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Friday, August 13, 2004

Gov. McGreevey's copping out story.

From E.J. Graff's TNR Online essay about the governor of New Jersey and his not guilty by reason of coming out of the closet plea:

Gays and lesbians should leave this guy dangling on his self-constructed gallows. We've worked hard over the past thirty years to make it possible—to make it legal—to live an out, honorable life. Backing McGreevey only gives ammunition to the religious right, which will spin his resignation like this: "See, gays really are breaking up the American family. Gay sex equals adultery, literally. Those homos really do want men to race irresponsibly off seeking gonadal bliss, rather than staying home and fulfilling their God-given duties to the wife and kids." No, let McGreevey clean up his own scandal, whether he's fleeing a lawsuit or blackmail or some other ugly consequence of sexual double-dealing.

Meanwhile, let us redirect our attention back to the other coast. On the same day that McGreevey resigned his governorship while holding his wife's hand and confessing his sins, the California Supreme Court declared that Mayor Gavin Newsom wrongly overstepped his authority when, last winter, he issued marriage licenses to same-sex pairs. That was, alas, the procedural ruling observers had expected. But heartbreakingly—and instead of waiting to hear the substantive constitutional arguments for or against same-sex marriages—the Golden State's top court also vaporized the 4,037 marriages that resulted. All those longtime couples who dared to commit themselves to each other, not just in life but in law, are once again legal strangers.

On one coast, yet another politician announces that he cheated on his marriage vows; on the other coast, thousands of men and women are being cheated out of theirs. One event is an entertaining tabloid headline, but a flyspeck on history's windshield. The other is a speedbump on the difficult drive toward civil rights, one of American history's greatest themes. That's the real story.

("Broken Vows," TNR Online 8.13.04)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 13 August 2004 at 4:30 PM

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Mark Brooks:

August 13, 2004 11:02 PM | Permalink for this comment

I did a little reading on the subject, and it seems a little more complicated than just a "Gay American" coming out and admitting having an affair with another man. In fact, the Governor may have actually taken the easy way out. I'm not sure what the polls indicate, but my anecdotal impression is that American society has become much more accepting of gays. However, society still gets angry and bears a grudge about corruption. It could be that the Governor realized charges of Charles Kushner (a major contributor) interferring with a campaign finance investigation were much more serious, and that by "yelling Gay in a crowded press conference" he could get the light to shine elsewhere.

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