Friday, June 20, 2008

"Clinton and Obama both ended up looking like -- there’s no other way to put this -- pussies."

Armistead Maupin and husband, Christopher Turner.

Armistead Maupin shares his thoughts on the recent California marriage decision in an Advocate article as well as what he thinks about the pathetic showing by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in reaction to the news.

Four years ago, when the mayor of San Francisco made history by marrying gay folks down at City Hall, his fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein voiced her displeasure in no uncertain terms. “Too much, too fast, too soon,” was the way she put it, and the ice water in her veins was almost audible. The senator’s 26 years in the national spotlight had been launched by a homophobic assassin, yet she still found a quarter of a century “too soon” for the full establishment of gay civil rights.
The sad truth is that gay rights has always been the disposable card of liberal politics. The very fact of our existence is still “controversial” even to those who make a noise about being our friends. We’re still the fly in the ointment, the “divisive issue” that can lose an election. Just look at the weak-kneed response from the Clinton and Obama camps when the California supreme court made its landmark decision overthrowing the ban on same-sex marriage. Both candidates hid behind a campaign spokesperson and both reaffirmed their “separate but equal” policies of civil unions, thereby assuming a stance that would keep them in comfy solidarity with John McCain come November. The problem, of course, was that California court had just ruled that separate was NOT equal and never would be, so Clinton and Obama both ended up looking like -- there’s no other way to put this -- pussies. Faced with a major milestone in American civil rights, the Democratic contenders could offer neither congratulations nor condemnations. Like Dianne Feinstein four years earlier, they’d been completely upstaged by the decisive action of braver and wiser souls.
The battle has largely been won, I think. The mean and tiny minds who’ve made it their mission to “defend marriage” have existed in every era and have always lost. They lost when black people were given the right to vote. They lost when women were finally enfranchised. They lost when the ban on interracial marriage was lifted. And in each of these instances they claimed with a righteous certainty to have God on their side, only to be roundly defeated by the abiding decency and good sense of the American people. Now we’re in the midst of another seismic cultural shift, thanks to several generations of lesbians and gay men who’ve refused to live their lives in hiding. People know who we are now, and we’re just not that scary anymore. The old bigots are dying off, and the young ones are learning, at the very least, to deny their homophobia. Our happy ending is finally in sight.


Be sure to read the entire article.