I predict homophobia will not have the staying power as a national issue that racism and misogyny enjoy. The “Southern Strategy” of opposing “big government” that helps “them” will go on for decades. Misogyny continues to feed the urge to create a double bind for women by destroying access to family planning and abortion.
But homophobia is only truly effective when gay people can’t self-identify and self-advocate.
Rob Portman (R-OH) was able to oppose gay rights until his son helped him see how cruel it is to deny equality to someone he loved who happened to be born gay. That’s something Portman and a majority of the U.S. Senate now understands.
Only four Democrats in the U.S. Senate haven’t joined that majority. All of them represent red states and two of them — Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) — are up for re-election next year.
Pryor’s contortions in opposing gay marriage are political, but if he’s being honest, they’re also revealing.
“I would put me down in the undecided category,” Pryor told KFSM 5 News. “I did talk with some friends of mine in the gay and lesbian community over the last week or so. We talked about this issue. We also talked about a question I received in the office not too long ago where they asked whether being gay was a choice or whether you were born that way. I told them, I said, ‘Honestly I’ve never really thought a lot about that.'”
LOL. A sad, pained LOL.
Recognizing that gay people aren’t “choosing” their identity has become a key aspect in a nation coming to terms with LGBT rights. The idea that gay kids would willingly step into a life where they’re far more likely to be homeless, then victimized and suicidal, is absurd to those who have actually thought about it.
If you think being gay is a choice, you must be willing to consider it. Would Mark Pryor choose to marry a man?
This is an issue that anyone who has spent any time thinking about figures out pretty quickly, which leads us to the last advantage of marriage equality proponents: the generational divide.
For those under 65, same-sex marriage is barely controversial. They’ve thought about it and recognize that we have better things to do than to pick on our fellow citizens because they happened to fall in love and want to be married.
Anyone who is paying attention recognizes that the opposition to marriage equality is literally dying. The only choice is when people like Mark Pryor choose to be on the right side of history.
Copyright 2013 The National Memo