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05/22/2008

Video: Barack, are you taking notes?

by Jeremy Hooper

On today's episode of her eponymous show, Ellen Degeneres will grill John McCain on his short-sighted marriage views. Check out a preview, courtesy of TMZ:

"We just have a disagreement." Isn't that line of rationalization getting really frickin' old? Because if we're all being honest, this is not a political situation wherein both sides have equal merit and should "agree to disagree." Instead, it is a deeply personal situation where one side is CLEARLY IN THE WRONG. Even when the anti-marriage rhetoric is conveyed respectfully (as McCain admittedly does), it doesn't change the fact that the message is and always will be deeply disrespectful.

We can't let marriage opponents hide behind the comforting veil of differing opinion any longer. We must connect the dots of bias and show the truth of this so-called "culture war." For we gays are not the ones firing shots. We are not the ones "attacking" anything. We are the ones defending our lives and loves against very real threats. If the other side wants to keep firing shots at our families and the legal recognition thereof, then they absolutely have the freedom to do so. However, the only way we can get past this "disagreement" is through their own disarmament!

Ellen and McCain: A Gay Ol' Time [Brightcove]

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Your thoughts

I love that Ellen is talking about gay things so much at the moment. She used to be so shy about it but recently she's been really good for visability. I think it's great when she covers things because she is so relaxed and not argumentative just honest and reasonable. I think she must be making a difference.

Posted by: | May 22, 2008 12:19:40 PM

Anon: This season, there has been a whole new Ellen in terms of gay visibility. I think she just needed some time to build mutual trust with her audience, and to test the waters of acceptance. She's not only been great about speaking out on the issues, but she has also been frank and open about her relationship. It's really fantastic.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 22, 2008 12:22:53 PM

Conversations like this give me hope that we really are going to win. Listen to the audience's response to McCain's inane mumbling: silence. Listen to the audience's response to Ellen's reasoned argument: applause.

I recognize that the audience has a bias; they're clearly all fans of the host. But Ellen was just named America's most popular television personality, which must count for something. I hope I'm not being stupidly optimistic, but it seems that our opponents look more and more foolish every day.

Posted by: Cubbie Blues | May 22, 2008 3:33:32 PM

I also think that there were a lot of tragic things (like Lawrence King's murder) that happened this year which might have played a part in Ellen stepping onto the rights battlefield.

Posted by: Alex | May 22, 2008 4:01:39 PM

I wasn't loving McCain's response. But I did see some good here.

1. McCain did not discuss the destruction of society or the Bible or activist judges or protecting anything. He stated his opinion in such a way that leaves it open for others to disagree with him without being tools of Satan.

This allows conservatives who aren't haters an out. If you can have a "difference of opinion" then they don't have to fight the evil homosexual agenda... and just maybe they can share Ellen's "opinion" instead of John's.

2. He gave Ellen good wishes on her marriage. Which allows some poor conflicted red state housewife permission to also wish Ellen well.

And being happy for Ellen is the first step towards also being happy for those nice young men down the street and then for gays you don't even know.

3. McCain seemed embarrassed about his position like he'd prefer not to state it. This suggests that he will mention gay marriage as little as possible this election season. And THANK GOD FOR THAT after George in 2004.

4. McCain said that "we should encourage" a contract between gay couples. Well, I don't want a contract, but it's better than the "no recognition EVER" position of some of the phobes.

If the Republican nominee sounds like he's endorsing some form of domestic partnership, this shifts the entire debate in our direction.

Who knows, it might even embarrass Barack enough so that he wants to place more distance between his position and John's. It might even take him from "oh yeah I like civil unions" to actually campaigning on the idea of respecting gay couples in immigration, social security, taxation of benefits and other areas under Federal control.

5. This will totally PISS OFF the Peter LaBarberas of the world. And anything that makes them froth can't be all bad.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | May 22, 2008 7:49:23 PM

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