April 17, 2006

"I want to thank all of the children here today who brought their parents with them."

Said Laura Bush to all the kids who came to the White House Easter Party. The parents included many gay parents, who made a special point of coming to the party this year to see how they would be treated. They were treated like every other kid's parents.

There was a rule articulated in advance about who could be admitted:
[C]hildren of all ages are welcome but there must be at least one aged under seven in each group and no more than two adults in each group.
No heterosexism there.

59 comments:

vbspurs said...

First off, Happy belated Easter and Passover to all to whom it applies!

Alas, my connectivity has been rank, these days and I'm posting from the Univ labs.

Secondly, what did people expect?

That Laura or George Bush would flail themselves at the door of the White House, shouting,

"You gay parents cannot come in! We see you: In your Birkenstocks and Lacostes!"

(Choose your clothing-applicable stereotype above)

There are many people who dislike gays, stupid lot, but I'll tell you, it would have to take a very very bigotted person, to actually say what they believe, to a person's face.

Interpersonal human discourse is usually subtle, and out of politeness, or cowardice, sometimes both at once, we none of us feel what we believe in, when the person who embodies what we dislike, stands before us.

P.S.: Hey, I wore a beige pantsuit to Easter Mass this Sunday, and I thought of Laura Bush.

What's wrong with me? Apart from my dress sense, obviously.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ann Althouse said...

It's true, there was no other option, unless they were going to transform the party into an invitation only affair.

I'll bet there were plenty of groups with two female adults who were just bringing their kids on a weekday while the fathers were at work. Two women with kids doesn't ordinarily mean they are a lesbian couple.

C. Schweitzer said...

What an absurd "experiment," if you will. It reminds me of NBC's attempt to create news by inserting Muslim-"looking" people at a NASCAR event, expecting open expressions of hatred.

Both of these reveal more about the ridiculous mindset of those conducting the "experiments" than about the "subjects" of them.

I consider myself one of the dangerous right-wing religious zealots liberals so fear and it would never occur to me to treat another human-being who is not directly harming me inhumanely.

Oh my God are these people pathologically paranoid.

Elizabeth said...

It looks like the president and first lady were present only for the groups at the opening session at 8 am. Tickets to that round were not handed out to the folks who stood in line beginning Friday.

It sounds like the parents and kids who went had fun, from what I've read at planetout.com and mainstream news sources. There were the usual "homo-sex" protestors across the street, but who cares about them?

PatCA said...

"Secondly, what did people expect?"

Exactly. Like Elizabeth said, protestors are everywhere--and protest everything. It is simply not a brave act to protest in the US anymore! It's a photo op--and a way to congratulate oneself.

Just once I'd like to see a statement from some activist group: "We love our country and respect our fellow citizens so much we are not going to ruin the (insert event here) tomorrow by politicizing it with our protests." Happy (insert holiday here)and have a great time!"

After being scolded for my entire adult life for being Caucasian and American and heteronormative, I would support any group that did so.

James Wigderson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Wigderson said...

Meanwhile, the polygamists continue to suffer.

Tara said...

Patca:

The way you write it's almost as though you thought that the status quo weren't politicized...

...but that just wouldn't make sense.

Also, supporting the politics of whoever you feel is the sweetest to you? Really?

Fine, whatever.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Oh my God are these people pathologically paranoid.

They may be overly paranoid, but I think gay people have some pretty good reasons to be wary of Bush. Afterall, he wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same sex marriage, wants to keep gays and lesbians out of the military, opposes adoption by gays and lesbians, supports hate crime legislation unless sexual orientation is on the list, opposes laws protecting people from workplace sexual orientation discrimination.

You can make an argument for each one of those positions, but when you put them all together and combine them with so much anti-gay rhetoric in 2004 that even the Log Cabin Republicans wouldn't endorse the guy, it paints a picture and that picture might lead a reasonable gay person to be a bit paranoid.

Elizabeth said...

Pat, I think I'm misinterpreting your response. When you talk about protestors, do you mean the gay parents who took their kids to the Easter Roll, or the Fred Phelps types who stood across the street with hateful signs condeming those gay people?

peter hoh said...

I thought it was old news that, politics aside, the President and First Lady are tolerant of gay people.

somefeller said...

"I thought it was old news that, politics aside, the President and First Lady are tolerant of gay people."

Yes, aside from (i) wanting to amend the Constitution to specifically forbid states from choosing to recognize gay marriage, (ii) supporting anti-gay sodomy laws (like the one overturned in Lawrence v. Texas) and (iii) cozying up with political gay-bashers like Jerry Falwell and Dr. James Leininger (you can Google him), the President is famously tolerant of gay people. All those things aside, he's the best friend gay people have in public life, actually.

C. Schweitzer said...

Since when does tolerance = support. If you want tolerance, I'll give you tolerance: I'll treat you humanely and I'll defend your right to be treated humanely by others.

But tolerance does not equal agreement on all things political, social, and religious.

When I say their "paranoia is pathological," I mean, Bush has been very clear about what he supports and does not support in relation to gays. No one's going to be rounded up and pilloried in the public square. There is no sinister agenda.

Paranoia is not defined as the belief that people don't agree with you: paranoia is the persistant belief that people are out to get you and that they are hiding their intentions.

If you want to fight for your agenda, God bless you, but don't use Orwellian attempts to change the language to win the debate. Tolerance is not acceptance and paranoia is not the belief that people openly oppose your ideas.

Ara said...

I don't think the parents meant to this to protest Bush in particular or in the sense everyone here seems to think. Rather, it was to draw attention to the fact that their non-traditional families are still families despite not being portrayed frequently in the media. Clearly, And it worked, I saw the story on CNN with an adorable picture of a child pushing an egg.

Some of the people here react as if they were holding signs and protesting the Easter Bunny!

Joseph Hovsep said...

No one's going to be rounded up and pilloried in the public square.

No, they won't be. But if Bush had his way, sex between two consenting men or women would be criminally prosecuted.

Tolerance is not acceptance and paranoia is not the belief that people openly oppose your ideas.

Its not opposition to my ideas that is the problem. Its the consistent opposition to the rights of gay people as a group that makes gay people wary of what he'll do next. Bush may be delightfully nice and "tolerant" of gay people in person but his political positions do not exist in a vaccuum.

I'm sure Bush is very "tolerant" of and nice to many individuals who identify with groups he does not identify with. But when he makes a point of saying that blacks are nice and all but just don't make good parents or praises the Jews but thinks they should be imprisoned if they wear yarmulkas or tells Spanish-speakers they can serve in the military as long as they pretend they don't speak Spanish at home, well, eventually all the hugs and smiles won't reassure those groups that he really is "tolerant" or respectful of them at all.

Paranoia is naturally-ocurring and all humans feel it from time to time for good reason. You might feel paranoid when, for example, in your private reviews at work your boss tells you you're doing great, but then at the company picnic she tells everyone she wants to amend the employee handbook to insert a special provision to protect the integrity of the company from you and your ilk. It doesn't mean your boss has sinister intentions, but it makes you feel a little uneasy.

But then again, who is really being pathologically paranoid in the workplace example, the employee or the boss?

Wickedpinto said...

The concern wasn't that Laura would blow up and say "CLAMBUMPERS are NOT ALLOWED!!!" or one of her husbands aides would say "No Chocolate Spelunking!!" I mean REALLY!

That wasn't the concern that Laura, and other administrative peoples would get out of line, the concern was that the ACTIVISTS! would turn it into a stupid shouting match. It turns out that the only thing that was "activist" was rainbow ribbons, and such, which is fine, and I think a reasonable form of, hell it wasn't even protest, it was an open statement, and thats good, as long as you don't use the situation incorrectly.

I think it worked out okay, and I must appologize to gaypatriot for my skepticism.

downtownlad said...

Well the religious right thinks that gay marriage is going to lead to the end of civilization.

It's about time they met (or least witnessed) some of these couples, don't you think?

The religious right WAS clamoring for Bush to ban gay people from the event, or cancel it altogether.

Bush didn't, which is good. And some of the religious right are now pissed off at him. Which is ALSO good.

PatCA said...

Elizabeth,
Both of them, all of them. In this case the ones outside were obviously more obnoxious, but what I'm saying is, give me one event without a protest or complaint or "awareness" lecture! Put yourself in my place. All these advocacy groups are wearing me out, as a Caucasian heteronormative middle class woman with nothing but sympathy for oppressed people. For decades I've listened to people shouting and complaining, and I'm tired of it and so are lots of other former Democrats/liberals.

Tara, I don't see how the egg roll was "already political," but maybe I missed how the gays were led away in chains in prior egg rolls.

Mark said...

I think a majority of the American people think that civil marriage (as opposed to religious marriage) should be defined as a union between a man and a woman. Many states have enacted such definitions into their laws and constitutions.

Now, some might want to revise the definition of marriage to include a union of two men or a union of two women. Some might want to go further and revise the definition to include a union of three men or a union of three women or a union of one man two women or a union of one woman and two men. And so on and so on.

But just because someone believes that the definition of civil marriage should remain as is has been for years (a union between one man and one woman), this doesn't mean that he is reactionary.

Is a prohibition on marriage between two adult sisters or two adult brothers reactionary?

proudtobealiberal said...

From what I have read, the idea for gay parents and their children attending the Egg Roll came last year when PBS got in trouble for a Postcards from Buster episode featuring two mothers from Vermont and their daughter.

It's great that the First Lady's remarks made clear that all parents and their children were welcome.

The message on right wing radio & TV was firmly against gay parents participating; the theory was that children should not be exposed to the idea of gay parents. Bill O'Reilly appeared very concerned that some child might ask why some child shows up with two mothers or fathers.

In fact in the year 2006, young children may run into gay parents and their children -- at Kindermusik, Gymboree, synagogue, church, etc.

The most interesting thing about the whole controversy was learning that Mamie Eisenhower noticed in 1953 that black children were watching the Egg Roll outside the fence & that in 1954, she invited children both black and white to join the Egg Roll.

Why shouldn't gay parents attend the Egg Roll with their children?

Maxine Weiss said...

Mark: Funny, down the street from us, we have two elderly sisters who live together, by themselves.

Aren't they entitled to the same tax breaks? as any other couple living together.....if all of the sudden any two adults living in the same house can call themselves married.....

Peace, Maxine

C. Schweitzer said...

The commentary I heard on the radio was NOT that gay parents and their children shouldn't participate but rather expressing a concern that a nonpolitical event for children would become all about a political battle.

The world of politics is annoying and disheartening enough without dragging the children into it. Let them have their day without shoving any agenda into it. (And, yes, the same would go if some group of right-wing activists wanted to use the egg hunt as a political statement of their own).

Let the kids pick up some damn eggs without parents or politicians making it about themselves.

Maxine Weiss said...

Isn't the White House public property? They can't legally ban tax paying U.S. citizens.

I'm just surprised nobody made a fuss about separation of church and state on public property, or endorsing religion.

Speaking of religion: The polygamists. Aren't there several right-to-polygamy lawsuits winding their way through Federal Court right now, in Utah, and Colorado? ---And they can make a freedom-of-religion argument as to why the polygamy marriages should stand.

Peace, Maxine

Danny said...

These aren't liberals or Democracts protesting at the White House. These are people who are being denied a significant tax break because of their sexual orientation. Some say that we shouldn't protest at non-political events--ANYTHING that goes on at the White House is a political event, whether it be extramarital oral sex or the tossing of eggs. Anytime this battle for civil rights makes progress there are always those waiting to cry foul for using innappropriate routes like the judicial branch. The increased visibility of families with gay parents at the egg toss was effective, if only because Ann and other bloggers felt it was a significant event worth blogging about.

Pete Hallman said...

Danny: "Some say that we shouldn't protest at non-political events--ANYTHING that goes on at the White House is a political event, whether it be extramarital oral sex or the tossing of eggs."

Yup - they both sound like identical actions to me. Sigh.....

One thing I've found out: kids getting together can always find ways to simply have fun, but when the grownups get involved, the shear joy of the activity tends to disappear. Agenda trumps enjoyment every time.

WV: keixy. I like the look of it.

crewdog said...

If it's all about tax breaks enjoyed by married couples, then the alternative to extending these tax breaks to gay couples (and polyamorous unions) is simply to take the tax breaks away from everybody.

hygate said...

Joe said

"Its not opposition to my ideas that is the problem. Its the consistent opposition to the rights of gay people as a group that makes gay people wary of what he'll do next. Bush may be delightfully nice and "tolerant" of gay people in person but his political positions do not exist in a vaccuum."

Bill Clinton introduced the "Don't ask. Don't tell" policy and signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Do you have a similar antipathy to him? Or is it OK because he was just pandering while Bush really means it? I'm not trying to be snarky here. I'm honestly curious.

Pogo said...

1. Laura Bush gave an example of what "tolerance" actually means in practice.

2. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes an Easter egg party is not about politics, it's just an Easter egg party (even at the White House).

3. I note again that the love that dared not speak its name now seems unable to shut up, even when children are just playing, where always it's spring, and the flowers pick themselves.

Al Maviva said...

Bill O'Reilly, conservative? Please. He's a populist crank. Citing O'Reilly's rants as the conservative position is about as credible as citing Ralph Nader's blithering as the liberal position. While it sometimes may coincide, O'Reilly gets their with one of his accidental knee jerks; conservatives generally have some philosophical, pragmatic or religion-based reason for arriving at a particular policy position, and they arrive at the position because their first principles put them there. Were there a true public outcry in favor of Man-Dog marriage, with polls showing a good 65% of the public in favor of it, O'Reilly might knock you down and step on your back in order to be first on that bandwagon...

Ann Althouse said...

JOE: "'No one's going to be rounded up and pilloried in the public square.' No, they won't be. But if Bush had his way, sex between two consenting men or women would be criminally prosecuted."

Can you cite anything to back up that statement, which to me is ludicrous on its face?

knoxgirl said...

I'm going to reveal my bigotry hear by admitting that I support a ban on celebrity marriage and most especially, adoption.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Can you cite anything to back up that statement, which to me is ludicrous on its face?

While Governor of Texas, Bush promised to veto any attempt to repeal the Texas sodomy law, which he defended as "a symbolic gesture of traditional values." This does not represent deference to public opinion. It shows he feels so strongly that gay sex should be criminalized, that he is willing to override public opinion.

John Lawrence and Tyron Garner were held overnight in jail and later fined $200 each for violating the Texas sodomy law in 1998, while Bush was Governor.

His Presidential administration has refused to indicate suppport or criticism for Lawrence v. Texas. Given his unretracted earlier statement on a highly controversial subject, I think its fair to continue citing his last public opinions and actions on the topic.

I will grant you that Bush has also made gay friendly gestures, like his inexplicable out-of-the-blue support for civil unions right before election day in 2004. But given all the other anti-gay positions he's taken, that's hardly reassuring.

Ann Althouse said...

JOE: You're blatantly ignoring the word "symbolic." What Bush does is give an occasional sop to the traditionalists, but he takes no action. You might dislike that, but the inference that he wants people prosecuted for private sexual acts is utterly unbelievable. If I had to bet on what's actually in his heart and how he actually feels about the gay people he knows, I'd say it is positive. But he has chosen to operate within the political structure of his party, which he does very successfully. You're welcome to hate that, of course.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Bill Clinton introduced the "Don't ask. Don't tell" policy and signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Do you have a similar antipathy to him?

That's a good question. I am the first to attack wimpy Democrats for their reluctance to take consistent positions on a range of gay rights issues. I think its a mistake for the Democrats because it leaves them open to criticism for waffling and it passes up an opportunity to define themselves righeously on an issue that will reap rewards in the long term. That said, Democrats like Bill Clinton have supported gay rights on lots of other issues. Bush, and the contemporary GOP more generally, have taken consistently anti-gay positions on a much broader range of issues. So, you can argue that Bush is more consistent on gay rights (other than his surprise support for civil unions), but from the perspective of a lot of gays and lesbians, the Democrats' inconsistency is much more attractive in this case.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Also, the Texas Republican Party Platform for 2000, which Bush presumably had at least a nominal influence on stated: "The party opposes the decriminalization of sodomy" and "No homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be limited to supervised periods."

Prof. Althouse, I agree that in Bush's heart he may be very compassionate towards gay people and that his rhetoric is largely symbolic and the result of cold political calculation. But symblic rhetoric can cause more than just symbolic harm to gay people, as is evidenced by his enforcement of the sodomy laws in 1998 and the effect on people who believe that Bush believes what he says. Bush has taken unpopular stands on other issues, but when it comes to finding a "sop to the traditionalists," he uses gay people and individual liberty as the scape goat. You're right. I'm welcome to hate it and you might guess that I do.

hygate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hygate said...

Joe said:

"While Governor of Texas, Bush promised to veto any attempt to repeal the Texas sodomy law, which he defended as "a symbolic gesture of traditional values." This does not represent deference to public opinion. It shows he feels so strongly that gay sex should be criminalized, that he is willing to override public opinion."


I disagree; I think it is deferring to public opinion, after all this is Texas we’re talking about here. I would be very surprised if the majority of people there didn't support making sodomy illegal. But then I live in a state where simply owning a vibrator is a criminal offense. Not to say that I think he was right. I take the libertarian view about these sorts of things. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes is none of the governments business and I don't see any reason why gays shouldn't be able to marry (or why polygamy shouldn't be legal for that matter). I just think that railing against the current president is pointless. The U.S. is a representative democracy. When the majority of the people agree that same sex unions should be legal then the people’s reps will make it so. That is why I think it is perfectly legitimate for gay families to show up at the White House Easter Egg Roll. It helps show Middle America that gays are perfectly normal people not very different from themselves. The civil rights act and general acceptance of African-American civil rights occurred because enough Americans were convinced that it was the right thing to do. Until then, despite the constitution, African-Americans were denied their rights as U.S. citizens. Gays are going to need a similar transformation in public opinion if they are going to achieve similar results.

Danny said...

When the policies the President supports are discriminatory against specific families, isn't kind of a no-brainer that these families would show up to a widely publicized family event held by the President?

dick said...

Joe,

You are really whacko when it comes to the Clintons supporting the gays. The only time they supported the gays was when they were running for office. The rest of the time the gays were not even on the radar. Remember when Hillary ran for senate Richard Gere commented on the fact that she and Bill had actually done nothing for gays at all. It was all mouth and no action.

Conversely Bush has increased spending on research of AIDS and has put money behind the program to help the AIDS sufferers in Africa. Clinton only got on that bandwagon after Bush had funded it and then he was going to get money from friends to do so. I have not heard anything more about the Clinton initiative since. Has he in fact raised anything for that program?

As for Hillary she has said she thinks marriage is between a man and a woman and she supports civil unions. Bush has done the same.

I am gay myself and i am amazed at the propensity for gays to take words that do nothing for actions. A lot of the republican positions are not to my taste when it comes to gay issues but very few of the democrats are doing more than giving lip service to gays so what does that buy you.

Maxine Weiss said...

"But if Bush had his way, sex between two consenting men or women would be criminally prosecuted."

Maybe the men, but not the women. The women would be encouraged. In GWB's heart, I'm sure he's just like any other alpha-Male: they enjoy seeing two women together. Men dig lesbians. They are facinated by 'em. And, we all know why.

I'm NOT a lesbian, by they way.

Just in case in one was thinking anything.

Peace, Maxine

Joseph Hovsep said...

You are really whacko when it comes to the Clintons supporting the gays.

I don't think you read my comment fully. I have no illusions that the Clintons or other major Democrats are weak when it comes to gay rights issues. I didn't claim they weren't. What I said was that they are consistently more supportive of gay rights. Unlike Bush, they don't think gay sex should be criminalized. Unlike Bush, they think it should be illegal to disciminate on the basis of sexual orientation in federal employment. Bill Clinton tried to allow gays to serve openly in the military but failed (but still supports lifting the ban) whereas Bush continues to enforce DADT even in a time of war. Unlike Bush, the Clintons think that hate crimes law should apply to violence against gays and lesbians. Unlike Bush, they think that gay and lesbian couples can and do make good parents.

On gay marriage, there's not much difference between Bush and Clinton, except in style: the Clintons oppose same sex marriage, but, unlike Bush, they don't exploit the issue (because the GOP has more to gain from exploiting it).

I don't think all gay people should vote Democratic, but I think on the narrow issue of gay rights, Democrats are at least sensitive and proactive on many issues and the Republicans are seemingly deliberately insensitive to gay rights issues for political gain.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Just to be clear, I've gone on and on about Bush's record on gay rights in response to the comment that gays are "pathologically paranoid" about Bush. I think they are reasonably paranoid.

What I didn't say earlier is that I do appreciate it when Bush makes conciliatory efforts, whether affirmatively making some gay appointments or, as in the Easter example, simply being respectful and inclusive.

hygate said...

Joe said:

"That said, Democrats like Bill Clinton have supported gay rights on lots of other issues. Bush, and the contemporary GOP more generally, have taken consistently anti-gay positions on a much broader range of issues. So, you can argue that Bush is more consistent on gay rights (other than his surprise support for civil unions), but from the perspective of a lot of gays and lesbians, the Democrats' inconsistency is much more attractive in this case."

Makes sense - from the "It's better to get hit on the head with a hammer on a weekly, as opposed to daily, basis". From a practical perspective I can see where you are coming from. But I think that Bush's views on gays are pretty similar to the majority of Americans. If 70 plus percent of the population think that gay marriage should be illegal (which is, I believe, the general percentage that vote against it in public referendums, even in the bluest of blue states) then the politicians representing them are going to reflect that. Changing the minds of about 20 to 30% of that 70% would seem to be the winning strategy.

AJ Lynch said...

Joe pointed to the two good old boys from Texas who were locked up for acting like they were on Brokeback Mountain. I recall they were arrested when their house was raided for some other crime and they got caught with no tent and their pants down. Cops then had to enforce the law. So I don't think Bush (with a capital "B")had anything to do with that particular case.

downtownlad said...

I actually have more respect for someone like Jerry Falwell than I do for George Bush. Jerry Falwell believes that gays should be imprisoned and publicly advocates that.

George Bush "probably" doesn't believe that in his heart, but still advocates that publicly. So he has no problem demonizing gay people if it's going to win him votes. I'm supposed to ignore that???

At least Falwell is sincere in his beliefs.

Ann Althouse said...

dtl: "I'm supposed to ignore that???"

No, but don't ignore what Clinton did.

I don't like any politicians myself, for these reasons, but I'm glad some halfway decent people do take up politics, even though they have to make compromises to get anywhere. I have some sympathy for their predicament. If they didn't do it, worse people would be in office.

proudtobealiberal said...

In discussing this issue, it is important to note that the Republicans used the gay marriage issue to drum up voters for Bush in 2004. And they are planning on employing the same approach in 2006.

It seems to me that was upsetting to those who were furious about the gay participation in the Egg Roll was that the Bush administration had a choice: change the rules (only military families or some such) or allow gay families as well, and the Bush administration chose the second.

How can anyone with a heart be mean to children just because their parents have an unpopular sexual orientation?

All studies show that people who know gay people are more supportive of gay marriage and civil unions. Thus, the best strategy to promote gay rights is for gay people to come out of the closet and stand up in public to show that they are loving parents (and children and friends,etc.).

The question for those who are upset about the egg roll & gay participation should ask themselves what they want. Do they think that gay parents should stick to Vermont and other blue states and avoid participating in family events in our nation's capitol? Or is the problem solely with the leis?

Kev said...

Joe said:
"Its not opposition to my ideas that is the problem. Its the consistent opposition to the rights of gay people as a group that makes gay people wary of what he'll do next."

This is part of the problem. The United States was founded on the principle of individual rights. "Group rights" is a myth perpetuated by a certain segment of our society--albeit one that's gotten an awful lot of mileage in terms of legislation.

downtownlad said...

Ann,

Who says I ignore what Clinton did? I didn't vote for Clinton. I voted for Dole and Bush.

But I wasn't going to make the same mistake with Bush the second time. I voted Libertarian.

Bush lost my trust big time.

downtownlad said...

I also don't buy that Bush had to cave into the anti-gay forces because of politics.

John McCain never would have done such a thing. Neither would have George Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan, or Gerald Ford. Ronald Reagan went out on a limb to defend gay people against very popular anti-gay referendums in the 1970's.

Bush is the most anti-gay President in the history of this country. That says a lot.

AJ Lynch said...

Proudtobeliberalsaid:

"It seems to me that was upsetting to those who were furious about the gay participation in the Egg Roll was that the Bush administration had a choice: change the rules (only military families or some such) or allow gay families as well, and the Bush administration chose the second. "

You are wrong- the Bushes were not limited to two choices. They just did nothing - no rule changes- same as every other year. Let's face it the MSM trumpeted the coming gay parent onslaught and the White House did not blink. They simply did like they did every other year.

downtownlad said...

That's completely wrong AJ Lynch. The right-wing blogs trumpeted this over two months ago, practically begging Bush to stop this.

Just check the World Net Daily archives. The mainstream media didn't even mention this until two days before Easter.

Joan said...

downtownlad, your faith in John McCain is touching, but unwarranted. He's just as much of a politician as anyone else on your list.

knoxgirl said...

somebody voted for Dole?

That downtownlad, you never know what he'll say next!

Hey said...

Most anti-gay president in the history of our country?

Sorry downtownlad, but you've now invoked the Billy Madison put down: we're now all dumber for having heard that.

I'm not sure who the first "tolerant" president would be, but it would have to be someone between Kennedy and Carter. Kennedy did and said rather nasty things about gays, though he was much better than his times. The fact that Bush II supported not changing the law or the staus quo makes him "anti-gay" is rather astonishing. When exactly, was gay marriage the accepted norm that Bushco have now overthrown?

Further on Lawrence v. Texas: the law was enforced very, very, very rarely. In fact it was essentially not enforced, and if you are going to challenge a law, you need standing, in this case a charge of "sodomy". It appears to be quite convenient that the parties in Lawrence had the police called on them for a noise complaint and were found in flagrante.

Further, you seem to be exhibiting the common fallacy that bad = unconstitutional. The Constitution is a big, heavy tool that everyone loves to reach for as it offers a quick solution to something a group dislikes. Changing the law is hard, lengthy, expensive, and frustrating. A court case can be handled by a few experts with minimal fundraising (relatively, of course, still $ millions) and no sustained effort by the larger group. These considerations do not make everything that you dislike unconstitutional!

Thomas had the best decision on Lawrence, saying that it was profoundly silly, but within the power of the state of Texas. This is applicable to a very many laws with which I disagree and feel are especially harmful. Drug prohibition is constitutional in almost all respects (I'm not a fan of some of the interstate commerce jurisprudence, but the relevant federal laws on local/personal production would be fully consitutional if they were instead state laws), but it is deeply wrong, harmful, and silly. Effecting change is frustrating, nearly futile, and draining, but that is the right venue for almost all legalisation efforts.

The modern fetish for the courts and an abandonment of the legislature and consitutional amendment process is deeply disturbing and disappointing. It seems to be yet one more crime of the left that a vital and common, though difficult, procedure has been swept away by the imperial judiciary and the academy.

somefeller said...

Joe says: "I will grant you that Bush has also made gay friendly gestures, like his inexplicable out-of-the-blue support for civil unions right before election day in 2004. But given all the other anti-gay positions he's taken, that's hardly reassuring."

I don't think there was anything inexplicable about Bush's "support" for civil unions. He was simply trying to take some of the edge off of the anti-gay agenda that he and his party had been pushing that year, so as to gain a few socially liberal swing voters who felt uncomfortable with that agenda. It was just lip service, while in terms of actual substantive actions, he promoted his anti-gay marriage Constitutional Amendment, and he made sure that Karl Rove promoted similar amendments at the state level to get out the social conservative vote. Here is a link discussing the latter point, and before anyone jumps in and claims Bush had nothing to do with this, I think it's safe to say that Rove wouldn't push a campaign strategy that Bush didn't support (and sorry, I still haven't figured out HTML tags).

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6401635/site/newsweek/

Nothing inexplicable, just an example of Bush saying one thing and doing another. No surprises there.

Joseph Hovsep said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
downtownlad said...

Let's stop with this LIE that Bush supported civil unions prior to the election.

He did NOTHING of the sort. He simply said that if states choose to do so, that is their prerogative. He never endorsed that view though.


When I say Bush is the most anti-gay President in history, I easily stand by that statement. If you look at the context of the time, Bush is the only President who has tried to move gay rights BACKWARDS. Jefferson may have favored castration for gays, but considering that the current law was the death penalty, that has got to be seen as progressive.

Bush not only wants Lawrence V. Texas repealed, but he wants those "silly" sodomy laws back on the books AND enforced. He has said as much. Unless someone can find a public statement where he has disavowed this. I've researched this and he has not.

In case you haven't noticed, repealing Lawrence V. Texas is second in priority for the religious right after Roe V. Wade.

Palladian said...

"When I say Bush is the most anti-gay President in history, I easily stand by that statement."

What about Millard Fillmore? Or Chester A. Arthur? What were Franklin Pierce's views about gay marriage? Did General Washington support lifting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?