Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council, says the secretary's comments were "profoundly offensive" and fly in the face of the Bush administration's endorsement of a federal marriage protection amendment, though that backing be less than enthusiastic.Hmmm... I thought the word had gone out that opponents of same sex marriage were supposed to deny any hostility to gay people.
"We have to face the fact that putting a homosexual in charge of AIDS policy is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," says Sprigg. "But even beyond that, the deferential treatment that was given not only to him but his partner and his partner's family by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is very distressing."
"In the world of protocol, verbal miscues are anathema," the Family Research Council said in a message to conservatives.Is this a "political identity crisis," that must be worked through? I think Condoleezza Rice and President Bush think they can be entirely warm and supportive to gay people and still take the position that marriage is a special man-and-woman tradition. But there are lots of people on both sides of the question who view that position as impossibly contradictory.
"The question arises, what guidelines do the State Department and White House follow? Neither federal law (the Defense of Marriage Act) nor District of Columbia law recognizes a marriage between Dr. Dybul and his partner, and 'mother in law' is therefore both linguistically (and possibly legally) improper and morally provocative.
"Why did Secretary Rice deploy the term in the presence of the First Lady? We've written to ask her, and we'll let you know what we hear," said FRC President Tony Perkins.
In reporting on the swearing in ceremony last week, USA Today said the "celebratory moment for a gay couple was emblematic of the political identity crisis facing the Republican Party."