Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Shame And A Sin

As a gay Kerry supporter, I had no qualms if the campaign made a conscious decision to avoid all subject matter dealing with their views on my lifestyle. CNN’s Tucker Carlson, went scrounging the Dem Convention in Boston, agenda driven by the lack of ‘radical Bush haters’ represented on the dais. Imagine his dismay, when finally collaring a prominent gay political activist delegate, who also had no misgivings about deferring to the greater good of party unity.

So it was surprising to see John Edwards bring up in the Vice Presidential Debate, the subject of homosexuality, acceptance, gay marriage – and, Mary Cheney. From the start, the proposed Gay Marriage Amendment was intended to be a handy ‘wedge issue’ for Republicans. However, since recent legal reversals and success of similar bans passed in states such as Missouri, the contentious element – and, therefore its political potency – had hastened the gay marriage issue’s disappearance from the election’s front burner. So, why in the hell would Edwards voluntarily bring up the subject?

Because, it speaks volumes to the state of the race at this juncture, and the Kerry/Edwards campaign’s newfound cajones in dictating the dynamics from here on out.

And, may I say - god bless CBS News’ Bob Schieffer! There is definitely a story behind him posing the question, ‘Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?’ But, in keeping the surprises coming, I confess I actually felt President Bush answered the question more effectively, than Sen. Kerry. It confirms that his genuine personal beliefs are more in line with those of his Vice President, yet they change dramatically when filtered through the RoveVision contraption of political necessity.

I’m going to get to the fallout of John Kerry mentioning Cheney’s daughter in Wednesday’s debate, but what I saw following the Vice Presidential Debate is just as important mentioning. CNN’s Paul Begala criticized Edwards for even broaching the subject of Mary Cheney’s sexual orientation, insisting candidate’s children, off limits. Which begs the question – does this extend to the Kerry-Bush exchange in the first debate, on disciplining their daughters? Tucker Carlson went so far as to saying he would ‘hang his head in embarrassment’, if he was in Dick Cheney’s shoes. But, it was the Executive Producer of the Don Imus Show Bernard McGuirk, who offered up the most offensive comment – equating Edward’s remarks as if revealing Cheney’s daughter was a crack whore.

The subsequent and (supposed) outrage of Lynn Cheney, falls in line with a recent string of desperate and petty weapons of semantics deconstruction hurled at the Kerry/Edwards campaign. However, what will be remembered as Elizabeth Edward’s most effective contribution to the campaign came in this response to the Cheney’s allegations:

‘She’s overreacted to this and treated it as if it’s shameful to have this discussion. I think that is a very sad state of affairs.’ ‘I think it indicates a certain amount of shame with respect to her daughter’s sexual preference.’

- Associated Press 10.14.2004

Although, Mary Cheney has taken a leading and active role in the BC04 campaign, she has never been made available to the press. In contrast, her very heterosexual sister Elizabeth has been a familiar face on cable news broadcasts. Mary Cheney was also conspicuously missing from the stage at the closing of the Republican Convention in New York.

It angers, but does not surprise me, that homosexuality still carries the stigma of shame – but, apparently such a mentality is now limited to the Republican Party and other groups of sexually-repressed hetero adults. CNN’s Paul Begala also received a blistering email from me on his abhorrent behavior, one unbecoming of any self-respecting Liberal.

Many of you will wonder what we in the gay and lesbian community expect of a Mary Cheney. A recent WatchBlog post of mine tells the story of a brave, proud and beautiful young woman, who knows Ms. Cheney’s dilemma all to well.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at October 14, 2004 7:49 PM