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Tell me the stories that will embarrass those conservative bigots that are backing a constitutional ban on our formalized relationships.
January 25, 2007 8:58 PM   Subscribe

The dirty underbelly -- I'm sick and tired of these hypocritical Hoosier legislators who think that my sex life or relationship status is any of their business. Do I intrude on who they're sleeping with? I didn't, but I'm going to start now. ...Consider this a call to arms gossip. ... -- Bilerico, a GLBT blog in Indiana, fighting their proposed state Constitutional Amendment to ban marriage and all other rights for gay and lesbian couples and families.
posted by amberglow (40 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm studying constitutional law and civil rights and the one thing I've noticed is that advances in civil liberties don't happen without a fight.

Bad legislation has to be crafted, put on the books, and ensnare multiple unfortunates before some crafty defense lawyer is able to appeal up to the SCOTUS where level heads tend to prevail.

Despite the makeup of the current SC I think a reasonably crafted appeal for equal marriage rights for homosexuals would have a good chance of being upheld.

So IMHO fighting this legislation at the grass roots level only prolongs this low level state by state discrimination against gays. Once this discrimination is codified into law then it can be squashed by the 800lb civil liberty gorilla: our US Constitution.
posted by wfrgms at 9:10 PM on January 25, 2007


I think we should level the playing field and ban heterosexual marriage along with homosexual. It's a proven fact that marriage is the leading cause of divorce.
posted by mullingitover at 9:11 PM on January 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is there anyone in Indiana who would be willing to amend the proposal, so that it included lots of other stuff from Leviticus? Ie, cut off a woman's hand if she grabs her husband's rival's testicles during a fight, or requirements for separating women from the world when they're on the rag, or the death penalty for worshipping false idols?
posted by ibmcginty at 9:21 PM on January 25, 2007




ibmcginty, while I give you props for wanting to treat the disease by killing the patient, the fact is that modern American Religious Right brand discrimination against homosexuals has nothing to do with the bible and everything to do with incompatible cultures.

When you look at religious right literature it very rarely says anything about a Biblical prohibition against homosexuality, rather they come at it from a family-values, protect-our-children-from-the-gay-agenda angle. The religious right learned a long time ago that arguing their views from a biblical standpoint in the public square gets them no where. They have much greater success among middle Americans (who only the most vague ideas about the Bible anyway) by auguring against what they view as unhealthy life style "choices." See also abstinence, teetotalism, etc.

They argue against gay marriage because they view it as the state promoting a life style which they link (quite incorrectly I think) to a cycle of self-abuse, drug use, promiscuity, and disease (HIV/AIDS).
posted by wfrgms at 9:33 PM on January 25, 2007


That a great cartoon, scottreynen!
posted by amyms at 9:38 PM on January 25, 2007


that's great, scott : >

We're stuck with state-by-state battles until the Supremes decide to take a case--i have my doubts they would even take one, with the current makeup and Roberts as Chief Justice. Foley and Haggard (and the others there, as well as past public indiscretions by public moralists) and even Cheney's daughter getting pregnant have all shown that it works, and that people pay attention-- rightly or not, for highminded reasons or not.
posted by amberglow at 9:38 PM on January 25, 2007


I'm reminded of Cheney and Blitzer just the other day--Cheney can't stand being reminded of his daughter's life, and harshly criticized Blitzer for mentioning it -- instead of those on the right who actually were blatantly condemning his daughter's life. There's power in that, even when met with hostility (or even especially when met with hostility and such a strong misdirected reaction).
posted by amberglow at 9:43 PM on January 25, 2007


It's nice to see hypocrisy exposed, particularly in elected officials. Gossip, though, is a very dangerous game. Good luck to bilerico.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:48 PM on January 25, 2007


Wow. Did I touch a nerve? ...But what do you think? Is it fair? Is it worthwhile as a strategy? Am I misguided? Do you have a better way? Let's have it. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:49 PM on January 25, 2007


I think we need to shame them into doing the right thing and voting against discrimination.

I hate this kind of legislated bigotry as much as any gay person with half a brain would. I lived in a state that passed one of these Neanderthal laws (Michigan, right next door).

But I fail to see how exposing/tattling/spreading gossip about closeted or hypocritical politicians is going to "shame them into doing the right thing." If they're the hypocrites they appear to be, not much will shame them at all. Complete lack of shame is how they manage to lead double lives without a hint of internal contradiction. Just look at Ted Haggard.
posted by blucevalo at 9:57 PM on January 25, 2007


Hey, back of the bus you second class citizens.

I dont see it getting better in our future, gay rights and abortion are token arguments to distract you from real issues, like a balanced budget, and constitutional restrictions. Gay rights are already passing at the state levels, just not gay marriage. But side note on gay marriage, the leading cause of divorce is marriage, so welcome to hell! :)
posted by IronWolve at 10:35 PM on January 25, 2007


My opinion is that hypocritical public figures who use their positions of civil power to undermine and deny the civil rights of their constituents - for doing the same thing they, themselves, do in private - have no right to be shown the graces of polite society that would otherwise spare them from embarrassing exposure.

They have already forfeited that consideration by virtue of their setting themselves in a position of hypocritically passing judgment on others.

I have no qualms whatsoever about Mark Foley or Ted Haggard or anyone like them being outed.
posted by darkstar at 10:37 PM on January 25, 2007


blucevalo:

It will send a message that you better be without sin if you wish to cast the legeslative stone. Youtube and blogs will beat any ethics committee. Ask Mark Foley.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:40 PM on January 25, 2007


IMO it'd be a damn good idea to put every aspect of the politician's life under a microscope. The hypocrites, cheaters, liars, and thieves need to be given the boot from public office.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:26 PM on January 25, 2007


Gay rights are already passing at the state levels, just not gay marriage.
No, they're not, and these amendments often preclude any couple or family rights ever being granted--the Indiana one is harsh like Virginia's and others, and doesn't allow for anything resembling any kind of civil union or domestic partnership or anything at all that marriage gives--no family protections at all or property or health or anything. This can actually remove rights already gained, and has done so in other states (and especially in cities where they had domestic partnership laws before a state thing like this got thru)
This Consitution or any other Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

"the legal incidents of" covers many many things--thousands of state and local laws and benefits and rights.
posted by amberglow at 11:48 PM on January 25, 2007


My opinion is that hypocritical public figures who use their positions of civil power to undermine and deny the civil rights of their constituents - for doing the same thing they, themselves, do in private

How is it hypocritical of them to try to force others to keep private what they themselves do in private? I can think of lots of pejorative terms for it, but hypocritical isn't one of them.
posted by JekPorkins at 11:55 PM on January 25, 2007


Jek,
Are you saying homosexaul intercourse only happens in public?

Or that all heterosexual relationships are monogamous and done in private?

Hypocrisy, thy name is self-righteousness.
posted by nofundy at 6:01 AM on January 26, 2007


*spell check!*
posted by nofundy at 6:02 AM on January 26, 2007


IMO it'd be a damn good idea to put every aspect of the politician's life under a microscope. The hypocrites, cheaters, liars, and thieves need to be given the boot from public office.

And who do you think would run for office under these conditions? Isn't this part of the reason we get scum bags as it is? Because any sane, reasonable person would not put themselves into the cauldron? You do something like you've suggested and you basically reduce the field to only the most desparately power hungry.
posted by spicynuts at 6:10 AM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


You do something like you've suggested and you basically reduce the field to only the most desparately power hungry.

Or, you know, people who actually care about making positive changes who are also corruption- and hypocrisy-free. That would be a shame.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:20 AM on January 26, 2007


Alas and alack, and fuck all our luck! It seems such a simple, reasonable idea, until someone like spiceynuts comes along, and gets all rational.

We don't need to know the private details of every person seeking public office. Privacy is for everybody. Even those people. Yes, and those, too.

It's a two part problem, having nothing to do with the private life of Senator Snort. Some people still think it's sometimes okay to discriminate against some group/s, and some people are still willing to use that politically. The other being that not enough people pay attention and vote.
posted by Goofyy at 6:44 AM on January 26, 2007


But I fail to see how exposing/tattling/spreading gossip about closeted or hypocritical politicians is going to "shame them into doing the right thing." If they're the hypocrites they appear to be, not much will shame them at all. Complete lack of shame is how they manage to lead double lives without a hint of internal contradiction.

The problem is that people who vote for the hypocrites don't know that. The sin of hypocrisy is not the private peccadilloes that take place, but the hypocrite's belief that he does not have to adhere to the same rules that he imposes on others. In other words, hypocrisy is an I'm-above-the-law attitude that is part and parcel with authoritarianism.

State legislators who seek to deny civil rights to entire classes of citizens are nothing but legislative predators in my eyes. They get no sympathy from me if their hypocrisy gets exposed by the exact same scapegoat group they have targeted. Are you saying that gay people should not have the right to defend themselves if state legislators want to turn them into sitting ducks for hate crimes and criminal sanctions?

Besides, I think Bilerico's approach is much better than previous outing campaigns, because it doesn't focus exclusively on "the closet," but on all forms of public hypocrisy based on covering up private indiscretions. By focusing on the "closet" alone, previous outing campaigns have unwitting reinforced the notion that homosexuality is secretive and shadowy, even though it has forced us to rethink our perceptions about how widely gays and lesbians are diffused throughout society.
posted by jonp72 at 7:00 AM on January 26, 2007


I'm usually fair-minded and non-confrontational, but the gloves need to come off.

It's bad that we have hypocritical legislators and racist college students (see previous post), but it's just as bad that so few are willing to call them on their behavior. In the inane pop-psychobabble of modern times, that's "enabling".

Fuck these people who lord their power over us while believing that they don't have to live by the same rules. Fair is fair, and if they don't don't want to believe that then they deserve what they get. Everyone will be better off for it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:15 AM on January 26, 2007


Privacy is for everybody. Even those people. Yes, and those, too.

I call BS (respectfully).

It's not just about privacy. Privacy is kind of a red herring, here.

It's about someone working to condemn a lifestyle as evil, socially damaging, immoral, etc. while practicing that lifestyle themselves.

Gay marriage, or whatever, is the tip of the iceberg for these people. Its the most visible element of the lifestyles that they self-righteously condemn. But in fact, while working their constituents into a froth about gay marriage, they fulminate in any number of ways against the underlying orientation of the gay people who would be inclined to get married.

Gay Marriage is the crystallizing point for the whole debate. But it does not define the depth and breadth of the kind of discrimination - legal and social - that these hypocritical civic leaders promote.

So, yes, the fact that they are privately a gay hooker patron and meth freak IS relevant information. Or that they privately cyberfondle underage members of their own sex. These are people that are not only gay, but also engaged in criminal activity. It means, at the most fundamental level, that they have NO moral authority to condemn other people for being merely gay, anyway.

And since their whole campaign of championing "social values" is promulgated on the facade of their moral authority, it is COMPLETELY relevant information for the public to know about their base hypocrisy.

And no, I don't buy the premise that when we scrutinize public figures for their hypocrisy we will eliminate good people from running for office. Rather, as was stated above, we will merely eliminate those agenda-driven people who hypocritically want to promote a social agenda of discrimination. And in the otherwise good people, we will at least discourage their promoting a social agenda that they show by their priate lives that they disagree with.

In that sense, I think it may tend to encourage more "good people" to run, or at least hold them accountable for being "good" while they're representing us. After all, you only get the representation that you deserve and demand. And if we decide that we're not interested in demanding that our representatives not be hypocrites, well, guess what we deserve?
posted by darkstar at 8:28 AM on January 26, 2007


Jek,
Are you saying homosexaul intercourse only happens in public?


No.

Or that all heterosexual relationships are monogamous and done in private?

No.

I'm saying what I said.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:35 AM on January 26, 2007


Are you saying that gay people should not have the right to defend themselves if state legislators want to turn them into sitting ducks for hate crimes and criminal sanctions?

Absolutely not. I repeat what I said in the first sentence of my comment: "I hate this kind of legislated bigotry as much as any gay person with half a brain would."

All I was saying is that I don't see how shaming hypocrites changes their behavior, specifically in terms of forcing them to vote in a way opposite to that in which they have never always heretofore voted.

I don't believe that all of the outing and shaming of Mark Foley in the world would have changed his record of anti-gay votes if he had remained in Congress.

Having said that, all the above comments are food for thought, and they made me think a little more carefully about what I said initially. There is a case to be made for shaming hypocrites even if it doesn't change their behavior, and I failed to acknowledge that in my initial comment.
posted by blucevalo at 10:44 AM on January 26, 2007


Oops, "in which they have never always heretofore voted."
posted by blucevalo at 10:45 AM on January 26, 2007


it doesn't have to change their behavor--it educates the public primarily, and can get them thrown out of office in the next election.
posted by amberglow at 11:29 AM on January 26, 2007


If this kind of thing takes off, do you think it will leave us with more politicians like Bill Clinton or more politicians like George W? Will this really help your cause in the long run?
posted by straight at 11:32 AM on January 26, 2007


I think sunshine and the truth always are good things--they will alert all future people to the amount of scrutiny they should expect, and that blatant hypocrisy will not be ok anymore--it's a plus all around, for us who are supposed to be their bosses. They work for us, and if they're im'ing teens instead of working, we should always know. We absolutely must know, since their jobs affect all of our lives and liberty and rights.
posted by amberglow at 12:32 PM on January 26, 2007


We give them enormous power over us--with power comes responsibility and consequences. They absolutely must be answerable to us. If outing for any reason does that, it's good.
posted by amberglow at 12:33 PM on January 26, 2007


This seems like it has an immense potential to backfire. Once they've committed to this, there's no reason why bloggers of opposite political affiliation won't, as well; I'd think that they'd better hope that their legislative supporters have less skeletons in their closets than their opponents.
posted by Upton O'Good at 1:00 PM on January 26, 2007


so, let them--it should apply to all elected officials. I think we're all better off without officials of any party who are hiding such shit.
posted by amberglow at 4:56 PM on January 26, 2007


That's funny. You know, in another MeFi thread right now, the point is being made -- rightly, I think -- that politicians can't afford to tell the truth because if they do we won't elect them.

If this is the way you want things to go, then be prepared to insist that equality-loving gays in office come out of the closet, too, and in some cases, surely lose their post as a bigoted community votes them out at the next possible opportunity.
posted by dreamsign at 11:15 AM on January 27, 2007


so what? don't voters deserve to make an honest choice, hateful or not?
posted by amberglow at 11:19 AM on January 27, 2007


An honest choice based on what? Their favourite brand of peanut butter? Whether they like to drink Coors or Heineken? How about whether they believe in a god?

The problem is that the voters think that everything is their business, and that their personal morality should govern all.
posted by dreamsign at 12:46 AM on January 28, 2007


They do think that, and thinking that everything about a pol is fair game too is their right---politicians make laws about every single aspect of our lives-- personal and public. Their lives must not be lies--it's already admitted that closetcases purposely vote against their own interests.
posted by amberglow at 11:06 AM on January 28, 2007


and if what you say about their personal morality is so, then all those people will be out of their jobs the next election-- but only so long as all the shit they're hiding comes out.
posted by amberglow at 11:14 AM on January 28, 2007


Editorial: Republicans are fixated on gay sex (about the fight against the same thing in N.M.)
posted by amberglow at 1:58 PM on January 29, 2007


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