Hating gays is not a “moral value”

A powerfully worded column in today’s WAPO blasts Karl Rove’s strategy of demonizing gays for short-term political reward.

Here’s what Republicans of conscience have to understand about the machinations of Karl Rove and company. Fear isn’t some emotion that can be easily bottled back up after it’s been — viciously — unleashed. It isn’t a once-every-four-years vehicle that can be wheeled out for a few months, then stowed back in the garage to be retooled for the next election cycle. Encouraging fundamentalist preachers to pound their pulpits and inveigh against gay people has consequences. It puts men and women in communities across this country at personal and professional risk. There’s nothing more despicable than creating a phony political issue (just how many gay couples are clamoring for marriage certificates in the state of Ohio, anyhow?) and preying on people’s prejudices.

So now it’s up to discerning Republicans to wrestle with this quandary: You won all right, but at what cost? What happened to the party that once shared Abraham Lincoln’s faith in the “better angels of our nature”?

….There are a lot of Republicans troubled by their party’s exploitation of contemporary know-nothingism. You know who you are. And before your party’s degeneracy is complete, you ought to do something about it. Because camouflaging the fear and loathing of gay people as “moral values” isn’t the base alloy of hypocrisy. It’s hypocrisy itself.

“Read the whole thing.” It’s great.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

Karl Rove and Gays

Peking Duck cites a Washington Post editorial denouncing Karl Rove, Bush’s political master-mind, for stoking up homophobic fears among Evangelical types.

It is undoubtedly true that Rove and his minions have engaged in shameless gay-baiting in o…

November 16, 2004 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

It’s odd that a Muslim commiting an act of violence against a Westerner brings screams of “islamo-fascism” and “know-nothing” rants about Islam being a stone-age religion.

But systematic acts of violence against gays don’t produce proclamations of “terrorism” or a need for pre-emptive search and destroy missions to disrupt gaybashing gangs. They don’t warrant repeated arrests and demonising of radical clerics fueling the radical hatred. They don’t even warrant being disowned by those screaming “islamo-fascism”.

Of course it’s hypocrisy. Did you really expect better from those spewing blatant racism and gay bashing in the name of maintaining political power?

November 16, 2004 @ 8:43 pm | Comment

Tom, thanks for the splendid comment. Living in Hong Kong suddenly seems very appealing….

November 16, 2004 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

Is gay-hatred and bashing a Christian thing?

The Greeks of yonder days seem to accept gay relationship, so it can’t be a European peculiarity. The SE Asians while not promoting it seem to quietly tolerate it.

Sure, it’s political but who are the politicians pampering to?

Australians have accepted gay-ness. A new Labour Party – Opposition – front bencher is gay, and of Chinese ethnicity. One of Australia’s most respected judge (if not the most respected) is openly gay – a couple of years back, some conservative party members tried to pull a dirty trick campaign against him, which backfired sweetly in the arsehole’s face. I have the greatest respect for Judge Kirby – fantastic bloke.

November 17, 2004 @ 1:16 pm | Comment

Tom – Daai Tou Laam: I’m not aware of any systematic acts of violence against gays in the West, do you have specific examples in mind ? Hating, discriminating, yes, but shooting them in the street ?

I don’t think it’s that comparable to the Theo Van Gogh story.

November 17, 2004 @ 8:34 pm | Comment

I think that a lot of people are merging biggots who hate anybody who different from them with people who are uncomfortable about gay issues.

Remember that a lot of these so called gay bashers are also racists, they bash a lot of people who are straight as well if they happen to be a different color because their violent biggots.

Many of the othr people who listed “moral values” aren’t violent and they don’t hate homosexuals, they just don’t approve of them or would preffer that they did whatever they do quietly so that they could pretend that they didn’t exist.

In Europe homosexuals don’t usually feel the need to prononce themselves as being gay and they don’t make an issue of it, so people just let them go about their lives, some people say that this is a kind of surrender, but its keeping the peace.

November 17, 2004 @ 9:53 pm | Comment

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