Thursday, June 09, 2005

Leonard Pitts on Spokane Mayor Jim West

Pitts wonders out loud about the hypocrisy that goes into being a gay bashing right wing Republican who is gay.
There's more. West, who as a state legislator once backed a law that would have banned gays from working in schools or daycare centers, was asked how he could have taken such positions. As a representative for a district where people oppose gay rights, he said he had no choice. As if someone had held a gun to his head, forcing him to run for office.

West, who in the privacy of the gay chat room referred to social conservatives as "sex Nazis," seemed at pains to burnish his conservative bona fides. "I'm not a closet liberal," he insisted, "pretending to be a conservative. I'm a conservative. And what's wrong with somebody who has what's called an alternative lifestyle or an alternative sexual orientation being a conservative?"

Well, I've always thought being a gay social conservative was not unlike being a black Klansman. Even if you could get away with it, why in the world would you want to?

It eludes me how anyone can support a political philosophy that is defined in large part by its open hostility toward people like oneself.

I suspect West belongs to that school of conservative thought that holds that being gay isn't the problem, "flaunting" it is. The reasoning always breaks down when you try to get them to define "flaunting." Does it mean the flamboyant character Jack from Will and Grace, whose gayness is evident at 50 paces? Or does it mean, well Will from Will and Grace, whose sexuality you don't know until or unless you first get to know him?

Trick question. Social conservatives draw no such distinction. For them, even a modest indication of gayness is a nuclear attack upon so-called "family values." When they say "flaunting," what they really mean is "existing."

I'm especially fond of the "black klansman" line.

1 comment:

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