I… I am speechless.
Dick Cheney rarely takes a position that places him at a more progressive tilt than President Obama. But on Monday, the former vice president did just that, saying that he supports gay marriage as long as it is deemed legal by state and not federal government.
Speaking at the National Press Club for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation journalism awards, Cheney was asked about recent rulings and legislative action in Iowa and elsewhere that allowed for gay couples to legally wed.
“I think that freedom means freedom for everyone,” replied the former V.P. “As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.”
And it is so very interesting, isn’t it, that this is just about the exact same position our Current Secretary of State has:
In an appearance early Wednesday evening in front of roughly three-dozen LGBT leaders, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton indicated that she would not oppose efforts by Eliot Spitzer, the odds-on favorite to become the new governor, to enact a same-sex marriage law in New York.
“Every single time since I’ve been elected speaker, I ever time I’ve picked up the phone to ask Senator Clinton to help the LGBT community, she has said yes,” Quinn said. “She’s assigned staff, she’s taken her own time and political capital to put in on the deal.”
And just to beat the Damned Horse to Death:
In honor of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and on behalf of the State Department, I extend our appreciation to the global LGBT community for its courage and determination during the past 40 years, and I offer our support for the significant work that still lies ahead.
At the State Department and throughout the Administration, we are grateful for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in Washington and around the world. They and their families make many sacrifices to serve our nation. Their contributions are vital to our efforts to establish stability, prosperity and peace worldwide.
Human rights are at the heart of those efforts. Gays and lesbians in many parts of the world live under constant threat of arrest, violence, even torture. The persecution of gays and lesbians is a violation of human rights and an affront to human decency, and it must end. As Secretary of State, I will advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
This, as the article linked above notes, is to the right of the position Bam has on “Gay Marriage.” Which is described as follows:
Caught up in the debate is the Obama administration. The president has said he supports civil unions for gay couples but that he remains committed to marriage being between and man and woman. His press department has been completely quiet about the recent California Supreme Court case upholding a ban on gay marriage in the state — something that, it seems, Cheney would object to in spirit if not law.
That’s interesting isn’t it, that Dick Cheney is more evolved on this issue than the President is? DICK CHENEY!
You might have noticed that I am slightly obsessed with the issue of Gay Rights, and yes, I am. I admit it freely and without shame.
My identity as a Bisexual Fag Hag aside, the truth is that it was Gay Rights that inspired my half hazard interest in Politics in the first place. (Granted, I have always followed politics since I was very young, but I am talking about politics as a, er… hobby, or whatever you want to call it.) I have mentioned before that a close, old friend of mine committed suicide two years ago. She was a lesbian, and also died in April of 2007. The Presidential Campaign was starting to get it’s water boiling on the stove, but what actually caused me to start paying attention so early was what happened a few weeks after her funeral. That old superstition “Death Comes in Threes” applied in this case. Before she had died, another close friend of mine had also killed himself. And while he wasn’t Gay (he had a crush on me), he was constantly bullied with anti-gay slurs, day in and day out, until he broke.
For those of you who seem to think that bullying isn’t a problem in schools, I’m very happy for you. You seem to live in some kind of alternate reality, and it must be very pleasant: filled with Elves, Unicorns, Journalism, Liberal Baptists, and other things that either have never existed or are now nearly extinct.
But for the rest of us who do live in reality, losing two close friends in one month to suicide can be very hard, to put it mildly. Aside from that, it was just not a good time in my life. The “Third Death” was the loss of a family friend. She was very old and it was her Time, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.
The day after she died, I spoke to one of my friends’ father’s on the phone, and he told me, “You should try to set this aside for a while… focus on something else besides all of this.”
But I have never been good at ignoring or compartmentalizing my own feelings. I could not “set it aside” but I could try to understand why these sorts of things happened to people who didn’t deserve it, on my own time and on my own terms. I could channel my feelings into something important, somehow.
My senior year ended up being only six months long- I graduated from High School early. And thank the Goddess for that. But when I wasn’t working or in school (and that wasn’t very often) I shut myself up in my room and refused to answer phone calls and/or pleading emails from friends and family (before you start lecturing me, I did confide in one person, but that is a moot point). Mostly I was just avoiding my parents, which is always a must, but I was also reading books, thinking, playing Enya on my Xbox to try to make my splitting head aches go away, avoiding my parents some more (I was grounded 99% of the time anyway. Sometimes for breathing too loudly), and doing homework, if it was warranted.
While all this was going on, I was watching The Situation Room on CNN and getting Google updates on the Election in my cell phone. I think the reason I started to get very interested was because of the Research Paper I had to do. It was supposed to be twelve pages, which was the most I’d ever had to write for a paper, and I had to turn it in four months earlier than the rest of my class, since I would be leaving for good after Mid Terms. I tried doing it on a book my old Republican English Teacher had suggested when I asked her for advice, called A Thousand White Women. I liked A Thousand White Women, but there was no way I could do a twelve page research paper on it.
A friend of mine told me I would probably like a book that she was reading called The Mists of Avalon. It was a book, she explained, about King Arthur and Camelot, but it was told entirely from the point of view of the women that wielded power behind Arthur’s “Throne.”
I ended up loving the book. And I did my research paper on it, which ended up being twenty two pages long. The book is focused on Matriarchy; Egalitarianism, even. In the story, Morgan Le Fey is a Druid Priestess and the plot’s tragic protagonist, and the climax occurs when she betrays “Avalon”, the Isle of Apples for King Arthur’s court, causing a sequence of events that eventually leads to the fall of Egalitarian Avalon and the Rise of Patriarchal Camelot through warfare and Religious Dogma.
My paper’s focus was on how the plight of the women of Camelot could be applied to the difficulties women of our society faced. While I was writing it I was all ready keeping track of the sexism of President Obama’s Campaign, even if I did this secretly and thought I was all alone in my thinking.
What struck me most about the story was the sexual antics, the freedom in particular, of the Druid women, particularly Morgan Le Fay. Her sexual orientation isn’t really discussed in the book, but it can’t be described anyway. She loses her virginity to her half brother, has sex with women, copulates with Sir Lancelet, who is Gay, and boinks various other men throughout. At one point she even helps the High Queen Guinevere have a threesome with Arthur and Lancelot so the High Queen can conceive a legitimate child on the throne. (Morgan LF also reminded me of our current SOS… in her character and in the resulting public dehumanization of her by Camelot and King Arthur’s Court that was done by Religious Leaders because of what she was and what she stood for.)
But with the entrance of Patriarchal religious dogma, represented by a rather unflattering portrayal of St. Patrick, women’s sexualities were restricted, their bodies and divinity diminished. In turn, Dogmatic figures seemed almost obsessed with sex, and their intention to control every aspect of a woman’s life seemed to be focused primarily on sex and sexuality.
I noted privately, of course (not in my paper), the duality in our own society. The Clintons had been the last semi-egalitarian Democrats to control the party and the White House, and Right Wing Extremists seemed so obsessed with both Hillary and Bill’s sex lives it was creepy and almost unhealthy. I was beginning to draw a connection that would take me to the conclusion I am at today: that Patriarchy and Male Social Dominance should be eradicated, or else NOTHING will ever change (you may disagree with me on this if you like, but I will be writing a series on it later, so take it there, if you want to debate it).
Through all this, I remembered a conversation I’d had with my now lost friend, a few months before she took her own life. It was the end of winter break and I asked her what she’d done, and she said, “I came out of the closet to my dad (her father being a phony pseudo religious man). He wouldn’t speak to me all break. He wouldn’t look at me. And on Christmas all he gave me was a Bible with the passages about homosexuality highlighted.”
She was a religious person. There were a lot of factors that drove her to do what she did, and I had long since made peace with her death. That didn’t, however, change my conclusion about that memory. Homophobia, like racism, sexism, ageism, and a number of other things, is a direct result of Male Social Dominance. Homophobia and Misogyny is about sexuality because sexuality and sexual identity is part of being human. And to demean someone on sexual terms is make them less than human.
I graduated from High School on the day I turned in that paper. My Diploma and Community Service Cord was mailed to me a few months later. On the day of my Commencement, I went to Cedar Point, North East Ohio’s very best Amusement Park, and rode Roller Coasters. To say that I wanted nothing to do with my graduating class and all the baggage that came along with it would be an understatement.
My concern for Gay Rights comes partly from a personal experience. But had that experience never occured, I wouldn’t be writing this right now, I wouldn’t understand the importance of what we are doing here, and at least that is worthwhile. For my part, I still don’t understand what I set out to learn two years ago as a result of those events- but the truth is, I don’t think I ever will.
In other News! This is how a Pro Lifer who is sane and has a conscience
Morgan Le Fay with the Sword of the Druid Regalia
reacts to the News of the Death of poor Dr. Tiller.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin released a statement Monday responding to the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a doctor in Wichita, Kansas who performed late-term abortions.
Gov. Palin has a staunchly pro-life record. She opposes abortion in all cases, including rape and incest, except when a mother’s life is in danger.
Her statement on the Tiller murder was posted on her personal website:
“I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, ‘What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today’s event in Kansas?’
Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller’s abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message.”
Governor Sarah Palin
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Filed under: Barack Obama, Gay community | Tagged: Barack Obama, books, Dick Cheney, Egalitarianism, gay rights | 36 Comments »