Ken Mehlman: A Kinder, Gentler Roy Cohn

This bitch.
This bitch.

Disgusting shitbird Ken Mehlman, the formerly-closeted gay Republican strategist, was profiled in the NYT today – and all I can say is “feh!” This despicable quisling was a key player in W.’s 2004 election (N.B.: Let’s not forget that W was appointed to his first term, not elected) and used  opposition to same-sex marriage not just as a key plank in the Republican platform, but to whip up the conservative base and appeal to their rank homophobia. Thanks in large part to this strategy chosen and embraced by this amoral opportunist, 21 states have amended their constitutions to forbid same-sex marriage, enshrining discrimination against gay men and lesbians as the law of the land in these states. (And let’s not forget the over 4,000 U.S. and coalition troops and 130,000 civilians killed in Iraq. Or the near-destruction of the U.S. economy. Nice work, Kenny!)

 “This is not just any Republican — this is one of the single greatest successful strategists for Republicans,” Mr. [Chad] Griffin [president of the Human Rights Campaign] said of Mr. Mehlman. “And now he’s on our side.”

Well, you know what, Chad? I don’t want him on our side. And we don’t need him on our side. Same-sex marriage is now supported by a majority of Americans. It’s coming – maybe sooner, maybe later, but it’s coming. And I’d be happy to wait a bit longer rather than to embrace someone like Mehlman, who took the dicks out of his mouth just long enough to make sure that gay men and lesbians were vilified and despised – while lining his own pockets in the process

The article seems to imply that there is an even divide regarding Mehlman’s reputation, now that he’s “apologized” and is working as an advocate for same-sex marriage. But please read the comments – it’s pretty clear that most still see Ken Mehlman for what he is – a foul, immoral, selfish individual who is perfectly content to sacrifice principle for his own benefit. Truly a shonda to his people.

And New Yorkers? Please shun this terrible, terrible person. And gays? Don’t fuck him. Don’t have brunch with him.  Throw him major shade. Tell him to sashay away. He does not deserve to be a part of our community.

We Are All Sasha Fierce

Another reason I’m glad I’m a gay: we make the best signs.

Though I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this too. Because, for realz.

“There’s a land that I see…”

“I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” — Barack Obama

WELL! This is an amazing thing!

And, as an avowed cynic, it may surprise people to know that I’m not joining the critics on the left who are saying “Too little, too late” or that this was a calculated political move designed solely to (further) open up the pocketbooks of the gays. They may be right – but my eyes are open to the current political climate in this country.

There are millions who thump their bibles or shout about the sanctity of marriage or whatever other ridiculous and un-American arguments they can come up with to deny two people the right to enter into a legal contract together. I’m sorry, but no matter what excuse they come up with, the real reason they oppose same-sex marriage is because they hate gay people. That’s it. The only people who are affected by same-sex marriage are the two people who marry, no one else.

And some of these same bigots will be motivated to heave themselves off of the sofa on Election Day, specifically to vote against President Obama. And this worries me. It worries me enough that I’d’ve been OK with Obama’s continued “nudge-nudge-wink-wink” on this issue until after November. The specter of a President Romney (who supports amending the U.S. Constitution to make bigotry the law of the land) is frightening.

But the alea iacta est , the Rubicon crossed – so I’m just gonna say, “Thank you, Mr. President.” And get all misty-eyed as I listen to “Free to Be You and Me.”

“The Lens of Humanity”

Well, I’m back! And yes, this post ought to be about my fabulous trip to Maui, but I’ve had a rather difficult time readjusting to real life, so I’ve been too lazy and depressed to do so. But I seem to be better now! So, perhaps this weekend I’ll post a few details of my trip.

In the meantime, I couldn’t resist sharing this rather fascinating video. A couple of d-bags from anti-gay-marriage group NOM showed up at the Starbucks shareholders meeting. They voiced their opposition to the company’s active support of same-sex marriage (both in general and in relation to the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington). CEO Howard Schultz spoke respectfully to the questioners and, I’m happy to report, indicated that the company’s decision was reached both easily and through the “lens of humanity.”

Perhaps more interestingly, his answer to the second hate-mongering bigot questioner focused almost entirely on the fact that same-sex marriage is good for business – it benefits the people who work for Starbucks, which in turn benefits the company, not only in terms of its culture, but in terms of shareholder value. And “shareholder value” is a term beloved by every publicly traded company… So, sorry NOM – you’ve lost. In the USofA, there’s no fighting Wall St. and the almighty dollar.*

*I’m not necessarily delighted with this particular notion, but that’s really a separate discussion

I can’t even get a date…

But I’m still delighted with today’s finding by the U.S. appeals court that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. I’m still wading through the entirety of the opinion, but I had to share these two delightful observations:

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name of ‘registered domestic partnership’ does not.

Had Marilyn Monroe’s film been called ‘How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire,’ it would not have conveyed the same meaning as did her famous movie, even though the underlying drama for same-sex couples is no different.

Now, on to the Supremes, I’m sure. Yikes…

Read the full decision here.

Retracting the Retraction

The New Jersey Standard has backed away from its recent decision to ban same-sex wedding announcements, after complaints from the Orthodox Jewish community. While they haven’t fully committed to a particular path forward, I applaud them for at least willing to reconsider their stance. And once again, the comments thus far are overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex couples.

A statement from the publisher.

Quotes of the Day

Justin Rosen and Avi Smolen

The New Jersey Jewish Standard recently published a simcha engagement announcement for Avi Smolen and Justin Rosen, a same-sex couple (who are adorable, might I point out). This was a first for the paper.

The following week, the paper’s editorial staff published a statement apologizing for the “pain and consternation” the announcement had caused readers who are members of the traditional/Orthodox community. The editors stated that they will not publish such announcements in the future.

The comments about the editorial were unanimous in their condemnation of the paper’s decision to embrace bigotry and censorship. And, in what to my eyes is a first for the internet, every single comment is well-reasoned, thoughtful and on-topic – not to mention, free of swears, CAPS LOCK, ad-hominem attacks, conspiracy theories or any of the rest of the typical commentary one sees in online publications.

Take a few minutes to read through them. They are an impressive lot. I did have to include this one though – a reader who took the time to share a lovely Passover tradition in his family.

Your wrong-headed apology reminded me of our Seder plate, which for many years has included an orange next to the shank bone and bitter herbs. Someone reads a short paragraph about prejudice against gay people, then urges everyone to eat a slice of orange and “spit out the seeds of homophobia.”

What’s significant is that this custom wasn’t started by a gay person, but by an older straight couple. It has now been passed on to their many children and grandchildren. Perhaps you and your rabbis with “deep sensitivities” should consider an addition to your Passover rituals next year.

Mazal tov Justin and Avi.