Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Roll in the Hayes

I've thought a long time on my response to Robin Hayes, who I will be happily voting out of office in just a few days, my representative who is a co-sponsor of the FMA. I've got a few responses worked out, and I may share one, that are very political and argumentative. The best one, however, has come from Peter, whose devilish genius I adore.

Peter suggests that I forward to the local paper, the Charlotte Observer, the segment of Rep. Hayes's letter (see my post below "This Means War") where he states he "hope[s] we can work together" with a new letter that I compose thanking Rep. Hayes for his wilingness to contribute to gay activisim and issues. I can see the headlines:

Local Representative Pledges to Work on Improving Local Gay Issues

Robin Hayes Offers Support to Local Gay Activists

Congressman Concerned for Gay Constituents
I'm tempted to go through with this.

Waffles With Pitiful Syrup

George Bush came out in opposition to the Republican Party Platform's position on gay civil unions. In an interview Sunday with Charles Gibson of ABC news, which aired this morning, Bush said he favored states giving gay couples civil unions and that the Republican Party Platform, which opposes any type of legal recognition to unions of gay couples, was "wrong" and that he disagreed with it.

Now, to be as fair as possible, Bush has always said he thought that states should decide what kind of legal recognition they wanted to grant to gay couples. But when you strongly and repeatedly state your definition of marriage as a man and a woman, fraternize regularly with leaders of the Christian Religious Right, and constantly call for the passage of a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting gay marriage that would even further eliminate the possibility of one state recognizing the legal rights of another state to a gay couple (DOMA already does this, but the Amendment would solidify this) and has language in it that pretty much opposes civil unions, you lose the slightest ounce of credibility and respect.

Clearly this is a last minute appeal to moderate swing voters. Undoubtably figuring his conservative base will still vote for him, he's not worried about angering them, but more concerned about gaining those uncertain votes. Will it work for him however? Could he lose votes from his base that will now be upset with his statement? They likely won't vote for Kerry, but will they just not vote for Bush? It's hard to imagine what he hoped to gain with this statement. He's been such an adamant support of the FMA that hardly anybody is likely to view him as being moderate or compassionate on this issue. I'll be interested in seeing the Log Cabin Republican response. I'm hoping, and pretty sure, this will not cause them to endorse him at this late point.

Although it's hard to see what he could possibly gain from trying to pass himself off as tolerant (still a negative word - do you think being tolerant of, say, black people, Jews, or women is positive?) , this is just another fake pass at trying to win over voters in this area. Cheney's mention of support for Mary in a town hall meeting, her appearance after his debate with Edwards, and his alleged outrage at Kerry mentioning Mary's name, are all just political tactics. Did anyone really bring up Mary's absence after Cheney's RNC speech despite earlier appearing in the stands with her family?

And, as an aside, I'm sick of the whole Marygate issue. Kerry's mention was awkward and no doubt politically motivated, yet it's no less egregious than the Cheney's own use of Mary's name for their political advantage. And, guess what, Mary is an out lesbian who has used her orientation to help smooth relations between the gay community and Coors brewing company as well as helping the candidacy of her dad and Bush. She's put herself out there as fair game. I see no harm no foul here, folks.

I do cry foul with Bush, however. This just further illustrates his desire to say whatever will get him elected. The man is dumb and lacking principles. He says he stands firm, yet he constantly "updates" and changes his position and explanations to avoid scrutiny or criticism. The sandal is on your own feet, George.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Great Pumpkin Day

Halloween is one of my most favorite holidays. It is, perhaps coincidentally, probably the most gay of holidays. When else is acting like you're somebody else more acceptable? Thousands of people go into the closet and pick out some new identity to wear for a few hours that night. You get candy and tricks. Straight men and gay men alike bond in the socially acceptable post-dawn hours to wear drag in public loud and proud.

Halloween is about fun. Forget myths about poison in candy and fruit (it never happened). Adults get to be kids again and forget the responsibilities of work and other drudgeries. And being gay should be about having fun. Often it's not, unfortunately, but it should. Our difference should be celebrated and enjoyed. We should be able to dress however we want, flamboyant to conservative, femme to butch, whatever our "costume" is.

Halloween is about confronting demons and devils. The dark of life is brought out and celebrated. We can't have light without the darkness and confronting our demons can only elevate us. Halloween is about scaring away evil spirits and we certainly have plenty of evil to dispel in this world.

Halloween is about carving jack o lanterns. It's a chance to put on a new "face" to the world. It's a time to be creative. Gay people are some of the most artistic people in the world. Here is a chance to show it in design and art.

Halloween is about giving, just don't give your trick something he doesn't want. We give candy to kids or money to unicef. It's about doing something for others. The queer community needs to continue to help each other out and not fragment. We all need each other to lean on from time to time, the song goes. Halloween can be a symbol for year-long work. And you thought Christmas was only about the spirit of helping humankind.

Here's to caramel apples, grinning ghouls, good friends, and a chance to be as gay as we want anywhere we want.

And may you receive no rocks in your treat bag.

Get Out and Vote Unless You're Voting for Bush

I'm tired of businesses, organizations, and people to just "get out and vote" and "excercise their right." Yah, yah, it's all great and all that people participate in the "democratic process"; a process that is increasingly under suspicion as being democratic, fair, or untainted. But nevermind that, I don't want just anybody voting. I'm taking the very non-politicially correct stance that I don't want you voting unless you're voting to elect John Kerry president and voting out every politician who bows to the whims of the Religious Right.

If you believe that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry, that gays shouldn't be a protected work class, that you should be able to legislate your religious beliefs on the rest of the country, that you can't criticize a "war-time" president regardless of his lies and lack of planning and adequate support for our military without being a traitor, that America should force it ideas of democracy and government on the rest of the world, that a guy whose dad bought him a cushy job in a military unit that he may or may not have actually worked has the right to question the service record or even suggest that he can do a better job defending our country than a man who actually went overseas to one of the most hellish wars that Americans have fought, that you need an SUV to drive around your suburban neighbor, that you worry that some terrorist is going to drop a nuclear bomb on you while taking your kids to soccer practice in aforementioned SUV, or that Jesus would approve of the death penalty but not abortion, then I want you to stay home. Go ahead and take the day off work. Relax. Sit down with your favorite drink and watch the election results come in.

Because, really, if you believe any of the above, you're doing a greater disservice to our country in voting than contributing to the democratic process.