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WWII Veteran Speaks on Equality
October 21, 2009 10:31 PM   Subscribe

The woman at my polling place asked me, do I believe in equality for gay and lesbian people? I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, "What do you think I fought for on Omaha Beach?"
posted by pashdown (90 comments total) 109 users marked this as a favorite

 
yes, yes, there's just something in my eye, please look over there now, thank you
posted by scody at 10:39 PM on October 21, 2009 [14 favorites]


Bravo, Phillip. Thanks for the post, pashdown.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:39 PM on October 21, 2009


Let freedom ring. Let every man woman and child sing. Freedom for all. Sweet freedom.
posted by nola at 10:42 PM on October 21, 2009


This is getting really hotly debated up here in Maine, if by debated I mean the church groups have managed to roust up every single nasty, small-minded oaf whose human goodness has been leached out by years of coffee brandy and USA Gold cigarettes, and told them to go forth and do God's work.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:42 PM on October 21, 2009 [13 favorites]


I remember hearing about this a few months ago but I didn't see the video until today and I definitely had a good cry.
posted by kmz at 10:42 PM on October 21, 2009


*salutes*
posted by Space Kitty at 10:43 PM on October 21, 2009


With all of the media circus and political grandstanding and everything that happens in the day to day, making me so, so jaded...it's nice to know that just one person can stand up and say something so simple and beautiful and true. And with that I get a renewed sense of hope, and I think that everything just might be all right.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:44 PM on October 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


scody: "yes, yes, there's just something in my eye, please look over there now, thank you"

Yeah uh... there must be a bit of that going around at the moment.

That was beautiful.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:47 PM on October 21, 2009


Its been fun watching this go 'round the internet the past couple of days. I wish the video didn't cut off with his "Thank you" -- he brought the house down at the hearing.

Also, this: Real Mainers step up for 'No on 1' ads (Portland Press Herald). No one is really sure why the anti-gay marriage forces up here can't seem to summon up anyone actually from Maine who is willing to be in their ads. Curious.
posted by anastasiav at 10:49 PM on October 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Man, this decade has really sucked. Is there a lightening in the eastern sky?

WORST. DECADE. EVER.
posted by mokuba at 10:49 PM on October 21, 2009


scody, quit turning your head away like that, it's raising the dust and now I have some in my eye, too.
posted by Elsa at 10:51 PM on October 21, 2009


MetaFilter: every single nasty, small-minded oaf whose human goodness has been leached out by years of coffee brandy and USA Gold cigarettes
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 10:51 PM on October 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was a little iffy on this issue. Not any more.
posted by No Robots at 10:52 PM on October 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wow. If you can't trust Philip and believe in what he says, who in the world could you trust?
posted by pkingdesign at 10:53 PM on October 21, 2009


"yes, yes, there's just something in my eye, please look over there now, thank you"

Yeah uh... there must be a bit of that going around at the moment.


Careful, it could be Gay Dust leaking out of your computer. We're gonna have to quarantine ya.
posted by mannequito at 10:59 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


>: Also, this: Real Mainers step up for 'No on 1' ads

Yeah, funny, that.

Whenever someone tells me they think marriage is just for a man and a woman, I ask if they have piles and piles of lesbian/gay friends, and if they get to use their toilet and everything.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:00 PM on October 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


I love it when those old guys come through like that--solid as a rock.
posted by carping demon at 11:04 PM on October 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I held it together until he said that he raised four sons, gay and straight alike, to be loyal Americans, and... they all did good.

TOO BAD CALIFORNIA IS SO FULL OF FUCKING IGNORANT BIGOTS WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT BEING AN AMERICAN IS ABOUT

do you hear me shouting at you, red county?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:06 PM on October 21, 2009 [24 favorites]


I'm sitting at my desk with tears running down my face.
posted by greycap at 11:10 PM on October 21, 2009


Heroism : He's doin it right.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:12 PM on October 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, I'm not crying at all.

Mainly because I'm still hyperventilating a little at the sheer breathtaking awesome of that man and his statement. Once that stops, well, anything's possible...
posted by darkstar at 11:16 PM on October 21, 2009


Greatest generation.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:43 PM on October 21, 2009 [12 favorites]


There's something so powerful about a calm, quiet voice speaking truth from the heart.

Daily Kos has a transcript.
posted by amyms at 11:44 PM on October 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


That was pretty swell.
posted by heyho at 11:45 PM on October 21, 2009


That's a hero.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:57 PM on October 21, 2009 [2 favorites]




Whenever someone tells me they think marriage is just for a man and a woman, I ask if they have piles and piles of lesbian/gay friends, and if they get to use their toilet and everything.

Whenever someone tells me they think marriage is just for a man and a woman, I ask if they have piles and if it hurts when they use the toilet.

Something must be causing them serious pain to be making them so fucking grumpy. My guess is that it's all the anonymous anal sex in cold cottages that's causing it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:26 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Coming to you live from Fox News!

"So Professor, What proof do you have on this assertion that all men are created equal?"
"Well... It's self evident..."
"So what you're really saying is that there's no visible proof that we're all created equal?"
"No but..."
"Now let's talk about these rights. Apparently they're endowed by some sort of creator?"
"Yes... God."
"So this God fellow, has anyone actually asked him if gay people have these rights?"
"No bu"
"So we don't even know if gay people have these rights?"
"Well we assume because there's no real way to ask him because we can't see or contact him"
"So what you're saying is that an invisble man in the sky supposedly thinks we're all created equal and that this implies that we should allow gay people to marry?"
*Fox presenter starts making the "he's crazy" hand gesture to the audience*
posted by Talez at 12:45 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well there you have it.
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:00 AM on October 22, 2009


Dear god, I'm weeping. What a man.
posted by littleredspiders at 1:16 AM on October 22, 2009


I must have a heart of stone because this wasn't even close to tear-inducing for me. I was going to say that the internet must have desensitized me, but that wouldn't be very solid logic around here.

It was a good testimony, and makes me wonder if Iraq veterans will be giving speeches like this in 2060.
posted by PostOfficeBuddy at 1:22 AM on October 22, 2009


WORST. DECADE. EVER.

Not to derail, but *really*? REALLY? Let's back the hyperbolic superlatives up a second and consider that. Even if you limit the scope of inquiry to just the past 11 decades, we have seen FAR worse. On balance, I gotta hand 1940-1949 the title, I think, simply on account of World War II and, you know, the loss of 70,000,000 lives.

If you didn't live through the Great Depression, World War II, or the 1918 Flu Pandemic, I don't think you're able to rock this as worst decade ever.

It's been a bit crazy, and the economy and housing markets taking us for a ride has been no. fun. at. all. but let's keep perspective and realize that the technology and bench depth we've developed as a society has us living in a golden time, where you and I are able to have this discussion from the comforts of wherever we live, H1N1 has a vaccine, gays can marry in more states than in any decade previous (though the fact that there's still contention ANYwhere in this country, "in this day and age", *is* absurd), and the United States elected their first non-white president.

Things can always be better. But damn if I don't disagree with your assessment. This decade has been sufficiently below-average for us. And I'm okay with that, given the alternatives.
posted by disillusioned at 2:10 AM on October 22, 2009 [16 favorites]


Now there's a real man.
posted by bwg at 2:38 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Aren't you supposed to prefix things with RT when reposting popular posts from other sites?
posted by effbot at 3:29 AM on October 22, 2009


Aren't you supposed to prefix things with RT when reposting popular posts from other sites?

I oppose the Twitterfication of MetaFilter. #mefitesnark
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:46 AM on October 22, 2009 [14 favorites]


So, have they swiftboated Philip yet?
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:13 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Aren't you supposed to prefix things with RT when reposting popular posts from other sites?

Hell no. I see the sarcasm, by the way. I would have liked quotation marks or italics, or a blockquote: that's the convention for quotes here, and this way it kind of implies, on first reading, that pashdown is speaking in the first person.

Plus, I don't really like verbatim copypasting of posts on other sites, but then this is a likely pullquote from the video, so it's a possibility that pashdown came up with it himself.

But the bottom line: I read Reddit and Kos, but not religiously, so I saw it here first and might not have seen it otherwise. So thanks, pashdown.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:40 AM on October 22, 2009


...the Right is winning 48% to 46% according to the latest survey. Pointing out that truth and love rarely beat fear and ignorance on a level playing field...
That's got to be within the margin of error. I think it's too early to call this one lost yet.

I like how this guy helpfully provided his home address at the beginning of his testimony so we can all send him thank-you notes. Would it be creepy to do that?
posted by craichead at 5:20 AM on October 22, 2009


He makes me proud to be from Maine.
posted by suki at 5:30 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The hearing for LD 1020 was one of the most impressive political events of my life.

The freedom to marry organizers did an incredible job flooding the room with supporters (outnumbering the opposition 4 to 1) and arranged for an entire day's worth of compelling testimony. Almost every speaker had a message and a delivery right up there with Philip's.

Here's another one I enjoyed, also from a veteran.

One of my favorite parts of the day was when a representative from a national anti-gay rights group testified that gay marriage would harm children and the presidents of the Maine pediatric and psychological associations immediately spoke to oppose him.

The other side was disorganized and their speakers where rambling all over the place. This guy was fairly typical.

It's still a tough couple weeks until election day, but the effort and passion I saw that day is what convinced me we can win.
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 5:41 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


I often cynically think things will get better when a lot of stubborn old people die. But sometimes I see a stubborn old person and wish they had a hell of a lot more time to push their views. This is one of them. Rock on, Phillip. You've reminded this jaded soul why that small ember of hope for the future hasn't been snuffed out yet.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:44 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Aren't you supposed to prefix things with RT when reposting popular posts from other sites?

Hell no. I see the sarcasm, by the way.


I didn't see it. Someone forget the {\} suffix? HAMBURGER
posted by humannaire at 5:51 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


I teared up. That was beautiful.
posted by FunkyHelix at 5:53 AM on October 22, 2009


I have something in my eye.
I have something in my other eye.
I have something in my heart.
posted by shadytrees at 6:01 AM on October 22, 2009 [19 favorites]


I now for some reason have Lift Every Voice in my head and like everyone else, have something in my eye, too.
posted by pointystick at 6:03 AM on October 22, 2009


It seems like Phillip's the type of republican who looks for smaller govt, a strong military, etc WITHOUT all the bullshit social issue garbage.

It's nice to see somebody like that. Until the R party decides to get their brains back, I'll be voting D. And always for marriage equality.
posted by MustardTent at 6:19 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


The other side was disorganized and their speakers where rambling all over the place. This guy was fairly typical.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:44 AM on October 22


dude be lookin like zorg
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:20 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


..the Right is winning 48% to 46% according to the latest survey. Pointing out that truth and love rarely beat fear and ignorance on a level playing field...

Actually, there have been more surveys since that article was written. In the latest survey, which was an automated survey, it is 48-48. Nate Silver has a good breakdown of the surveys here.

It's all going to come down to turnout, which is unpredictable in an off year. I'm hopeful in that the No on 1 campaign has been focusing on people voting early via absentee ballot or by going to city hall to vote early (Mainers you can vote RIGHT NOW!). I've received multiple mailings, phone calls and the other night someone was going door-to-ddor in the rain.

I have seen no similar effort by the Yes on 1 crowd. I've received no phone calls from them and their commercials are focused on scaring people. I've seen no get-out-the-early vote effort from them.
posted by mikepop at 6:25 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]




Now that's an American.

This goes to show how it is and how it's always been: some people get it, and some people never will.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:36 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Glad to see so many comments from people there at the public forum in Augusta, Maine.

I, too, was there, and it was amazing.

I remember this man speaking...there was no way to describe the emotion you get when you
see humans of this caliber, experience, and heroism come forward and just lay the opposition
out with nothing but reality.

Incredible day, and an incredible time here in Maine, and in the United States.

Now let's get this Prop. 1 shot down, and get closer to the meaning of true equality.
posted by gcbv at 6:43 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm at work and I don't particularly want to start cryin' in front of the intern so I'm holding off on watching the video - But holy moses just reading everyone's replies is making me tear up!
posted by lizzicide at 7:27 AM on October 22, 2009


A friend of mine posted this on his blog a day or two ago.

I only wish I could move back to Maine to vote on this. I really wish I could. I want to soooo bad!
posted by zizzle at 7:29 AM on October 22, 2009


No experience in life beats that of being yourself.
posted by Forrest Greene at 7:35 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


He reminds me of my grandpa Barker from Enfield, Maine. And, I like to think that if he was alive today, he would have said something very similar.
posted by hworth at 7:45 AM on October 22, 2009


"If I were putting money on the future of gay marriage, I would bet on it. The secular arguments against gay marriage, when they aren't just based on bigotry or custom, tend to be abstract in ways that don't find purchase in American political discourse. I say, 'Institutional support for reproduction,' you say, 'I love my boyfriend and I want to marry him.' Who wins that debate? You win that debate." -- Ross Douthat
posted by blucevalo at 7:53 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


i keep telling people: new england conservatives are a different breed. & i mean that as a compliment.
posted by lodurr at 8:01 AM on October 22, 2009


the bloodless economism of douthat & other establishment conservatives drives me nuts. 'institutional support for reproduction' -- i mean, if we haven't accepted as a premise that the right way to think about a nation is as an economic machine, in which we're all just mechanical parts, then what the hell does that even mean?
posted by lodurr at 8:05 AM on October 22, 2009


Fuck Yes.
posted by chunking express at 8:06 AM on October 22, 2009


"My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that three of them would have a certain set of rights, but our gay child would be left out. We raised them all to be hard-working, proud, and loyal Americans and they all did good."
And Mr. Spooner, you did good....actually, more than good!
posted by ericb at 8:30 AM on October 22, 2009


I can almost see the anti-gay marriage activists sitting there hearing him start his testimony - lifelong Republican, WW2 veteran, chaplain, a medic in WW2, my god that's a level of moral authority... and then he speaks in favor of gay marriage.

I have this image of the man when the son who was gay comes out to his parents. Philip sits there, almost unmoving, for an hour, then two, thinking this through, and coming to a realization that he then had the strength to pick up and carry.

That man, right there, is an example of all that is good in humanity.

"I have seen with my own eyes the consequences of caste systems that make some people less than others or second-class."

I'm not usually down with the "opposition = Nazis" rhetorical sting, but that's really elegantly put.
posted by mephron at 8:31 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's simple and powerful enough to really make you wonder how the anti-gay side can respond when the speaker, who saw firsthand the effects of creating second class citizens in the camps of WW2 Germany, condemns those who would ignore evidence of what can happen when you allow for such intolerance.

When a veteran; a life-long Republican, a World War 2 hero, is telling you that your own side is wrong, you should listen.

Also; any slight tearing up that anyone might have seen was totally due to the completely manly super-hot peppers I was eating that no one saw.
posted by quin at 8:31 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


lodurr: a friend of mine - and Keith Olbermann - both noted that allowing gay marriage is an economic stimulus!

The Williams Institute, a think tank for sexual orientation law at the University of California, Los Angeles released a report which estimates that, over the next three years, same-sex marriage will add more than $30.6 million to Vermont’s economy, increase state and local tax revenue by $3.3 million and create about 700 new jobs.

Sure, it's not making the next generation of cogs for the machine, but it's making local businesses thrive!
posted by mephron at 8:38 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]




It seems like Phillip's the type of republican who looks for smaller govt, a strong military, etc WITHOUT all the bullshit social issue garbage.


Hell, yeah!
posted by jgirl at 8:39 AM on October 22, 2009


'Institutional support for reproduction...'--- Ross Douthat

Institutional support for reproduction my achin' ass! Maybe ol' neckbeard needs the help but I'll bet most of us could manage to procreate without institutional support.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:47 AM on October 22, 2009


the bloodless economism of douthat & other establishment conservatives drives me nuts. 'institutional support for reproduction' -- i mean, if we haven't accepted as a premise that the right way to think about a nation is as an economic machine, in which we're all just mechanical parts, then what the hell does that even mean?

This is how "nerd" conservatives like Douthat, Brooks and Norquist convince people they're smart; they speak in Vulcan-like terms that eschew any kind of emotion and thus seem eminently logical and empirical (whether or not their claims actually make sense).

That, and they wear nerdy shit like bow ties and glasses and well-trimmed beards, and never smile.
posted by hifiparasol at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2009


Philip is not atypical of many Republicans from half a century ago when the current GOP crop would have all still been Solid South Democrats voting for segregation...
posted by jim in austin at 8:54 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


When a veteran; a life-long Republican, a World War 2 hero, is telling you that your own side is wrong, you should listen.

Should, yes, but they won't, and that's the problem.

The Right, or the conservatives, or the Republicans, or whoever the hell it is that constitutes this whole anti-gay-marriage crusade, need to realize that this needs to NOT be about promoting a political platform or agenda. It's about people being free to express love without being judged for it, without being put in a special box for it. And that freedom isn't limited to gay people -- it extends to the parents and families (and prospective in-laws) of gay people, too.

It. Shouldn't. Be. Political. Come on, Republicans have gay kids too. Hell, my Republican dad has one. He doesn't love me any less. (Though he briefly considered it when we had The Talk many years ago.) The guy in the video loves all four of his sons equally and wants them all to be happy and settled and loved. Christ, even crusty, evil old Dick Cheney has a gay kid and has supported her right to get married. So they're not just denigrating gays by denying them this right (which, I've got to point out, affects themselves not at all). They're judging and putting a big ol' speed bump in front of the families of gay people who'd accept the gay spouse as a cherished member, making the family bigger and more full of love. Family values my gay ass.

It's that they're making a political touchstone out of this that really pisses me off. I mean, if you want to be squicked out by gay sex, fine. It's none of your business, but if you want to be hung up on it (and isn't that what this is about?), do it. Be obsessed with my sex life. Go ahead. But Jesus God, don't use MY life as your political toy. Your fellow human beings -- both individually and collectively -- are worth more than that, and deserve better.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2009 [13 favorites]


i keep telling people: new england conservatives are a different breed. & i mean that as a compliment.

Yeah, I think of my uncle Ron as the sort of archetypal old-school northeastern conservative. (He's from Nova Scotia, but close enough.) Career army officer, avid hunter and angler, habitual (Catholic) church goer, accomplished amateur historian, Meals on Wheels deliverer, tireless hector of the morons on the local town council. (Don't get him started on their opposition to building the local teens a skate park.)

I respectfully disagree with Ron on certain points of religion, morality and the uses of state force. Then I pour us both another scotch and I ask him to tell me a bit more about his tour of duty disarming the Contras at the end of the Nicaraguan civil war. I'm happy to share a polity (and a bloodline) with true conservatives like my uncle Ron.

I lean toward pacifism myself, but there's a part of me that kinda wishes he would unlock a couple of his vintage military rifles and use the butt end to clarify a few points about the meaning of conservatism to the know-nothing, fear-worshipping, selfish little children who carry the banner in the mainstream discourse today.
posted by gompa at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Makes me miss Maine.
posted by rtha at 9:05 AM on October 22, 2009


"I have seen with my own eyes the consequences of caste systems that make some people less than others or second-class."

I'm not usually down with the "opposition = Nazis" rhetorical sting, but that's really elegantly put.


I think not comparing your political opponents to Nazis is a good rule, but I'm okay with there being an exemption for people who personally helped liberate a concentration camp.
posted by EarBucket at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2009 [19 favorites]


Not so political, but when I posted this on my Facebook yesterday (late to the party, by that point) my friend said, "Boy, I really want to just bake him some cookies or shovel his driveway or something!"

Shoveling his driveway! What a great idea! God knows he'll need it in Maine...

Maybe we should do some sort of massive Gay Day of Service to show folks that they can, 'y'know, contribute to society too :P
posted by Madamina at 9:17 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pointing out that truth and love rarely beat fear and ignorance on a level playing field...

Level? Mormons also have their grubby fingers in Maine.
posted by binturong at 9:36 AM on October 22, 2009


I hope to grow into the wisdom, honesty, humility and eloquence this gentleman and the shitmydadsays father has as I mature.
posted by spec80 at 10:03 AM on October 22, 2009


Maybe we should do some sort of massive Gay Day of Service to show folks that they can, 'y'know, contribute to society too :P

It'll never work. Volunteerism is unamerican now, too.
posted by Limiter at 11:34 AM on October 22, 2009


Heh. Since his testimony has gone viral, I was wondering when I'd see him on the TeeVee. Today in the mail I got a flier from No On 1 with Mr. Spooner on it, and a slightly different quote than the one you see in the testimony:

"Everybody is supposed to be equal in this country. By voting NO on question 1, I'm casting a vote for equality and a vote for my son"
posted by anastasiav at 12:08 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. That was moving. Telling stories of his wartime service had me going, but the chill went right up my spine when he talked about Omaha beach. I can't begin to imagine what the duties of a medic/ambulanceman were on that beach.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 12:49 PM on October 22, 2009


maybe not quite as horrifying as his duties at Buchenwald or Dachau. he seems affected by them all. seems like a decent man speaking out, & i hope it doesn't stir too many demons.
posted by lodurr at 12:59 PM on October 22, 2009


Yup, I cried a little. I watched that and said to myself "Now there stands a human being goddamit, a bona fide human being!"
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:17 PM on October 22, 2009


Yes, I agree with EarBucket. Men who stormed Omaha Beach get a free pass on Godwin.

It's when you can see the tear fall off of his face at the end that really got me.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:47 PM on October 22, 2009


I can't understand the cold reptillian logic that's driving the neocon right to push this? Is it just an excuse to rile their supporters inate bigotry against a progressive cause? Is it actually rooted in their death-cult Christianity?
posted by codacorolla at 6:22 PM on October 22, 2009


They're afraid that all their kids will start turning gay and being different from them in ways they can't understand, thereby leaving them feeling powerless and alone. The conservative mindset is all about control over your children.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:39 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


See, people thought he got frozen in an iceberg after he punched out Hitler, but actually he survived the war, retired to private life, and raised a family over the course of a long and fruitful life. The Super-Soldier Serum left him healthy and mentally sharp in his elderly years.

...what do you mean that's not Captain America? Cause I know Captain America when I see goddamn Captain America.
posted by mightygodking at 9:12 PM on October 22, 2009 [12 favorites]


Is it just an excuse to rile their supporters inate bigotry against a progressive cause? Is it actually rooted in their death-cult Christianity?

The neocons are using the Religious Right. Just straight using them.

The internal Christian logic goes something like this: The Bible explicitly forbids (male) homosexuality. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their hedonistic heathen ways--nevermind that S&G can be read in at least two different ways. God will come and destroy us for allowing men to fuck men in our country.

And then the neocons, who have far more worldly ambitions than the Religious Right, realized that these people are ignorant and easily manipulable. The neocons, who are slimy, heartless reptiles have seized this voting block by making gay marriage a political issue. By persecuting gays, they capture a once-divided voting block, while only alienating a social fringe group. The neat thing, from their point of view, is that the bigots recruit aggressively... all the neocons have to do is pander.

Added to that voting block is the block of people who are aesthetically offended by the idea of male homosexuality--the "in the privacy of your own bedroom" crowd. These folks don't have a real moral or religious objection to gay marriage. But they're afraid that if men are allowed to marry men, that they might have to occasionally think about it... that they might see a gay wedding announcement or a couple kissing at the restaurant. While they're fairly apathetic on the whole, these people can be easily whipped into a furor over the issue if they're lead to believe that gays would be getting "a better deal" than straights. And the neocons often spin the gay marriage issue into some sort of privileged treatment for gays.

And all of this comes at essentially no cost for the Republicans. Most of the Republican's solid constituency has either never met an openly gay person; or, just doesn't give a fuck. I've never personally met a Republican who's changed his vote over the gay rights issues. I know they exist. But I've never met one. When I challenge my Republican friends, I just get a bunch of static about "that's really only a small issue; I don't like taxes."

But, don't get me started on how the neocons have everybody fooled about small government...
posted by Netzapper at 1:31 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


The neocons are using the Religious Right. Just straight using them.
...
But, don't get me started on how the neocons have everybody fooled about small government...


i can't type very well just right now so I wish you would, starting with the Noble Lie.
posted by lodurr at 5:16 AM on October 23, 2009


that they might see a gay wedding announcement or a couple kissing at the restaurant

This is related to something I find most perplexing. Among the many sentiments voiced by the Yes on 1 crowd, one thought I've seen expressed is that they can't wait to overturn the law so all the gay people will get out of Maine and go to San Francisco. Hello? Gay couples who live here now are still going to live here no matter how the votes turn out. Maybe some people will choose MA over ME if they are looking to move to the east coast, but people who have already chosen to come to Maine (or who are native Mainers) will just get ready for the next vote, the next battle. Meanwhile they will continue to live their lives here the day after the vote the same as the day before the vote. If Yes on 1 lives they won't be married but they will still be your neighbors.
posted by mikepop at 5:37 AM on October 23, 2009


Bob Talbot, Richard Spooner - thank you very much for speaking up, and so eloquently!
posted by sandraregina at 8:13 AM on October 23, 2009




>: Among the many sentiments voiced by the Yes on 1 crowd, one thought I've seen expressed is that they can't wait to overturn the law so all the gay people will get out of Maine and go to San Francisco

And I would be totally stoked if all the provincial bigoted twits who make my state such a nasty, bleak place to live would do us a favor by all going to sea in a cardboard box, but we can't all have a pony.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:50 PM on October 23, 2009




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