Republican Congressman Sees Gay Marriage As Socialist Concept

Demonizing gay marriage becomes more difficult when we consider the individuals involved. Republicans have no problems with generalized attacks. Think Progress quotes Republican Congressman Steve King as resorting to the usual right wing name calling on same sex marriage: “And not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis.”

Republicans, in a throwback to McCarthyism, love to throw around claims of socialism. They also like to use gay marriage and homophobia to motivate the right wing base and bring in more votes. After all, despite their success with the Southern Strategy, they cannot always rely upon racism and xenophobia to win elections.

Republicans often forget that they are dealing with people. Therefore we see this contradiction between a personal viewpoint and Republican policy in Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer’s new book:

For a commencement address at Furman University in spring 2008, Ed Gillespie wanted to insert a few lines condemning gay marriage. Bush called the speech too “condemnatory” and said, “I’m not going to tell some gay kid in the audience that he can’t get married.” (Of course, Bush ran his 2004 campaign telling that kid just that.)

It is one thing to run a political campaign or to make bizarre generalizations comparing gay marriage with socialism. Even George Bush was bothered when he actually considered individuals. Similarly Dick Cheney’s views varied from the Republican mainstream when he considered his own daughter.

It is harder to accept Republican bigotry when considering how it actually does affect individuals. Andrew Sullivan recently discussed the personal problems he faces due to American laws regarding both gay marriage and immigration:

I’ve been in the US for a quarter of a century, have paid taxes when I was working, am married to an American and have never asked for a dime of public help. But the US – alone among developed nations – still persecutes non-Americans for having HIV and regards my civil marriage as null and void and my husband as a total stranger to me.

Britain doesn’t persecute people with HIV and never has; moreover, Britain would allow my husband and I to relocate together to England at any point. I’m not sure people fully understand what it’s like to build a life with someone and to do all you can to contribute to a society – and yet be vulnerable at any moment to having your family torn apart by the government. But it’s a strain that eventually becomes crippling: you have no security, no stability, no guarantee that you have a future you can count on. And that affects an American citizen, my husband, as well.

Why has America become such a callous outlier on these matters? Why is the government forcing more and more able, qualified, productive and talented citizens into a diaspora to protect their families? And why, even after a big victory for Obama and a Democratic Congress, is there not the slightest chance of any progress for the foreseeable future?

Because it’s about gays. And we are still, in the eyes of the federal government, sub-human.

Hopefully Sullivan is wrong about there not being the slightest chance of any progress on these issues.

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    Mike Smith says:

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    Eclectic Radical says:

    I think it’s dangerous to overestimate the influence that seeing individuals instead of ‘gays as a class’ will have on most of the right. For all the faults and foibles and flaws of Bush’s character, he is a fairly simple ‘good guy’ on a purely individual level. He genuinely believes some truly oafish and dangerous things, but he is not a ‘bad’ man. He is a misguided, spoiled man who doesn’t understand how the real world operates.
     
    There are a lot of people, especially on the religious right, who do not see individuals at all  In situations where we would see the individual harm, they simply see ‘sinners as a class’ and their view of sin and forgiveness is decidely twisted from basic Christian principle.
     
    Furthermore, because some of this people do not live in the real world with the rest of us, their perceptions can be badly twisted even when they do see ‘individuals.’ Bobby Jindal did not see an epileptic girl having a seizure and call the campus medical service or an ambulance… he saw an attack of demonic position and exorcized the girl even as she may have needed real medical help. As an epileptic myself, I find that terribly worrisome.
     
    So I don’t have a great deal of faith in a sea change in the way we see individuals nor see that sea change influencing the gay rights issue. I am a little less pessimistic about the future than Sullivan, if Iowa can recognize gay marriage through state legislation then I think there’s still hope. I understand exactly why he feels the way he does, though, in his situation and with his unfortunate conflux of political views and personal circumstances.

  15. 15
    Mark Carter says:

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  16. 16
    mfcarterdesign says:

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    Bestcelebrity says:

    Sure, why not? Seems that everything that’s not right winged, republican, conservative, fundamental christian is socialist.
    There is a phrase, at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance… “with liberty and justice for all.” Hhhhmmmmm to everyone who is saying this is a socialist agenda, etc., I don’t see a single word in this phrase that says no liberty for gays, no liberty for lesbians. Just as the the Declaration of Independence states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” There are no exclusions here boys and girls. As a gay man, I am a tax paying citizen of this country, tracing my family back to pre white man arriving on these shores. Give it a rest folks. For those who do not wish me to have equal rights, then fine, you pay my yearly federal and state income tax bill so I DON’T have to pay for yours. End of story.

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