Friday, December 16, 2011

Marcus Bachmann's Bullying Of LGBT Children

     Marcus Bachmann has decided upon his course of action if he were to become the first 'first gentleman' to occupy the White House. Instead of waging a war against obesity, which is Michelle Obama's cause, he has decided that he is going to pursue something more important: reaffirming the discriminatory notion that ones sexual orientation can exclude you from one of the most valued institutions of society.

      During a campaign event in Le Mars, Iowa -Marcus Bachmann, the controversial  husband of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, told reporters that his focus as the first gentleman would be to tell the country that "marriage is between one man and one woman" and that they are going to "promote families". 

      Interesting that Michele Obama has focused on obesity and that Laura Bush focused upon reading skills, yet the Bachmann campaign would focus upon reinforcing marital apartheid and devaluing our families. Instead of encouraging children to make themselves better, Marcus Bachmann would rather see LGBT children grow up in a society that says to them "you and your relationship with your significant other are not 'good' for society, and thus instead of being encouraged, should be heavily stigmatized." Instead of helping children see that they are inherently valuable, Bachmann would rather use the force of law to instill in these vulnerable segments of our society the belief that there is something wrong with them. 

      Now I am well aware that the Bachmann candidacy has no chance of going anywhere, whether it be in this election or any in the near future. But regardless, it is important that these issues be addressed. As long as  figures like the Bachmanns are allowed to make statements which demean and actively promote hatred and discrimination against our community, they must be called out. Their words have direct impact upon the lives of countless men and women across the United States (and yes, the world), and every one life that is lost because of the rhetoric that the Bachmann's use is one precious life that can never be regained. 

      As we gather around our families this coming weekend - whether it be my husband and I at my parents house in Atlanta or you at your parents/siblings/aunts and uncles - it is essential that we forcefully assert the value of our relationships and way of life. When we are passive, and speak in code regarding our sexual orientation or relationships, we are giving into the mentality that there is something "wrong" with us. We are giving into the notion that we are "different" from the rest of our family; and every time we do that, we are no better than the Bachmann's. Though they are actively promoting hatred, our passivity in combating the hatred and discrimination that we face every day shows to our closest family members that such discrimination is alright and that it can continue. By not sticking up for our rights in our families, why should we expect society to treat us with dignity and respect? 

With that, though I am sure I will post before then, I wish you and yours an excellent Holiday Season. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

GOProud's Hypocrisy

Just a very quick post - as I am in the middle of finals studying, and must stay focused on that till Thursday - but I could not pass this up.(Though it does feel good to actually be blogging for a change). 

 As most of my readers probably know, the Republicans gay organization GOProud is receiving quite a bit of flack because of their "outing" of a top Rick Perry candidate. According to GOProud, they were not aware that the consultant in question - Tony Fabrizio - was closeted, and that it was assumed that his sexual orientation was well known, 

“From the time this organization was founded we have been clear in our opposition to outing. We would never intentionally out anyone. However, in the case of Tony Fabrizio, top pollster and chief strategist for the Presidential campaign of Texas Governor Rick Perry, we did not believe there was any question about his sexual orientation – nor did the reporters who called us to ask about his involvement in Perry’s anti-gay campaign strategy. Questions about an individual’s sexual orientation should obviously be answered by that individual.
“Let us be crystal clear, however, Tony Fabrizio is not the victim here. Tony Fabrizio has lined his pockets for years with money from gay groups and is now one of the chief architects of a campaign strategy – not just an isolated television ad - intended to demonize gay people in order to score political points. Fabrizio claims he opposed the latest anti-gay Perry television ad. If Fabrizio really does oppose the ad and the broader strategy then the honorable and decent thing to do would be to resign from the campaign. Tony Fabrizio is no junior staffer he is one of the top campaign pollsters and strategists in the country.

In further interviews and conversations with the LGBT media figures like Michelangelo Signorile, GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia, asserts that the reason why the Perry campaign was specifically targeted was because anti-gay sentiment became the "the centerpiece strategy of the campaign."

So, as long as anti-gay sentiment is just a plank in any particular candidates campaign - whether that be the failed campaign of Herman Cain (which GOProud supported till the end), Michelle Bachman (which GOProud has stated they would support if she became theRepublican candidate), Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney - they are not going to be the target of GOProud's malice...yet once anti-gay hysteria becomes a central campaign issue then they are worthy of being called out? 

When will GOProud realize that what Perry did in his campaign ad is just as wrong as Herman Cain asserting that people "choose" to be gay? When will they realize that every time a major candidate talks about the necessity of keeping marriage between one man and one woman, they are reinforcing the stereotype that LGBT people are "less than" their heterosexual counterparts. Just because such a mentality is not a "central" part of a campaign does not make it any less damaging.

If GOProud wants to regain any form of legitimacy that they might have had, they must dispense with the hypocrisy of pointing out LGBT individuals who "line their pockets with checks from homophobes while throwing the rest of us under the bus" while at the same time engaging in similar activities. Instead of saying nothing or hardly making a stir when candidates espouses harmful rhetoric against our community, they must speak out forcefully and passionately against such harassment. As long as they support in word and deed politicians who will "throw our community under the bus", they are no better than Tony Fabrizio. 
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