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05/10/2010

Perhaps he who's invoking Salem circa 1692 shouldn't talk about 'stakes'

by Jeremy Hooper

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer once clumsily invoked McCarthyism when referencing those who oppose Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal. Perhaps he should've waited until his mirror arrived in the mail before doing making such a historical comparison:

Elena Kagan, if nominated today, will be forced to face the press. She cannot be kept closeted not only from the public but from the inquiring minds of the media. They have a solemn responsibility to do one thing: ask her directly and openly and in front of the American people: Are you a lesbian?

A refusal to answer is a tacit admission of guilt. But she may not be able publicly to deny she's a lesbian, likely because it's true. She may not be able to admit it either, because it could cost her a Supreme Court post. So she's likely to refuse to answer the question at all, and the only plausible explanation for her evasion would be because rumors of her lesbianism aren't rumors at all but based in fact.

Think about it for a minute. If you were falsely accused of engaging in sexually aberrant behavior, would you waste a single minute challenging such a scurrilous rumor?
...
One qualification for public office is personal character, and nothing speaks to character more than the choices one makes when it comes to sexual conduct. Bill Clinton convinced an entire generation of America's youth that oral sex isn't really sex, and as a result we've seen an explosion among millenials in cancers of the throat and head caused by the HPV virus, which is spread through oral-genital contact.

It's time we got over the myth that what a public servant does in his private life is of no consequence. We cannot afford to have another sexually abnormal individual in a position of important civic responsibility, especially when that individual could become one of nine votes in an out of control oligarchy that constantly usurps constitutional prerogatives to unethically and illegally legislate for 300 million Americans.

The stakes are too high. Social conservatives must rise up as one and say no lesbian is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. Will they?
Is she or isn't she? Let's ask her [AFA]

Look, we agree that she should be honest about her life. Being a lesbian is nothing to hide. Being a heterosexual is nothing to hide. Being bisexual or asexual is nothing to hide. Flat-out denials of any reality could turn problematic. So if Kagan or the administration *chooses* to talk about her personal life -- not a requirement, btw -- then we would certainly hope that actuality would always rule the day, just as it has for so many SCOTUS nominees whose loved ones have casually cheered them on through the nomination process. That kind of no-brainer embrace of reality shouldn't even be a conversation, really. In a perfectly adjusted world in which the normalcy of the sexual orientation spectrum is seen as benign and non-controversial (i.e. the world that social conservatives are keeping at bay via their constant attempts to persecute and demonize LGBT realities), it wouldn't be a topic for certain people to see any kid of historic step and others to regard as a histrionic misstep.

But seriously: "Scurrilous rumors"? "Sexually abnormal"? "Stakes are too high"? "Tacit admission of guilt"? This takes it beyond even a topic and puts it in the frightening realm of public persecution. So at the very least, can we please build a broad coalition against the unbelievably witchhunt-y idea that "Are you now or have you ever been...?" is an acceptable confirmation question??! Like right now.

And can we please be honest about the dangerous implications that stem from those who suggest this kind of "L Word" (litmus test)?

***

**EARLIER FISCHER: The time Mr. Fischer compared us to heroin abusers
The time Mr. Fischer told us to just shut up
The time Mr. Fischer oddly interpreted past historical oppressions
The time Mr. Fischer directly compared laws against gay soldiers to those that apply to bank robbers

**But remember, it's not just the incendiary Fischer. Focus on the Family, considered a stalwart among all mainstream "pro-family" groups, is on record with the exact same position.

**Also remember: The White House pointedly (and somewhat offensively) denied that Kagan is gay, directly referring to the chatter as "false charges." So that, as far as we are concerned, is the current bio line.

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