Monday, September 03, 2007

Jim McGreevey about Larry Craig

Former Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey, who was forced to admit to having a homosexual affair with a subordinate and later resign, has an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post today, calling for understanding and compassion for the recently disgraced Republican Senator Larry Craig. He also relates his story of growing up gay and ashamed, and his journey to finally coming out and living honestly, post-scandal.

It's also the first time I've seen someone admit that he specifically took anti-gay stances in order to appear more straight:
Despite being a moderately liberal governor, my stance on marriage was: "between a man and a woman." The position, in my mind, created a tension with the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community that affirmed my bona fides as a "straight." Only after the crisis that resulted in my resignation, when public opinion no longer mattered, did I realize the importance and legitimacy of same-sex marriage.

He remains religious but has apparently come to a new understanding:
If being gay is, as I believe, a natural gift of the creator, what choice does a gay person have in being gay? If we condemn sin in an equal manner, so be it. But what if our condemnation tells to members of the next generation that they are to be shamed, repudiated and vilified inequitably for being gay?

I pray that the tide of American history continues to sweep toward the inevitable expansion of freedom that recognizes the worth and dignity of every individual -- and that mine is the last generation that is required to choose between affairs of the heart and elected office.

Amen.

16 comments:

Keebo said...
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Foilwoman said...

Keebo: Jim McGreevey and Larry Craig may be spineless, and Jim McGreevey may have been twelve when the Stonewall riots occurred, but how old was he when Matthew Shepherd was murdered. For gay men (and women, depending, but probably this is one area where men will be treated worse than women for once) being gay means that people may shun you, may make fun of you, may (even the most religious, or perhaps especially the most religious) preach against you in truly vile and venomous language (sorry, I just can't help the alliteration), and may also physically harm you, possibly even murder you. Even now, being gay can put your job at risk, especially if you are a politician. Let's have some empathy for these men even if they don't deserve it.

As a woman, I am forever not surprised at all by the venom directed at women of any sexuality who choose to have sex, enjoy sex, and seek out sex (especially if not in a porn-friendly way). I have a great deal of kindness in my heart toward anyone who has had to try to seek physical connection and communion in societally unapproved (or disdained) ways. Sure, McGreevey and Craig should have owned up to their sexuality, regardless of the risk to their personal ambitions. Like we all do, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, we'll all try to get laid and have orgasms, pretending we meet all the societal rules (faithfully, within our marriages, with someone of our same religious or ethnic background, whatever) and yet even when we break those rules, we still seek satisfaction.

Keebo said...
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Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH9uoWHDh8U

Half Sigma said...

If I were a religious person, which I'm not, I'd say:

"God made us all imperfect, each in different ways. Different people are tempted to different types of sin. Many straight men are tempted to sin by cheating on their wives. Gay people are tempted to sin by committing the infamous crime against nature. It's always wrong."

Keebo said...
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Nothin' Shakin' said...

I think gays are treated alright in most metropolitan places. I still don't understand why homosexuality must always be identified as a matter beyond personal choice. People in prisons choose to nail ass. The ancient greek society chose to be homosexual. I'm sure there are those who can't help being gay, probably like McGreevey and Craig, but for others who can, why should society cut them slack for something that's outside social norms. Nobody cuts me slack if I choose to pick my nose in public.

Keebo said...
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Jewish Atheist said...

Keebo,

Try to keep it civil, please. Insulting people doesn't do any good.

Keebo said...
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Jewish Atheist said...

Keebo:

Do you really want to play "He started it?" :-)

You've made it a habit of ad hominem attacks on other commenters and I've asked you before to be civil. Your last comment wasn't that awful, but it contributes to a spiraling downward of the quality of discussion.

Mostly, I was referring to this, not the nose part:

I'm so sorry that you are having trouble figuring things out. Sometimes, thinking can be hard.

Perhaps I'm more sensitive to your comments because I fear that they will reflect on me since we mostly agree on the facts, whereas nobody would assume that I'm in agreement an obnoxious homophobic post by a theist.

nothin' shakin' said...

Keebo, you didn't answet any of my questions, and you didn't even address the points I made. Read what I said again, slowly and carefully. I'm not going to repeat my question because it was put forth in a plain enough manner.

Reagrding your offensive manner, sometimes I think you're on the theistic side yourself, trying to make secular humanists look bad by association.

Jewish Atheist said...

Nothin' Shakin':

I'll address your comment. While it's of course true that some otherwise straight men choose to engage in homosexual activity in prisons and probably a few other places, that does not imply that there aren't a lot of people who are predominantly homosexual. You admit this in a throwaway line ("I'm sure there are those who can't help being gay...") but make it sound like they are in the minority.

What "social norms" are asking of homosexuals is all too often to live their entire lives in the closet, if not celibate and alone. Comparing that to asking you not to pick your nose in public is ridiculous.

Keebo said...
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Jewish Atheist said...

keebo:

Wow. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I know it's an emotional issue and I can't say I know what it's like to be you. Still, insulting other commenters personally (as opposed to arguing with their statements) is probably counterproductive and certainly makes the blog a place where people are less likely to want to come.

I think if you had posted the story you just told us, it would have been much more likely to convince those on the other side or on the fence than your original comment. When you insult people, they just get defensive and dig into their positions even more stubbornly. When you appeal to their senses of compassion or reason, you have a chance at winning some hearts and minds.

Keebo said...
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