On the passing of failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork (who was, infamously, “borked“) we recall that he denounced “the radical redefinition of marriage” to include same-sex couples and backed a federal constitutional amendment to prevent any state from recognizing same-sex marriage. He also said lots of other bad stuff about the “normalization of homosexuality” and “the libertarian virus.” After Bork’s borking, President Reagan nominated conservative jurist Anthony Kennedy, who turned out to be a stalwart supporter of gay legal equality, penning decisions overturning the sodomy laws that Bork defended, and holding that states could not use anti-gay animus as a justification for denying constitutional rights to gay people.
The court will shortly rule on the constitutionality of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act. Now, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has announced a change of heart on the issue of marriage equality, from virulent opposition to resigned acceptance. And thus progress is made.
More. Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, has retracted homophobic comments he made 14 years ago, as his hopes to be nominated as Secretary of State dim. Barney Frank is unforgiving (but we should all forget Frank’s shameful role in the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac meltdown, and all his other personal and political scandals).
If we don’t let people (that is, Republicans) evolve on gay issues, then why should they evolve? But the last thing progressive Democrats want to see is a GOP that could actually compete for gay votes.
Still more. The Log Cabin Republicans also are wrong to oppose Hagel based on now-recanted anti-gay views. If they want to oppose him because of foreign policy disagreements, fine. But to tell Republicans it doesn’t matter if they evolve is directly counter to the group’s mission.
Furthermore. Glenn Greenwald finds the LCR ad suspicious, for several reasons.
And more still. James Kirchick argues that not to evolve until a Cabinet post is dangled in front of you, and then to do so half-heartedly, is not to evolve at all. It’s about the best argument in support of LCR’s position, but I tend to agree that the opposition to Hagel has more to do with his perceived weakness on support for Israel and opposition to Iran (and his positions are certainly open to debate), then on gay matters. And if that’s the case, then LCR has been played. I hope it doesn’t indicated what the post-R. Clarke Copper leadership will be like.