I take no pride in saying this, but I’m sort of enjoying watching the President and Mitt Romney — and their assistants — convulsing over same-sex marriage. Lesbians and gay men have spent lifetimes feeling guilty about being homosexual, dodging the most obvious questions, and trying their damnedest to avoid the subject. It’s kind of nice to see the shoe on the other foot for awhile.
The White House has outshone the Vatican in finesse, nuance and overthinking in trying to respond to Joe Biden’s comments over the weekend. The Vice President tried to cut through the bullshit, but the bullshit prevailed. Jay Carney had to devote half of a press conference to argue that the President’s current evolution has not yet brought him from fish to man. Ironically, this is the one area where Romney’s folks are begging for a same-sex union between their candidate and the President, whose positions, they claim, are identical.
Actions, though, speak louder than words. Jim Burroway aptly notes that whatever rhetorical symmetries Obama and Romney may share on same-sex marriage, it’s clear that the President won’t pander to the lingering brackishness of prejudice, while Romney not only will, he will do so with vigor. And David Weigel eviscerates any claim that Romney might have some humanity on this issue, having prominently signed NOM’s atrocious pledge against equal marriage rights.
Politics is ugly, and the politics of prejudice is ugliest of all. Those of us who have had to suffer the prejudice about sexual orientation know that all too well. But now that we’re comfortable being honest about ourselves and our relationships, I am hoping we can plead for some mercy for the guilty pleasure of watching some heterosexuals have to sweat it out for a change.