More double standards

About a month ago I complained that Andrew Sullivan was unfairly singling out Hillary Clinton for being “against gay marriage.” I wrote at the time:

Politicians know that their critics hang on their every word and, wishy-washy as it seems, they have to measure what they say carefully, especially when it comes to super-charged issues — and Sullivan knows it. Would he apply the same litmus test to George W. on gay marriages? Because if he did, I suspect he would be mighty disappointed.

Looking at what he has to say about this very topic today, it appears I was right:

It seems clear to me that we are now headed toward a terrible and possibly definitive tempest on the issue of gay equality. President Bush said yesterday, in so many words, that he is considering amending the constitution to deny gays legal equality in their relationships – indeed to enshrine second-class citizenship for gays in the sacred words of the founding document. It is very hard to think of any act any politican could endorse that would alienate and marginalize gay citizens and their families more.

What bothers me but certainly doesn’t surprise me is that his tone throughout this very long post is one of guidance; he is offering his friend George counsel on how to deal with the issue.

When Hillary Clinton was put on the spot on the same issue, Sullivan was far less charitable; in fact, he lashed out at her, and sneered, “”So there you have it. The Senator from New York State is opposed to equal rights for gays and lesbians.”

Bush went way further than Hillary did, and actually suggested he had legislators working on an amendment to ban gay marriages. Yet Sullivan makes no such pronouncement, no categorical condemnation, no “So there you have it….”

An glaring example of double standards.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

Here comes the groom
Getting married to a groom.

Hmm… well, if you wanna get married, try heading to some other countries. Even the Vermont gay marriage thing isn’t recognised federally.

I can imagine this going on my marriage (LOL)

Do you take this groom to be your lawfully wedded groom – to have and to hold and never fool around.

Answer: “Hmm.. I’ll get back to you on that”

“Groom glances around with a grin and eyes the best men” :P

July 31, 2003 @ 11:41 am | Comment

Wow, great point Richard. I remember reading that post by Sullivan and thinking the same thing. I mean, that he was mostly just lashing out. It is pretty revealing that when Bush says something far stronger than Hilary she gets a fisking, but Bush only gets a “this will marginalize” us.

Sullivan should either back down or else up the ante. Since he’s pretty much the gay rights blogger out there, he oughta give Bush what he deserves.

(Although, to be fair, Bush didn’t say much that could get a fisking, whereas Hliary was much more big-mouthed.)

July 31, 2003 @ 3:02 pm | Comment

Hillary may have been “big-mouthed,” but she never said anything close to pushing for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Now, you can’t get much more extreme than that (unless you propose setting up concentration camps). New constitutional amendments are few and far between, and they are a very big deal. Imagine how terrified the right is of this perceived threat, that they would feel compelled to take such drastic steps. What are they so frightened of?

July 31, 2003 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

Just to note, Bush didn’t actually say he was going to push for a constitutional amendment, just that a constitutional amendment is the only way we could possibly toughen the laws. Ain’t no way they are going to do something like that during a polical season. This is probably one of the many nods to right-wing supporters. The more I think about it the less anything will come of it.

July 31, 2003 @ 6:48 pm | Comment

Adam, while that is technically true, there was little doubt (even to Bush-lackey Andrew Sullivan!) what the president was saying (which is why I used the word “suggested”).

The NY Times wrote, “Mr. Bush’s comments about codifying a way to prohibit same-sex marriages suggested to some lawyers that he was becoming more open to the idea of a constitutional amendment to ban them.”

The president’s precise words were: “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I believe we ought to codify that one way or the other and we have lawyers looking at the best way to do that.”

The implications are clear: Federal legislation is called for and is indeed being worked on as we speak. The idiocy here is, of course, that this legislation already exists in the infamous Defense of Marriage Act. The next layer for new legislation would be a constitutional amendment.

August 1, 2003 @ 3:03 am | Comment

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