the leftists I've had contact with are far from "dispossessed" themselves, they just tend to fetishize and accessorize those who are.

Like I said, I'm with them principle, but just don't make me hang out with them. They're not much fun, and have horrible taste and no senses of humor. The same is true of the right, as well, just in different ways.

When fun is a priority it's best to hang out with libertarians or the apolitical.
posted by jonmc at 12:05 PM on January 27, 2004


Mick--

What I take this to mean is that a Judge should not force a state to recognize another state's laws

That's not "a judge." That's in the Constitution. It's called "full faith and credit". It's the same principle that sent people to Nevada for quick divorces, which their home states were required to recognize when they got back. It's the principle under which, if I borrow money from you in Delaware, I can't declare the debt invalid because I'm in Connecticut now.

If my marriage in New York isn't valid in New Mexico, or vice versa, there's no basis for the federal government to have any policies that are affected by marital status. No immigration benefits for spouses of citizens, no income tax filing status for married couples, no married couples housing for military personnel.
posted by rosvicl at 12:11 PM on January 27, 2004


I'm in favor of allowing gay marriage because I could honestly care less what grown people want to do with eachother.

How about allowing it because people deserve equal rights? I'm not criticizing you, jon, but in a way the crux of the issue lies in your statement. I'm not gay, but I still have a dog in this fight--because I'm an American, and I believe that I live in the best country in the world, and I believe that the constitution is one of the greatest documents ever written. This is why people are pissed--and why it might appear to some that they're overreacting. Aside from the nuts-n-bolts day-to-day issues I talked about above, there are huge issues at stake over what this country is all about.

That's why this matters so much--to me and to others--and that's why the idea of fucking with the constitution to institutionalize bigotry touches such a huge nerve.
posted by jpoulos at 12:13 PM on January 27, 2004


jon, you always say you hate people ganging up on other people, but this is an instance where the government itself is ganging up on us...Mary Cheney publicly stood and still stands (and gets paid) as a representative of her party's "inclusiveness" and "tolerance". This is not ganging up on the Bush Twins because they're drunken sluts.

Should we not be fighting this shit? It directly affects our lives.
posted by amberglow at 12:15 PM on January 27, 2004


word, jpoulos.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:17 PM on January 27, 2004


Wow. Upon reading that over, I understand what you mean, jon, about not having a sense of humor. Still, I think we live in serious times. This isn't run-of-the-mill politics we're talking about. I honestly believe this country is being changed in unprecedented ways, and it scares the hell out of me.
posted by jpoulos at 12:17 PM on January 27, 2004


I honestly believe this country is being changed in unprecedented ways, and it scares the hell out of me.

I don't disagree, but a lot of my ideas here are tactical more than anything else. Signorile sounds like he's scolding people, which (for better or worse gets their back up).

I remeber the comedian Lewis Black said (in response to some controversy surrounding gay marraige), that on his "list of things to worry about" gay marraige was on like page 78. I kind of feel the same way. In a way, the way I put it: That someones sexual preference bores me to tears*, may help appeal to what you might call the "passive homophobe." The person who might not like what he percieves as "gayness" much but isn't actively anti-gay. Put it to that guy in the form "who really gives a shit what people do?" and you may have him on our side, or at least not with the opposition.

* I make an exception for lesbians with exhibitionist tendencies. You, please explore your feelings more deeply. and in better resolution

also, amber, I was not aware that Mary was so active in her father's campaign. I was dimly aware that he had a gay daughter. I understand the focus alittle more now. I just initially, was irked at the idea that sexuality (or familial relation) required one to take a certain political position.
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on January 27, 2004


Sounds like Dick and Lynne need to have a little "come to Jesus" talk with their daughter and explain to her how being homosexual is such a terrible, terrible thing.

See how kids turn out when they have these damn Godless Marin County hot-tubbing liberals for parents! I blame poor parenting!
/sarcasm
posted by nofundy at 12:40 PM on January 27, 2004


nofundy, assuming motivations and demonizing those you disagree with are at the top of the list of things that alienate people from actually hearing what you have to say.

You may say that your not trying to persuade anyone, but plenty of people read MeFi, and you're doing a lot to alienate them from your position. Not to mention it's just grating, after awhile.

Just something to think about.
posted by jonmc at 12:52 PM on January 27, 2004


She has us both ways. If we decry her actions, we're tearing down the traditional family unit, giving fodder to the right; if we don't, we're hypocritical self-hating homophobes, giving fodder to the right.

So, best thing to do: ignore her (and Signorile), and do what you can do. Start locally. Work your way up.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:03 PM on January 27, 2004


When fun is a priority it's best to hang out with libertarians or the apolitical.

I'm pretty much in the libertarian camp, but I'll be more jolly when I'm no longer a second-class citizen, ok? Either get the government out of the business of marriage (the ideologically purer solution for me, but very unlikely) or get the government out of the business of figuring out which couples can marry.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:07 PM on January 27, 2004


It's called "full faith and credit". It's the same principle that sent people to Nevada for quick divorces, which their home states were required to recognize when they got back.

Actually, the full faith and credit clause does not require recognition of all out-of-state marriages, there's a pretty wide-open exception for "public policy". For example, states that don't allow first cousins to marry need not allow an out-of-state cousin marriage. Or to cite a less pleasant example, states with mescegenation laws during the Jim Crow era were not required to recognize out-of-state interracial marriages, until the miscegenation laws themselves were struck down as violations of equal protection.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support the DOMA or the policy it represents. I strongly believe gay marriage should be legal throughout the union.(*) It is a simple matter of equal rights and I don't think it should be up for a vote.

But claiming the DOMA has no force because of the full faith and credit clause is factually incorrect, and actually plays into the hands of the amendment-pushing bigots.

If this is a fight we have to win state by state, so be it. I believe it will be won in time. This proposed amendment is so dangerous precisely because it preempts the possibility of state-by-state change.

* - I would actually prefer for the government to get out of the marriage business entirely, and just neutrally recognize whatever kind of unions people want to have. But just getting rid of the discrimination would be a huge step forward.
posted by maciej at 3:37 PM on January 27, 2004


"...into a gay public place..."

I didn't know places could be gay. No, seriously, what the hell is this supposed to mean? Are certain locations gayer than others? Isn't this kind of "don' choo come round heah no moah" statement demeaning to people who tie their personal identities -- to some extent -- to the politics of their sexuality?
posted by majick at 4:04 PM on January 27, 2004


Are certain locations gayer than others?
Gay bars, restaurants, giftshops, clothing stores, community centers, pride events, dances, parties, fundraisers, symposia, lectures, etc.....
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on January 27, 2004


bookstores, resorts, street fairs in gay neighborhoods, areas of certain beaches, oh--and Barney's warehouse sales..... ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:10 PM on January 27, 2004


So a place assumes a gay identity by being frequented by people who are gay? Wow. All this time, growing up as a kid in what's now called the Castro and thinking how cool it was to have all these carefully dressed people out on the street and some pretty good shopping in the neighborhood, I was thinking that it was people who were gay. Go figure!
posted by majick at 5:15 PM on January 27, 2004


"Queer Space" is a big deal: queer spaces (london-centric), and all of these listed, for a start, and this book is a standard.
(the field mixes urban studies and queer theory) : >
posted by amberglow at 5:57 PM on January 27, 2004


amberglow, isn't "queer spaces" just a new intellectualized wrinkle on the same old tired tribal territorialism that's at least partly to blame for the mess the world's in?
posted by jonmc at 7:44 PM on January 27, 2004


maybe, but they are very real spaces nonetheless...the other day I went into a comic book store in midtown for the first time (for this warholesque Vertical comic book that was reviewed in a gay paper), and it was mobbed with people, but I wasn't comfortable at all--it was a clearly occupied space and I wasn't a member.
posted by amberglow at 7:48 PM on January 27, 2004


Exactly, but why add to that by creating another clearly delineated space that'll make somebody else feel the same way? My generally policy has always been that I can put up with anyone who can put up with me, beyond that the fucking world is my space as far as I'm concerned and I'll extend the same courtesy.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 PM on January 27, 2004


jon, most of these spaces are spontaneously generated by people who feel comfortable among their own kind--gay neighborhoods in big cities have been literally lifesavers to people who couldn't be who they were, or were at risk of terrible things if they were, in their hometowns.

It's the same principle as ethnic neighborhoods really--when my greatgrandparents came here, they lived with other recently arrived jews. Your neighborhood is a really good example of that. It's not exclusionary per se, but if you are part of the group it's great to know it's there for you. It's more of a positive for members of the group than a negative for nonmembers I think.
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on January 27, 2004


You can also see it happening in Jersey in Plainfield and Asbury Park--gay and lesbian couples and families are moving in because the areas have been pre-pioneered for them, and they know they won't be hassled or discriminated against, in the school system or on the street, or anywhere. A new suburban gay space.
posted by amberglow at 8:06 PM on January 27, 2004


amberglow, isn't "queer spaces" just a new intellectualized wrinkle on the same old tired tribal territorialism that's at least partly to blame for the mess the world's in?

No, they're an escape from that tribal territorialism - we're not beating up the breeders there, if that's what you're getting at.

My company is located in one of these "gay spaces", and I'm the only gay employee, and I don't think any of my coworkers feel threatened or excluded by the neighborhood.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:30 PM on January 27, 2004


jon, most of these spaces are spontaneously generated by people who feel comfortable among their own kind--gay neighborhoods in big cities have been literally lifesavers to people who couldn't be who they were, or were at risk of terrible things if they were, in their hometowns.

The second half of that sentence is certainly understandable since I can understand the desire not to be hassled for being yourself. But the first half (and I'm not accusing you, just making an observation) "comfortable among our own kind," that's the kind of thing people used to say to justify (or acquiesce to) segregated neighborhoods and the like. Obviously, homophobes, not gays, are the instigators of this but to buy in and perpetuate it seems dangerous to me.

It's the same principle as ethnic neighborhoods really--when my greatgrandparents came here, they lived with other recently arrived jews. Your neighborhood is a really good example of that.

Yes, but there's a dark side to that neighborhoody good feeling. Think of what happens when blacks or Puerto Ricans tried to move in to those neighborhoods like your grandparents or my dad's old irish nabe out in Queens. Any group, including those who have been themselves persecuted, are prey to developing these attitudes.

No, they're an escape from that tribal territorialism - we're not beating up the breeders there, if that's what you're getting at.

My company is located in one of these "gay spaces", and I'm the only gay employee, and I don't think any of my coworkers feel threatened or excluded by the neighborhood.


I don't know you so I wouldn't accuse you ove that, but dosen't the very idea of calling someplace a "gay space" denote a bit of "this is our turf," style thinking. I'm not saying gays are any more prone to this than whites, blacks, straights, Armenians or comic book collectors, but it's been my experience that people will find any reason to band together into little Balkanized Travis Bickle tribes and that's what worries me.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 AM on January 28, 2004


I don't know you so I wouldn't accuse you ove that, but dosen't the very idea of calling someplace a "gay space" denote a bit of "this is our turf," style thinking.

Sure, to a certain degree. But it's not a matter of balkanization as much as relief from the pressure of a relatively unfriendly world. It's more a matter of "this is our turf, so we can hold hands if we want to without worrying."

Furthermore, I suspect that even in the gayest of "gay spaces," there are plenty of straight people, and perhaps more than there are gay people.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:42 AM on January 28, 2004


No comment, I just wanted to say the Metafilter is the only forum I've ever found in which gay issues can be discussed critically (as jonmc is doing above) without it being mud-slinging or platitude-shilling. You homolefties kick ass.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:05 PM on January 28, 2004


we do rock (unless 111 or someone baits us, we're pretty good)
posted by amberglow at 12:07 PM on January 28, 2004


OK, let's not start sucking each others' dicks here ...
posted by fuzz at 6:43 PM on January 28, 2004


: >
posted by amberglow at 6:46 PM on January 28, 2004


"Paging Log Cabin Republicans, paging Log Cabin Republicans, White Courtesy Telephone pleassse....Paging Log Cabin Republi......."
posted by troutfishing at 8:49 AM on February 24, 2004


« Older Is Privacy an Urban Myth?   |   Byzantine Medieval Hypertexts Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post