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    December 15, 2008

    Quarantining gays from marriage

    Posted by: Chris

    I'm usually a bit loathe to sit and watch the latest Jon Stewart and Keith Olberman video making the rounds of gaydom, even though they both are strong supporters of our equality, because a political preacher exhorting his choir does not make for the most interesting viewing, IMHO.

    But I will pass on Jon Stewart's mini-debate on gay marriage with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee because it is two-sided and touches on a lot of the hot buttons of this issue generally. Huckabee's folksy image and guitar skills have successfully refurbished his image from that of an angry Baptist minister who urged that people with AIDS be quarantined to protect us from "the dangerous public health threat of homosexuality."

    At one point in the discussion, Huck defends treating same-sex marriage differently than interracial marriage because, "There's a big difference between a person being black and a person practicing a lifestyle." Nice try, Mike, but you said otherwise on "Meet The Press" a year ago.

    You can take the Baptist preacher out of Arkansas, but you can't take the Arkansas out of the Baptist preacher.

    I'll also note, in passing, that almost none of the pro-marriage-equality arguments that Stewart voices so effectivly were even attempted in opposition to Proposition 8 -- mainly because doing so would require using words like "discrimination," "marriage" and "gay," which our side's focus groups apparently found too messy.

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    Comments

    1. Patrickometry on Dec 15, 2008 11:51:44 PM:

      I guess that makes MLK's 'I have a dream' speech a pretty loathsome occasion in your view. He too was "a political preacher exhorting his choir".

      Wouldn't you agree that many people who are pro-equality don't know how to argue effectively on behalf of gay rights? You seem to appreciate Jon's clarity in his discussion with Huckabee. Isn't that the most important aspect of this video? Isn't that reason enough to pass it amongst 'the choir'?

      When these sorts of videos get passed around from people like me I do so because I appreciate moral clarity and I believe strongly that that's what gay people and our allies need more of in our discussion with potential allies and intractable enemies. I think you agree: at the end of your post you mention the Prop 8 campaign and its willful avoidance of clarity.

      Anyways, I think you miss the point while simultaneously making it. Jon Stewart isn't just preaching to the choir; he's more clearly showing the way forward. We need more of that. Lots lots more. :)

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