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10/01/2007

Fred wants both law & ducks in order

by Jeremy Hooper

 Good As You Images Picture-21-10Social conservatives like James Dobson and Matt Barber have spoken out against Fred Thompson for his failure to support a constitutional amendment that would fully tarnish the principles of fairness and decency fully ban gay marriage. Other anti-gay leaders, such as Gary Bauer, have called on those lashing out against Thompson to cool their jets and wait for the GOP candidate to pander to come around to their ways of thinking. However, Thompson himself has had little to say about his relationship with the "pro-family" suspects on this matter.

Well today in Iowa, Thompson broke his silence. The result? Well, it's pretty disgusting. This from the AP:

Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson said he's met frequently with influential social conservatives who are willing to accept his position on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage even though it doesn't go quite as far as they would like.

Thompson favors a constitutional amendment that bars judges from legalizing gay marriage, but also leaves open the door for state legislatures to approve the practice. He said social and religious conservatives who would prefer an amendment that also bars legislatures from legalizing gay marriage can live with his view.

"Everyone I have talked to in my meetings like this, the answer has been yes," said Thompson. He conceded there are reservations.

"I think they prefer their own wording. They are primarily concerned about marriage being a union between a man and a woman," said Thompson. He said his solution strikes a balance.

Thompson didn't identify the conservative leaders he has met with.

"What I have done is fashion something that says judges can't do that any more," said Thompson. He said the practical effect of his proposal would be a ban on gay marriages.

"It'll stop the process in its tracks because it's all judge-made," said Thompson. "No state legislature accompanied by a governor's signature has gone down that road."

So basically he's trying to have his gay-less wedding cake and eat it too. He's saying to the far-right social conservatives, "Hey, what I'm proposing is going to totally keep gays from ever walking down an aisle," while telling moderates, "But don't think I'm a crazy extremist." And of course both messages are ultra-offensive to gays, who are sick of (a) their lives and loves being used as political footballs, (b) their constitutions being used as weapons against them, (c) their courts being painted as "activist" by simply doing the right thing, and (d) their legally-recognized relationships being presented as an issue even more "threatening" than unjust wars.

Then there's the galling taunts by Thompson that his measure would do the same as the more extreme version, as "No state legislature accompanied by a governor's signature has gone down that road." As gays, we are of course offended by the "neener, neener"-ness of his pointing out the failures in the legislature. However, we think we'd be even more offended if we were social conservatives dead set on banning gay marriage, as it's as if he's saying he's on their side up to a point, but that he will fully leave the door open for same-sex nuptial legalization via legislative means (something that is a very promising reality in California and New York, to name two). Again -- he wants to not only see the cake, but he also wants to munch.

Apparently his advisers have yet to tell Fred that the American way is for candidates to hide the fact that they talk out of both sides of their mouth and play political games if they're going to be elected. And if he wants to see how far the anti-gay marriage gravy train will take him, then he needs to get on board rather than follow behind like an ambulance-chasing lawyer. Besides, it's not like the "kinda" stipulation that he's currently adding to his "I support an amendment" rhetoric is going to save his civil rights legacy from the fact that he even for a second deems the idea to be a viable one.

Thompson defends gay-marriage stand [AP via USA Today]

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Your thoughts

Won't he be shocked when NY passes an Equal Marriage bill and Gov. Spitzer signs it?

Posted by: Daimeon | Oct 1, 2007 7:03:32 PM

Yea, I actually think the most shocking part of his comments is the naievete on display. If he thinks a legislature is far from passing gay marriage and a governor is far from signing it, then he has spent far too much time learning lines and far too little reading the news in California or New York.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 1, 2007 7:07:15 PM

It allwasy makes me feel grateful to know my civil rights are negotiable. I'm just thankfull he was able to find a nice "balance' between petting the self-righteous egos of conservative christians, and slipping on a condom before completely fucking us over.

Posted by: Patrick B | Oct 1, 2007 11:04:03 PM

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