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Posts Tagged ‘gays’

What, Exactly, Will Maggie Gallagher and Andrew Sullivan be Discussing?

February 16th, 2010 No comments

Tomorrow’s event at the Cato Institute seems like an intriguing cage-match between Andrew Sullivan, a sort-of-lapsed [small c]onservative and the Ultra-Right wing, virulently anti-gay Maggie Gallagher. The stated topic is whether there’s a place for gays in conservatism and the conservative movement. A more perspicacious question might convert the “and” to “or”: Is there a place for gays in conservatism OR the conservative movement? Because these two things are quite different. (I expect that Sullivan will pick up on this point immediately, as he’s written about how the “movement” has lost its way, and therefore him.)

I’m pretty far from conservative. But reading thoughtful conservatives is vital for anyone with aspirations to informed commentary and discussion. The conservative “movement,” though?  Not so much: Tea Parties, torture defense, hypocritical and indefensible legislative obstructionism, and…Sarah Palin. It seems that Burkean-style conservatives have plenty to do in distinguishing themselves from those who have hijacked the word “conservative” and are trying to make off with it. There’s no room for gays — or anyone else whose concern for community, nation, and world isn’t purely cynical — in that “movement.” The gay question is to some extent a distraction from this broader tension, but the issue whether conservatism can find a place for gays is important as a marker for the movement’s continued intellectual legitimacy. Any “movement” that can find no place for a large and influential demographic group is engaging in the kind of denial — closeting, to use a pointed word in this context — that is destined to consign it to history’s periphery. We’re not going away, but they will unless they can find some way of accommodating us.

Expect the third participant, a UK Conservative party “shadow” secretary (Nick Herbert) to explain how that party has abandoned its attacks on the gay community in favor of the kind of robust, inclusive conservatism that Maggie Gallagher loves to hate.

Under Siege? Throw a Cocktail Party!

June 24th, 2009 No comments

This article in the NY Times caught my eye:

“As advocates for gays and lesbians intensify their criticism of the White House, President Obama has invited some of their leaders to an East Room reception next Monday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the 1969 Greenwich Village demonstrations that gave birth to the modern gay rights movement.

“The White House has not publicized the reception, and officials did not respond to e-mail requests for comment. But gay leaders from here and around the country said they had received either telephone calls from the White House or written invitations to the event, and were told Mr. Obama is expected to speak.”

Let’s commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with…a great big party (although not so very big that I was invited1)! Perhaps the entertainment can include a stagey reenactment, West Side Story style, of the clash between police and the fed-up drag queens (et al.) who opposed them on June 28, 1969, outside of the Stonewall Inn.

I think the Administration is really onto something here: appeasement, reconciliation, or forgiveness through partying. After a few drinks, most people will allow just about anything:

  • The New York State Senate might find that their seriocomic inability to actually meet can be solved by a Gov. David Paterson-hosted gala, at which the drunken revelers agree to accept the leadership of whichever party’s representative wins a game of musical chairs. The ensuing pratfalls and sprawls will be but little removed from reality.
  • Guantanamo detainees might be able to just quit griping if the Administration would just allow them to attend one l’il party, at which, after a few high-octane cocktails, luminary guests like Dick Cheney and John Yoo would return to lead a game of “pin the tail on the detainee.” Rich.
  • Jon and Kate Gosselin…oh, who cares?

Sorry for the high snark quotient. It would be hard to turn down a White House invitation, especially if there’s some potential to get “face time” with the Prez and ask him some hard questions. But will that be done? And what will Obama say? Probably not this, but let’s hope for something both inspiring and — more critically —  substantive.

  1. {sob}