Sunday, February 20, 2005

Reassuring, to say the least
I've been saying for a while that my gut tells me Bush isn't intolerant of homosexuals/homosexuality, just that he thinks the union of a gay couple should not be referred to as marriage. Unfortunately, until now, I've had no evidence.

The New York Times announced in an article yesterday that pre-presidential confident of W's had released portions of secretly taped conversations. There are many interesting points in the article, but the most intriguing to me comes on page three:

Early on, though, Mr. Bush appeared most worried that Christian conservatives would object to his determination not to criticize gay people. "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals," Mr. Bush said after meeting James Robison, a prominent evangelical minister in Texas.

But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: "Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?"

Later, he read aloud an aide's report from a convention of the Christian Coalition, a conservative political group: "This crowd uses gays as the enemy. It's hard to distinguish between fear of the homosexual political agenda and fear of homosexuality, however."

"This is an issue I have been trying to downplay," Mr. Bush said. "I think it is bad for Republicans to be kicking gays."

Told that one conservative supporter was saying Mr. Bush had pledged not to hire gay people, Mr. Bush said sharply: "o, what I said was, I wouldn't fire gays."

As early as 1998, however, Mr. Bush had already identified one gay-rights issue where he found common ground with conservative Christians: same-sex marriage. "ay marriage, I am against that. Special rights, I am against that,"Mr. Bush told Mr. Wead, five years before a Massachusetts court brought the issue to national attention.
Whatever you think of his ultimate stance on gay marriage, this makes it clear to me that he had no intention of creating a crusade around the issue, and that his claim that he only proposed a constitutional amendment as a response to activist judges has some validity. Obviously, not everyone can agree with that action, but at least he wants to distinguish between "homosexual political agenda and... homosexuality."

He's not quite where I wish he was on the issue, but he's also not as far off-base as many on the left would like to claim.


Anonymous said...

If he didn't want to create a crusade against homosexuality, why did he create a crusade against homosexuality?


RFTR said...

I apologize for your difficulty reading--there's a difference between opposing homosexuality and opposing gay marriage.

That's the entire point of this post.