Compiled by Howard Israel
“What is especially troubling is Mr. Obama’s oversensitivity to a dwindling minority of bigots on this issue. Hundreds of military careers have been destroyed on his watch for no valid reason. The country has been deprived of the talents of these service members and has wasted millions of dollars on their training. Many wonder when their president will show the same kind of concern for the constitutional rights of gay American service members as he has for enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay. Many wonder what the administration’s willingness to treat gay Americans as second-class citizens says to Uganda and other countries that are considering laws that would subject gays to imprisonment and even death. Gay Americans have been among the president’s most ardent supporters. Their enthusiasm, and that of their families and friends, could be crucial in this year’s elections. The president’s action – or inaction – on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be noticed.”
– Richard Socarides, in a column titled “Ask Obama About Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Gay voters are growing impatient for equality,” Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com, Jan. 24.
“I spent the first third of my life pretending not to be a girl, and the second third of my life pretending not to have been a boy.”
– Kimberly Reed, filmmaker of the soon-to-be-released documentary “Prodigal Sons,” in a profile of her life titled “The Amazing Tale of the High School Quarterback Turned Lesbian Filmmaker,” http://www.details.com, January 2010 Issue.
“The state of California is engaged in ‘gay bashing.’ These (gay and lesbian plaintiffs) are people you would want your child to grow up and marry. You can be a child molester and get married. You can be a wife beater and get married. You can be a child-support scofflaw and get married. The importance of that emotional relationship is so vital to the pursuit of happiness that even prison felons, who aren’t really procreating, have a right to get married.”
– David Boies, high-profile liberal attorney representing gay and lesbian couples in the trial challenging California’s Proposition 8, in an opinion column by Maureen Dowd titled “An Odd Couple Defends Couples That Some (Oddly) Find Odd,” about the two lead attorneys in the case, http://www.nytimes.com, Jan. 17.
“Gays and lesbians do not possess a meaningful degree of political power and can’t count on most of their friends in high places, including President Obama. He is perhaps the best illustration of an ally who cannot be counted upon, an ally whose rhetoric far exceeds his actions. Anti-discrimination laws provide some protection but are vulnerable to ballot measures such as Prop. 8. – 200 initiatives restricting gay rights have appeared on state and local ballots across the nation since 1990 and more than 70 percent have passed. There is no group in American society who has been targeted by ballot initiatives more than gays and lesbians. Proposition 8 was part of a chain of ballot-box defeats for the gay rights movement dating back to the 1970s, including 33 of the 34 measures across the country dealing with marriage. Opinion polls show that the American public is not very fond of gays and lesbians and is more hostile to them than to racial and religious minorities. By any measure, gays and lesbians would have to be understood as a minority faction. People who accept the normativity of heterosexuality have held power essentially forever.”
– Gary Segura, political science professor, head of Stanford University’s Chicano studies program and co-director of its Center on American Democracy, testifying on behalf of supporters of same-sex marriage in the Prop. 8 trial, http://www.sfgate.com, Jan. 20.
“When your dad is John McCain and you have been trained to stand by and smile while his career in politics careens toward the presidency, disagreements take on a new significance. That is why I think it matters that Sen. McCain’s wife and daughter have come out publicly in support of gay marriage. There is something powerful in the image of the two women undermining the patriarch of the family publicly, especially in suggestive, bondage related images (loving that duct tape). It is an emasculation of the father, but also an expression of the father’s disconnect from the social values of both his wife’s and daughter’s generations.”
– Emma Ruby-Sachs, on her blog titled “The McCain Women Matter,” about Cindy and Meghan McCain’s (John McCain’s wife and daughter) public endorsement of same-sex marriage by appearing in the NOH8 photo campaign, protesting California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, http://www.365gay.com, Jan. 22.
“What he is telling me, and I believe is right, is that there is a cloud over this nation now. There’s a cloud of God’s wrath over America. This country has enjoyed tremendous blessing. We have been blessed like no nation on the face of the Earth, and yet we have forsaken the Lord. You can’t have your courts turn against me. You can’t have legislation that is anti-God. You can’t foster in your midst things that I call an abomination. You can’t do that. And if you do, sooner or later judgment’s going to come. How can we pray for his blessing when we have that going on? When we have courts that have ruled repeatedly against him, when we have the Bible taken from schools, where we have prayer taken from children?”
– Pat Robertson, televangelist, as quoted in a blog titled “Pat Robertson is Speaking to God About Gays Again,” in his traditional year-end announcement, predicting that God won’t bless America because the country has institutionalized gay rights and abortions while prohibiting prayer and Bible reading in public schools, http://gayrights.change.org/blog, Jan. 6.