Watch this! Rob of WakingUp provides a great, point-by-point refutation of the religious right's claims that they are being subjected to "bashing" by gays and liberals. Comparing their definition with ours should shame them, but that presumes they have the ability to be embarrassed by their lies.
HBO failed to cover the invocation offered by Gene Robinson (full text here) at Sunday's pre-inaugural activities, leading to some declaring this censorship on HBO's part or "throwing the gays under the bus," to quote commenters on various blogs. (I hate how over- and misused that phrase is! It means making someone take all the blame at the last second, not slighting someone.)
I am still pissed about Rick Warren—and yet somewhat queasy at the thought that some angry gays might somehow disrupt the inauguration to voice displeasure and set us back quite a bit with the superenthusiastic rest of the country—but I am willing to not blame Obama for this without further evidence.
Others are not so sure. Modulate your emotions, people!
UPDATE: Okay, I was wrong on this unless HBO's account is denied by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which has stated that Robinson's invocation being part of the pre-show was their decision. I find that appalling politically, and I find it really stupid practically. Robinson was the olive branch (and not really equal to the prime spot Rick Warren has been given at that) and then they decide to make sure he's not a part of the telecast by 15 minutes? The lunkheadedness of this reminds me of the Donnie McClurkin kerfluffle, and I have to say I do think it rises to the level of WTF?
I'm glad Obama won the election and I have a hard time panicking yet that he will not be a boon for LGBT rights based on some early missteps. But to be honest, once he picked Warren, I sort of lost the thrill of it all. I haven't been watching any of the pre-inaugural stuff and while I'll watch the inauguration tomorrow if I can get it on my computer at work, I'm not, like, dying to see it.
But I refuse to give up on Obama until he does (or does not do) something that rises above the level of an admittedly inexplicable and disappointing slight. Remember: "bless us...with the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah."
I have to amend my comments on Melissa Etheridge and say...I think she, like Barack Obama, is being out-and-out foolish when it comes to Rick Warren. Her passionate letter to HuffingtonPost is very kumbaya, but her reasoning for deciding Rick is A-okay (and even A-okay with gays) is baffling.
She says she asked her manager to reach out to Rick (I guess we should all ask our managers to do lunch, then we could all get along) "and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn't sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher."
Well, he is a preacher, and he is a gay hater, Melissa. Liking your music does not negate that.
Then, she reports—and we'll never know if this is true unless Warren backs up her report, which is highly unlikely—that Warren said he "struggled with Proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about Proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays."
Yeah, I can see how one might accidentally mention pedophilia and incest and not really mean it. (Guess what, Melissa? He didn't just say it once—he's said it over and over and over. It's too late to take that back, it's already changed hearts and minds.)
Also, fully supports equal rights, but is leery of calling it civil unions.
What Etheridge fails to realize is that just because someone can be a nice and reasonable person one-on-one, this does not take away from his or her desire—and in the case of Rick Warren—his or her ability to affect unsavory political change for generations to come. Due in part to Warren's advocacy (apparently he was not at the forefront, but he was for it), Proposition 8 passed. It might get tossed out, it might not—but if not, then PRIVATE apologies mean ZERO at this point because his side will have gotten what they want.
I guess the next move is Warren's—if he denies any part of Etheridge's claims, it will be further "on." If not, all we can do is wait and see how history judges Etheridge's bullshit detector—but right now, I would say the thing is likely broken.
Man alive, we need better, smarter leaders. Etheridge, Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, the HRC...so many flaws, so little time.
Melissa Etheridge is shaping up to be an unfortunate gay activist...when Proposition 8 passed, she acted weird and said she wouldn't pay her taxes (like that was ever gonna happen), and now that Obama's stupid selection of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration has caused progressives to flip, she's gone the opposite direction—after chatting with Warren, she (and her deluded wife) decided it's fine to be open-hearted toward people who literally want to vote us out of existence.
Crackpot activist Jasmyne Cannick also thinks the gay community (which she defines as white gay men) is overreacting to the Warren selection because it shows Obama wants to "reach across the aisle in an effort to bring everyone to the table." Never mind that the
expression "reach across the aisle" refers specifically to Democrats and Republicans—I have no problem with Obama working with Republicans—not non-bigots and bigots. She goes on to say Obama's position is that he's against gay marriage anyway, so what is the difference? Well, for starters, he is for everything but the word "marriage" for gay people, and anyone with a brain knows that is just a matter of political expediency. Is it a brave position? Not the bravest, but not the weakest. But he is not convincingly ideologically opposed to the existence of gay people. Rick Warren is—he says he loves gays, but he has explained quite thoroughly that the only good gay is an ex-gay, or a celibate gay. And that is not a gay.
I agree with her—this is lose-lose for Obama. I still can't believe he made such a foolish choice, and it's still so sad to me that this will overshadow his many other terrific choices. The bright side is he seems to mind that we mind; hopefully the make-up sex will be satisfying.