The revelation that former GOP chairman Ken Mehlman is gay was as shocking to the Republican inner circle as was the news that Lincoln had been shot. Sorry, tell us something we haven’t known for years.
Nevertheless, this non-event, and the stories that were written about it, come at a key time, a time when many on the right find themselves struggling as much with their own views on gay rights as Mehlman did with coming out.
The issue is being brought to the forefront, not by Mehlman, but by icons of the political right. Recently, invoking the principles of Thomas Jefferson, Glenn Beck shocked Fox listeners by stating that same-sex marriage was not a threat to this country. Ann Coulter drew headlines for accepting an invitation to give the keynote address at a gathering of gay conservatives.
The actions of Beck and Coulter have outraged social conservatives. But their actions, whether viewed as “pro-gay” or simply “live and let live,” are nothing new for many conservatives who, over the years, have stood for individual rights.
Barry Goldwater, who once told a reporter that every Christian should line up and “kick Jerry Falwell’s ass,” supported gays in the military. Goldwater noted that gays had served honorably in the military since the time of Julius Cesar and further quipped: “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”
Shortly after saying that, Goldwater died and presumably waited at the Gates of Heaven for Falwell’s arrival.
Time for the left to embrace Beck
“I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”
These were the words of Miss California, Carrie Prejean, at the 2009 Miss USA beauty pageant.
Psych. Just kidding. Those are the words of Barack Obama from the 2008 campaign trail. No one really paid attention to Obama’s quote at the time because his primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, had the exact same position.
Obama got elected and immediately appointed Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state. At Clinton’s confirmation hearing, there was not a single question about her position on gay rights.
But, Prejean herself was demoted to runner-up at Miss USA and labeled “dumb” by Bill Maher. Go figure.
Between a beauty contestant, on one hand, and a president and his secretary of state on the other, one struggles to determine which set of boobs was more divisive.