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04/28/2008

But unfortunately, Mike, bigotry's not just for bigots

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 14-46Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Brubaker might be sponsoring legislation that alter his state's most precious governing document so that it explicitly bans its gay tax-paying citizens from the freedom to marry. But don't you DARE call him a "bigot." This from Lancaster Newspapers:

The senator said during a 45-minute one-on-one interview Thursday that his leadership on marriage isn't about self-righteousness or demagoguery and has nothing to do with religious ideology.

"I have not cited Bible verses in regard to this issue," he said. "If I were to recite a Bible verse, the only one is God says we should love all people, not just heterosexual people."

He said that at least 20 homosexual couples have had conversations with him about the bill and "they are concluding I am not a bigot.

"I know people who are homosexual, and I have friends who have children who are homosexual, and if you ask them, does Mike Brubaker have this prejudice against this community, if we can call it a community, they would say no," he said.

Alright, but here's the thing: This situation is not one in which you are either in the "bigot" or "non bigot" camp. There is a spectrum. There are many folks who feel no outward prejudice or hate towards LGBT people, but have still been led by antiquated notions, religious biases, and casual heterosexism to oppose measures that would increase fairness (or in Brubaker's case, support measures that would decrease the same). But just because these folks aren't out actively casting gay people to hell with pickets and vitriolic language, it doesn't mean they have earned the respect of those who support fairness for all! Those of us who recognize his aggressive embrace of this ignorant historical misstep have a right, nay, duty to show him the error of his ways.

Here at G-A-Y, we don't call anyone a "bigot," because we do recognize there are many different paths that can lead one towards anti-gay bias. Hell, who can grow up in America and NOT understand why such sentiments might seep into one's life? The stench of inequality is still quite rancid in this nation! But how we or anyone on our side of the "culture war" classifies the opposition's mindset is irrelevant. The individual human doesn't mater nearly as much as the society-shaping endeavor in which they are engaged. And in Sen. Brubaker's case, he is pushing for legislation that would make his constitution more un-American, his populace more divided, his gay people more depressed, and his local banquet rooms and catering halls less fabulously decorated. Mike's actions extend far beyond his friends and family

So it's great that he is coming at his misuse of legislative power from a fresh perspective (in the article he also says he doesn't think gay marriage "threatens" hetero marriage). But the fact that he's coming at this issue from this perspective AT ALL makes his actions worthy of gay ire. And while we will not call him a "bigot" in protesting, we very well may call his push what is so clearly is: WRONG. That word is far more powerful and productive than ad hominem characterizations anyhow.

Talking to Sen. Brubaker about gay marriage [Lancaster News]

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Your thoughts

This was in the article too:

"He also was quick to point out that homosexuals can marry, just not someone of the same sex. That shows the amendment is not discriminatory, he said. 'Everyone can get married, period,' he said."

Is this his way of trying to be funny?

Talk about twisted logic! Sorry Mike, but you are a bigot no matter how much you might want to make yourself feel good by convincing yourself that you're not.

Posted by: Jon | Apr 28, 2008 10:13:35 PM

Bigot is as bigot does.

Posted by: KipEsquire | Apr 28, 2008 10:36:45 PM

"does Mike Brubaker have this prejudice against this community, if we can call it a community, they would say no"

I'm sorry, but that's priceless.

Posted by: zortnac | Apr 28, 2008 11:06:44 PM

Sorry, zortnac... it is not priceless... IT comes with a HUGE PRICE TAG as you all know.

Posted by: LOrion | Apr 29, 2008 1:53:04 AM

This just seems to me to be a progression of change of attitude of those in opposition of our rights - "Mr. Nice Guy" (yeah, RIGHT) - "I know people who are homosexual, and I have friends who have children who are homosexual..." This just tries to show how "open" he is and how we are just "arbitrary" - - I so agree with Jon and KipEsquire - Bigot. Sorry, Jeremy, I know you are not a name caller but my buttons are pushed easier than yours. You're just a GREAT guy. tom

Posted by: tom | Apr 29, 2008 10:07:26 AM

Tom: Well the main point for me is that it doesn't even matter if he is or is not a "bigot." This is bigger than the self.

The bigotry and bias, which is non-debatably in place, is what truly matters. And Sen. Brubaker is definitely fostering it.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 29, 2008 10:11:07 AM

Jeremy - as always, well said - I don't ALWAYS fly off the handle but on occasion I do get p*ssed! That's why YOU have this great site.

Posted by: tom | Apr 29, 2008 10:39:37 AM

The "I'm not a bigot" routine can be an endless distractor. A repeated ploy by some to ignore the merits of their proposed discrimination, in order to passive-aggressively paint themselves as the "victim" because others call them "bigot".
I have seen some people spend more time COMPLAINING about being labelled a "bigot" than actually being called a "bigot".

You'll note here that the Senator in question has succeeded in moving the issue from whether or not his opposition to gay marriage has a legitimate basis, and on to self-proclaimed victimhood over a label.

Posted by: foundit66 | Apr 29, 2008 12:44:58 PM

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