Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Reads: Nasty gay unions, "don't ask" hypocrisy, Scooter myths, lesbian bed death

By Diane Silver

For your Sunday reading pleasure...

In Ocean Grove, New Jersey, the words for the day for decades-long lesbian and gay residents are: We want your business, we want your vitality, we want your money, but don't you DARE try to celebrate your unions in our town.

Yes, this town was founded as a Methodist camp, but it isn't run like one now. More than that, the "dastardly" couple -- life partners for 37 years -- merely want to use a public pavilion for their civil union. Has anyone ever explained the Golden Rule to these folks? I suspect Jesus would be appalled.

I often find Maureen Dowd at the New York Times to be irritating, but today she is talking sense about Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Republican candidates for president. Here are some of my favorite parts. (I'm quoting extensively because of the Times paywall.)

Be honest. Who would you rather share a foxhole with: a gay soldier or Mitt Romney?

A gay soldier, of course. In a dicey situation like that, you need someone steadfast who knows who he is and what he believes, even if he’s not allowed to say it out loud.

Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue, as the gloriously gay Oscar Wilde said. And gays are the sacrifice that hypocritical Republican candidates offer to placate “values” voters — even though some candidates are not so finicky about morals regarding their own affairs and divorces....

Mr. Giuliani, who procured three deferments to avoid Vietnam, replied that, with the war in Iraq raging, “This is not the time to deal with disruptive issues like this.”

If he’s so concerned with disruptive issues, maybe he should start worrying about this one: Two straight guys who slithered out of going to Vietnam are devising a losing strategy in Iraq year after year. W. and Dick Cheney have fouled things up so badly that Robert Gates and Tony Snow are now pointing to South Korea — where American troops have stayed for over half a century — as a model.

Mitt Romney agreed with Rudy on the issue. Instead of going to Vietnam, Mr. Romney spent two and a half years doing Mormon missionary work in France. Isn’t that like doing Peace Corps work in Monte Carlo?

At the memorial for Mark Bingham, the gay 6-foot-5 rugby player who was on Flight 93 on 9/11, John McCain said he might owe his life to the young man who helped fight the hijackers, bringing down the plane aiming to crash into the Capitol.

But Senator McCain wants gay troops to stay closeted. The policy, he said, is “working.” But it’s not. The Army in Iraq is like that exhausted nag Scarlett O’Hara whipped on to Tara. Yet Republicans surge on, even as they expel gays....

The Republican field seems stale and out of sync. They should have listened to the inimitable Barry Goldwater, who told it true: You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reporter who covers federal courts debunks 5 myths about the Scooter Libby trial and the Valerie Plame case.

Finally, Mombian gets the award for the best headline of the week: "Lesbian Bed Death Saves Civilization."

PHOTO: The beach at Ocean Grove, complete with cross and sea gull, courtesy of Wikipedia and a generous photographer.

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