Gay Haters Or Just Idiots?

by Bill Brenner on September 23, 2011

A lot of people are furious over a bit from the last Republican presidential debate, in which an openly gay soldier was booed for asking if the candidates would, if elected, reverse the progress made on gays in the military.

Some people around the Internet have called the booing of a gay man “indefensible,” “disgusting” and “evil.”

There’s also a lot of anti-Texas commentary making the rounds, and a lot of comments about Republicans being gay-fearing racists.

People love to over-complicate things.

Since this blog is largely about exploring the dark side of the human condition and searching for the redeemable among us, I’m going to take a crack at assessing this:

First, I don’t think the truth of the matter is that Republicans as a party are gay haters. I don’t believe Texans as a whole are, either.

Individuals are gay haters and racists.

I’ve met Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians who have shown their intolerance. And I’ve seen and heard more venom drip from peoples’ mouths in the “liberal” state of Massachusetts than I have anywhere else. I live here, which explains why I hear more of it here than anywhere else. If I spent more than a few days in one of the southern states maybe I’d come away with a different point of view.

I’ve met very progressive (some would even say liberal) Republican southerners who would die to defend the rights of everyone, gay or otherwise.

We love to paint these things with one fat brush. I’m guilty of it, too.

The reality is that a couple assholes booed this guy. Of them, I think the boos were more toward the question than the sexual orientation of the guy asking it.

Personally, when anyone has the balls to ask a question for an event like that, I think they deserve respect. The booing people in the audience were straight-up jerks. But the action doesn’t necessarily make them gay bashers.

Angry? Sure. Ill-behaved? That’s fair. Haters? I tend to doubt it.

http://youtu.be/vgBIeozJU2g

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joe September 23, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Bill,

I generally agree, but what made this so egregious was that after the boos no one rebuked the booers, in fact Mr. Santorum tossed red meat to them in his answer. Silence in this case is consent.

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