On Meet the Press this morning, Republican Senate candidate compared being gay to "alcoholism". This comparison is the very reason that kids get the impression that there is something wrong with being gay - that results in the tragic suicides we have seen in the past few months.
David Gregory asked Ken Buck whether he thought being gay was a choice because Buck had previously referred to it as a "lifestyle choice". Buck stumbled for a few minutes and ultimately compared it to alcoholism.
Here is how the Meet the Press Blog recorded the interaction:
Gregory asks Buck if he believes being gay is a choice. "I do," Buck replies.
"You can choose who your partner is." Buck adds that "birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things."
We have to come out very strong against this hate speech and make it clear it is not acceptable.
Of course, this is not Buck's first brush controversy - there was the woman who was raped that he put the blame on her for the rape.
Which, this of course explains why Buck is against abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
I do not support the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I think it is a policy that makes a lot of sense. It’s not whether an individual is gay can serve in the military, the question is whether that individual can be openly gay in the military. It’s one thing to deny someone access to the military and to a career in the military, it’s another thing to — for morale purposes and other purposes — make sure that we are as homogeneous as possible in the military in moving towards the common goal of the security and the military action, as opposed to the distractions that are caused by allowing lifestyle choices to become part of the discussion.
I'm curious - how far should we go with making the military as "homogeneous as possible"? No women? No minorities? I could go farther, but I fear that what he actually thinks is even more extreme than this. After all, "lifestyle choices" are distractions - so should womanizing in your personal life get you kicked out of the military?
Personally, I am not a big Michael Bennet fan. However, when we look at the alternative - I wish I could vote in Colorado. So, please, whether you like Bennet or not, throw a little love his way - so we do not have an anti-gay crusader that compares it to alcoholism in the US Senate.
I will post the MTP video as available.
**Update: Just a quick personal note. The being gay is a choice meme is very offensive to me to begin with, then adding the comparison to alcoholism is just despicable. Over the years, I have convinced many of my friends and family, but it often takes patience and intestinal fortitude to listen to the ignorance. Millions of Americans (probably tens of millions) share in this ignorance and it can only be rectified through education, personal experiences and general progress. However, when I look at someone like Ken Buck - it is different than dealing with friends and family. Ken Buck, if he won, would be 1 out of 100 of the people that are supposed to represent us in the senate. It is important that this small amount of representation does not include this ignorance.
On a side note, personally, my most effective tact on talking about this issue has been my personal experiences with gay friends and relatives. When someone tells me it is a choice, I ask them: Why would someone choose to live a "lifestyle" (in their terms) that will make many of their friends and family disown them, kick them out of their place of worship, cost them jobs, bullying, etc. etc. I share stories about friends crying on my shoulder about family members ex-communicating them or churches they have been in their entire lives kicking them out. The more personal stories, the more effective; however, it still takes time and patience and the understanding that we can't reach everyone, though we need to keep trying anyways. Despite the reality of the patience that this takes, it is really important that we keep hate-mongerers like Buck, Paladino, and others out of high office. When we elect them as a society, it tells our next generation that these ideas are okay. We must fight, fight, fight to keep them out. Of course, I know I am speaking to the choir here, but we must keep pounding the message home - lives are at stake, millions of people being psychologically or physically hurt is at stake, and we cannot afford to continue in this direction.
So, again, while I am not a Bennet fan, I am a big fan of the Keep Ken Buck out of the senate campaign!
Update 2: Also, I rarely will say this - but I think Harry Reid did it right the other day in his debate with Sharon Angle - he repeated the reframe that she is "too extreme" a number of times. I think that every single Dem going against Tea Party candidates have to repeat this reframe continuously - pounding our message into the heads of Americans the same way Republicans do... Repeat with me: Extreme, extreme, extreme...