Last week The Human Rights Campaign (maybe you’ve seen their yellow equal sign sticker?) and the gay cable TV channel Logo put together a program of interviews with the Democratic presidential candidates. I’m contemptuous of the frontrunners’ triangulating around the word “marriage” … we’re all for civil unions!, they crow, though the argument seems to be: All the polls say I can’t be for Marriage and be Elected so, you understand, it’s just not possible!
I did not watch the show. I’ve only followed the coverage on the blogs. The first big news seemed to be New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s gaffe. He calls homosexuality a Choice! That’s a no-no, as we know nobody would choose to be a reviled minority. It’s gotta be an inborn trait! Melissa Etheridge (the rock star! Elton John too English?) was on the interview panel and threw what she expected to be a softball, So, Bill, gay – Choice? or Couldn’t-help-it-born-that-way-victim-of-biology-don’t-hold-it-against-me? Chirped Bill, Choice!
Melissa stumbled all over herself trying to clarify for the clueless straight what the right answer was and couldn’t he, you know, redo?
For someone who’s supposedly a great diplomat Richardson didn’t get the bludgeoning hints. As he said in a later “clarification”, “I always love the word choice. I’m for freedom of choice.”
At Atrios’ post on the subject I left the following comment:
Richardson aside, I don't agree that bio is the right answer. As Richardson somewhat stumblingly suggested Choice is a perfectly fine answer. It shouldn't matter!
If I'm born gay and the man who chooses to spend his life with me (or just my bed for a night) doesn't think of himself as gay and only thinks of himself as in love with me (or hot for me) -- who happens to be of the same sex as him -- does that mean he (choice) is not entitled to the same rights as me (bio)? If we were to marry (in Massachusetts, say) and took a blood test and the blood test showed that I was biologically gay and he was choosing me gay would our marriage be annulled?
Isn't religion all about Choice? What right does the government have to annul same-sex marriages performed by some religions?
If you’re curious to follow up on the Logo forum here are some other links:
Americablog liveblogging it.
And Towleroad’s response. Towleroad has video clips.