.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} Note: This website has no control over the ads placed on it. Caveat emptor.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

 
Electoral Antihomosexualism. My state, New Jersey, one of the bluest of Blue States, is in the midst of an extremely ugly electoral campaign for governor, in which the Republican Party is pulling out all stops, which includes playing the (anti)gay card.
+
Republican (multimillionaire) candidate Doug Forrester's most recent slimy, corruption-themed TV ad (TV meaning "television") tries to appeal, sub rosa, to antihomosexual bigotry in dragging in the name of former Governor James McGreevey, who resigned from office because he was about to be exposed as a homosexual man so infatuated with an Israeli that he tried to give him a very high office in state government (homeland security director) for which he was not qualified (despite the assertions we hear endlessly that Israel knows how to protect against terrorism). The Forrester ad accuses McGreevey of 'scandal after scandal', when in fact the only scandal anyone ever heard of was the loverboy fiasco, which was affectional (McGreevey was married to a woman at the time), not financial. So plainly Forrester's attack is intended to identify the Democratic Party in general and Jon Corzine in particular with 'faggotry'. Of course, in this royal-blue state, Forrester's scumbags can't simply say, as Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, or other Red State yahoos can, "Ain't no place in this great state for faggots!" No, Forrester has to pretend that McGreevey's sad infatuation somehow constituted corruption — in which Corzine was somehow implicated.
+
Never mind that McGreevey was a terrific governor who closed a huge budget gap that George Bush's insane tax cuts for the rich opened up in every state's budget — and that McGreevey did so without raising state taxes or cutting services as far as anyone could tell. No, the mere fact that McGreevey was a faggot makes him, the party he belongs to, and that party's current candidate for the same office, (morally?) 'corrupt'.
+
I saw McGreevey's public announcement of his homosexuality live on television. I worked, at the time, for a major Downtown Newark law firm much involved in civic affairs. So, when administrators heard there would be a major announcement from the governor's office, they put a large TV set in the firm's largest conference room, a splendid glass-walled space looking out over Newark Penn Station and, in the far distance, the skyline of Manhattan, so everyone could watch.
+
After a couple of delays, the governor's press conference started. It had been rumored that he would admit to a sexual affair with a woman not his wife. Not quite.
+
Skinny but nice-looking McGreevey stood before the state — and announced that he was gay. An audible gasp! went thru the room. He then said he felt he would be unable to continue as an effective governor because of this revelation and because of the controversy over his behavior, so he would resign effective as of a couple of months later.
+
I was livid.
+
McGreevey had been an extraordinarily effective governor. To this day I don't know how he accomplished the magical act of closing a budget gap of billions of dollars without anybody feeling pain. But he did. And that is the act of a great governor.
+
But because he was a faggot who cheated on his wife — whom he should never have married — and might cause embarrassment to his child — whom he should never have fathered (a daughter! maybe there is a God, and He punishes, as by giving a gay governor only one child, and it's a girl!) — he felt that he should resign an office that the majority of voters in the 10th largest state in the Nation had put into office. How stupid.
+
I wrote to him to say that it was just plain wrong of him to resign, that that would send the wrong message about homosexuality, that somehow it is so evil that even an enormously effective governor who was gay would have an obligation to resign his office. He paid me no heed, but listened only to his guilts.
+
I was ashamed of McGreevey not for being gay, of course, but for dragging a sweet and decent woman into his confusions and unhappiness, thus ruining a substantial portion of her life, and their daughter's life, by not sticking to his decision to live straight. Make up your mind before you involve other people, not after.
+
Now McGreevey's gutless faggotry is harming the Democratic Party's chances of retaining the Governor's Mansion because the slimeball Republican who is challenging U.S. Senator Jon Corzine for the governorship is using Corzine's support of (then-presumed-straight) McGreevey as some kind of rationale for voting Republican.
+
McGreevey's initial press conference should have announced, not just that he was a "Gay American" — a terrific phrase that did not, or has not yet, caught on — but that he apologized to everyone he misled, but that straight society has only itself to blame for forcing gay men to lie to them, and then gone on to say:

I have made mistakes in my life, some of them with terrible personal consequences for people I loved, or should have loved. But running for Governor of the State of New Jersey was not one of my mistakes. I earned my election as this terrific state's governor. I have done a terrific job. My work is not finished. And thus I will stay in office and continue my work to make New Jersey the best state in the Union.

To everyone I have misled, and misused, I apologize from the deepest part of my heart. But I do not apologize for being gay.

I am not just the Governor of New Jersey. I am indeed a Gay American, and I owe a duty to other Gay Americans to be honest, open, and, at last, proud. The man who put forward the term "Gay Pride" in 1970 was also a New Jerseyan, and I should have heeded that implied advice: be yourself, be proud of yourself. Be gay and glad to be gay if you are gay. And I am.

I have always been gay. I have not always been proud. And I'm sorry for that now. I have hurt people who assumed me to be, and wanted me to be, heterosexual. I don't want any longer to mislead or disappoint them. And I do not any longer want to mislead or disappoint gay men.

I am the highest elected openly-gay official in the history of the United States, and I'm now proud of that. I will remain Governor of the great State of New Jersey, and show everyone, everywhere in this country and elsewhere who may be watching, that gay people can do any job as well as anyone else, and have as total and pure a dedication to the public good as anyone else. So let us all learn from my terrible mistakes, not to draw people into our own confusions but to sort ourselves out. Not to pretend to be what you're not, but to be yourself. Not to accept the absurd and bigoted notion that there is something intrinsically wrong with being homosexual, even if you respect your partner and do nothing to harm him or anyone else, but to love as you are meant to love, with enthusiasm and joy.

And so today I apologize to everyone, of every orientation, that I may have hurt or disappointed thru my entire life up to this point, and resolve to do better in the future. I ask my wife to forgive me, and permit me to dissolve without excessive bitterness a marriage that should never have been. I wanted to be what you wanted me to be, but couldn't. It's very hard to break from what you were always expected to be, and I had a hard time. But perhaps this very public coming to terms with my nature will empower other people to save themselves some of the pain I suffered, in coming to terms with who and what they are. If so, this very public pain of my own will have been well worthwhile.

But to those who suggest that just because I am homosexual I am unfit to hold high public office, I must in good conscience reply, "You're wrong. Gay men are the equal of straight, and have as much to offer society as anyone."

My being homosexual of necessity makes me more sensitive to the problems of everyone who belongs to any minority. But inasmuch as I am white too, I know as well how the 'majority' mind works. My sexuality has thus positioned me uniquely to understand both sides of the most pressing divide in our society, between the majority and all the multitudinous minorities of the hugely diverse State of New Jersey. Politically, then, I am blessed, because I care more and understand more than anyone who does not straddle groups can do.
+
So, New Jersey, you are a pioneer. You have the first openly homosexual governor in the history of the United States. And I will do my best to make you as proud in the future as I am today.

That is something like what McGreevey should have said. What he actually said came off as more like, "Sorry I'm gay. Please don't hate me. I'm going now."
+
Not good enuf.



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?