Creative Destruction

May 14, 2006

Homo-Hating On The Left And On The Right

Filed under: Current Events,Debate — Ampersand @ 4:39 pm

Tom at Just One Minute takes note of the supposed lack of reaction to Howard Dean’s flirtation with homophobia:

I have every intention of keeping this incident in mind when, as the months and years unfold, folks on the right are asked to endure diatribes about our homophobia and pandering on this issue. The silence greeting Dean tells me all I need to know about the left blogosphere’s real commitment to this issue.

Yes, because lefty bloggers condemning Dean are just sooooo hard to find.

Frankly, I’ve condemned Democrats for insufficient support of queers any number of times. Tom, just to make sure you’re not a partisan hack – could you link to a couple of examples of you criticizing Republican queer-bashing? Or is it only something you comment on when Democrats do it?

But what I really object to in Tom’s post is his endorsement of moral equivalence. (Damn, it’s fun to say that to a conservative!) Yes, it’s sickening that Dean is coming out against legal equality on the 700 club. I condemn his words, his acts, and his lousy character. But I don’t imagine that what Dean did is the moral equivalent of proposing to amend the friggin’ Constitution to ward off legal equality.

Not to mention the many anti-queer ballot measures and laws proposed and all-too-often passed around the country: laws which bar lesbians and gays from things like protection from being fired for being queer, or which forbid them from adopting, or which threaten queer teachers’ jobs.

I’m against people punching other people. I’m also against people attacking other people with guns. But I can be against both without having to pretend that shooting someone is no worse than punching.

Many democrats are lousy for queers, leeches with a hand in every queer wallet who crawl away from every queer fight. But that doesn’t justify a false moral equivalency. Bad as the Dems are, the Republicans – the people who write and support every damn anti-queer law in the country, and who agitate for votes by spreading every vicious anti-queer bigotry they can think of – are far worse.

Tom’s attitude, at least as expressed in this one post, is total partisan hackery. “Howard Dean sucks from a queer rights perspective; therefore I can ignore all criticism of the bigotry in my own party.” That’s garbage, Tom. Bigotry is wrong because it’s immoral, not because it gives one side or the other a partisan advantage. Either you’re against bigotry, or your silence enables it.

At the least, if you choose not to oppose the bigots in your own party, please spare us the whining when you get criticized for your choice.

3 Comments »

  1. Speaking of moral equivalency:

    Either you’re against bigotry, or your silence enables it.

    Frankly, since I’m mostly silent on the issue or homophobia (not that I don’t have opinions), I’m not sure how to react to the statement above. It sounds an awful lot like Bush’s “either you’re with us, or you’re against us” jibe, which is stupid and polarizes the issue. Does going on the record against homophobia absolve me of enablement? I just wanna know.

    Comment by Brutus — May 14, 2006 @ 7:24 pm | Reply

  2. Yeah, fair point. The truth is, I sometimes go over the top with my rhetoric near the end of posts, because my desire for a strong finish overwhelms my good sense.

    I think that if you’re a conservative taking a stance about homophobia in the Democratic party, that creates a moral obligation to be concerned also about homophobia in the Republican party. Otherwise, you’re just a partisan hack.

    Outside of that circumstance, or one like it, however, I don’t think it’s fair to expect anyone to focus on fighting homophobia in particular, when the world is so full of evils to oppose, and the fact that there’s a finite amount of time forces us to focus our efforts. So it’s perfectly reasonable, in my view, to say “I’m on the record against A, B and C, but I’m going to focus my energies on issue D, because I don’t have time and energy for everything.”

    Comment by Ampersand — May 15, 2006 @ 4:28 am | Reply

  3. [...] Just a quickie for my first substantive post. (I have something more meaty in the works) Really this is no more than a comment in reply to Ampersand, but it’s a bit off-topic, and I don’t want to hijack his thread. I don’t think it’s fair to expect anyone to focus on fighting homophobia in particular, when the world is so full of evils to oppose, and the fact that there’s a finite amount of time forces us to focus our efforts. So it’s perfectly reasonable, in my view, to say “I’m on the record against A, B and C, but I’m going to focus my energies on issue D, because I don’t have time and energy for everything.” [...]

    Pingback by Creative Destruction » Are men responsible? — May 16, 2006 @ 6:17 pm | Reply


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