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07/14/2008

Benkof Backsoff

by Jeremy Hooper

 Good As You Images David-Bianco-150X150-1Remember David Benkof, the apparently-celibate-yet-still-gay-identified man who's managed to place Op-Eds in several major American newspapers, wherein his primary goal has been to lash out against marriage equality for gay people? Well apparently Benkof has kinda-sorta-almost-somewhat seen the error in partnering with those who fight against LGBT rights. In a statement to Wayne Besen's Truth Wins Out organization, Benkof says:

I no longer feel comfortable being allied with the people running the Prop. 8 campaign, and the same-sex marriage movement in America in general, with a few exceptions - most notably Maggie Gallagher. I have made a tentative decision not to publicize the disturbing information that caused me to end my promotion of man-woman marriage in the United States. But there is very little that I know about those subjects that a journalist, blogger, or activist cannot find out through diligent googling and asking the right questions of the Prop. 8 campaign.

In addition, David has shut down his "Gays Defend Marriage" blog, and in his final post says he doesn't "advocate that people give time or money to the Proposition 8 campaign in California." So even though he doesn't seem to have come back into the pro-gay fold, it's clear that SOMETHING has opened his eyes just a little (and we're dying to know what that is!)

Gee, who woulda thunk that siding up with the people and groups who fight day and night to demonize the community in which you still tentatively identify would've been a bad idea!?!

David Benkof Abruptly Halts Fight Against Marriage Equality [TWO]

**Note: We say "apparently celibate" not to imply that David is still secretly having gay relations. In fact, we could not care less about Mr. Benkof's sex life. We only say "apparently" because we haven't seen him make this claim publicly in a few years, and we weren't sure he was still identifying this way. And because it's a non-standard way of identifying one's orientation.

**MORE BENKOF STUFF:
David Benkof His True Colors Show Through [Political Spectrum]

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Your thoughts

Wishy-washy, flip-floppy! At least I wasn't wrong about that! I guess the murkiness of the dark-side didn't do it for him either.

They were probably late in getting his monthly stipend out to him, and pissed him off. Given some of the things that he has written, I seriously doubt that he let his "morals" get in the way of turning a buck. But, I could be wrong. One thing that could go a long way toward proving me wrong would be if he exposed the seamy underbelly of the prop h8 group that he refers to. But, then, he probably has "contractual" obligations which preclude him from such discussions. But, again, I could be wrong.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 14, 2008 11:22:02 AM

I've run across Gallagher when I was at the hearing for Marriage Equality before the Judicial Committee of the House Of Representatives in Rhode Island.

She testified bringing up the usual homophobic bullshit argument but what made me want to wipe the smirk off her face was that she was so smug about everything she said.

It's funny that this year there weren't as many hecklers when the homophobes got up because there weren't as many phobes there.

We also found out we've had the committee's yes vote for at least the last few years, it's the damned leadership that keeps blocking the bills from moving forward.

The leadership in question is Speaker Bill Murphy, and Senate President Joe Montalbano. An Irish Catholic and and Italian Catholic, so we know they're Bishop Tobin's goons.

It's ok though. Cassandre Ormiston and Margaret Chambers have been trying to divorce in Rhode Island even though they marries in Massachusetts.

They've gone to the Supreme Court who turned them down, and then took it to the Superior Court. Justice Patricia Hurst denied their claim but did include the following in her decision. I'll paraphrase it for you.

Since the legislature and executive have failed to act she suggested that they re-file their lawsuit except this time as an affront to their constitutional rights under the Rhode Island Constitution, specifically Article 1 Section 2 and Article 1 Section 5.

In essence, they'd be saying that the Family Court Act which specifies that marriages is a "man and a woman" violates their rights. That would force the court to strike down the act.

This is very interesting. Should they do this what happens to all the judgments rendered by the Family Court? Perhaps they'd be rolled into Superior Court but more likely the legislature would be forced to act.

And they couldn't re-write it to make it impossible for gay people to divorce (and marry for that matter) since that would still violate the constitutional rights of the parties involved.

Justice Hurst essentially just put both the administration and legislature between a rock and a very, very hard place.

Posted by: Tony P | Jul 14, 2008 11:41:26 AM

So Benkof won't mention the information that stopped him from advocating for Man-Woman Marriage.......but he had no problem saying dehumanizing and demonizing things about the gay community. Sorry if I don't jump on the Benkof bandwagon.

Posted by: Rob79 | Jul 14, 2008 1:08:31 PM

Rob: Trust me -- I'm still VERY far from jumping on any Benkof bandwagon.

By the way, check out Pam Spaulding's comments section on the following post. In comment one, David refers to Pam as "a nasty bitch":

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6110

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 14, 2008 1:18:38 PM

One correction, Jeremy.

I don't think that it is quite accurate to say that Benkof is a "still-gay-identified" man. Benkof has stated that he is no longer gay and that he identifies as bisexual. Benkof frequently couches his language in mainstream press to sound as though he is gay ("columnist for gay newspapers", "When I became a gay activist", "our community" while speaking of the "gay and lesbian community"), but he's careful not to come out and say that he's gay (unless I missed it).

He prefers to muddy the subject and not give a direct answer. The only thing he doesn't want to be called is "Ex-Gay", though his profile (believes gay sex to be immoral, seeking to reduce homosexual desire and increase heterosexual desire, hoping to marry a woman) best fits that descriptive.

I guess the best description would be "a man with unwanted same-sex attraction". But as long as Benkof is not seeking to engage in anti-gay activity under false pretenses, he can call himself anything he likes.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Jul 14, 2008 1:44:47 PM

Timothy: I've actually discussed this very point with David. He seems to consider the 'still-gay-identified' label to be accurate.

He did, however, have a problem with the "apparently" label that I used, thinking I was implying he still has sex with men. That's the reason why I put up the update saying no hostility was implied.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 14, 2008 1:53:58 PM

What? No snarky comments from the narcissistic-must-comment-on-every-RSS-hit-about-me Benkof?

Seriously, what kind of gay blog is this? I'm disgusted.

Posted by: Jake | Jul 14, 2008 7:32:06 PM

LOL, Jake. While he has been known to comment here in the past, today David and I shared our words via email. We'll see if he chooses to make any further comments.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 14, 2008 7:41:07 PM

David B. believes that being homosexual is not a sin, but that gay sex is immoral. That contradiction is inherently anti-gay, period. (ridiculous also, of course).

Posted by: bleepers | Jul 15, 2008 12:38:26 AM

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