Selfish Susan and Corrupt Condi
There are two chunks of stale bread that I am dipping into the cheesy fondue of my mind this weekend.
#1 – The Open Forum column in this weeks Bay Area Reporter (“Here we go again” 9/13/07, http://www.ebar.com) discusses the same sex marriage bill passed by the CA Legislature that might be vetoed by Schwarzenegger. The author of the bill, Mark Leno, is trying to meet with the Governor to discuss the issue, but he is being frustrated in his efforts. Even the Gov’s chief of staff Susan Kennedy will not agree to meet with Leno. Kennedy previously served as an aide to Governor Gray Davis. She is a registered democrat. She is a lesbian. She was married to her partner in a ceremony in Hawaii in 1999. It is disappointing that she wouldn’t want to meet with Leno. Disappointing, perhaps, but not surprising.
#2 – Michelangelo Signorile has a post at his blog (dated 9/14/07 http://www.signorile…) about an interview he conducted with the author of a book about Condoleezza Rice. It contains some juicy (and substantial) speculation about Ms. Rice’s sexual identity. Her associations at Stanford and some public records indicate a partnership she has with a woman – an unmarried woman (GASP!). The discussion in the comments to the post center around the privileges of wealth and power that afford her the opportunity to enjoy a romantic life that is above reproach (even though same sex families across the country are constantly under attack by the ideology her administration represents) contrasted with others that defend her right to privacy.
These two stories show that self-centeredness is not a characteristic specific to any political affiliation or ideology. People like Kennedy and Rice exhibit no obligation of fealty to their fellow LGBT citizens. A logical connection can be made between the opportunism of Kennedy/Rice and the well-heeled gays that offer uncritical support to Presidential candidates that do not advocate for the constitutional rights of all LGBT Americans.
My husband and I conducted a low-key demonstration outside of a Hillary Clinton fundraiser sponsored by an LGBT business organization. Rob held a sign that read, “Civil Unions are not equal” while I handed out fliers summarizing the harm the states have done to same sex couples. We encountered a number of loyal Clinton sycophants. Many of them seemed annoyed by our presence.
It is Senator Clinton’s platform, after all, to leave the issue of equality for individual states to determine. She has yet to be questioned by anybody about the harm that has already been caused as a result of this cowardly position. While it is inexcusable for an educated heterosexual to not question this manipulative tactic, it is cowardly and opportunistic for well-to-do gays to not acknowledge the problem and to consequently allow her to get away with being insincere.
I do understand that there is an inclination to believe that supporting a candidate like Clinton – or any Democrat for that matter – is a way to gain access to the system and to work within it to effect change. That sounds great, but it doesn’t work. Unfortunately, following that strategy has the result of adding to the problem, not creating a solution. Once membership is allowed, conformity is mandated. The dutiful sycophant is unable to work on fixing what is broken because they have become the token member, held up as an example of the diversity and acceptance exhibited by the group. The token gay is paraded around, held aloft on the shoulders of the well-intentioned groupies, while state after state passes bigoted laws and amendments against the rest of us.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it Condoleezza? Loose lips sink ships, Condi. If you aren’t more careful with your secrets, you will be marched out of town. It is bad enough you are black, let alone a woman, but also potentially a homo while serving as the Secretary of State?!?! Good lord! You’ve still got your slice of pie. Hang on to it while you can.
Susan Kennedy does well for herself too. The San Francisco Chronicle reported (“Schwarzenegger awards top aides generous pay raises,” Matthew Yi, 9/1/07) that she has been granted a 23% pay raise. Her new salary will be $175,000/yr. That’s pretty good for a lesbian Democrat working for Republican macho pig. She’s got hers, right? Why should she meet with Leno to discuss a bill that would give LGBT families legitimate standing in their community? If those families want respect, then they need to do what she did and find a job that pays them nearly 200K. With that kind of security they won’t have to worry about anyone else getting the shaft. Selfishness works, right Susan?
Instead of imitating the shallow, greedy and self-serving behavior of egomaniacs like Susan Kenney and Condoleezza Rice, comfortable gays should fully realize the power of their wealth and influence by forcing candidates to acknowledge the harm that continues to be enforced in 80% of the country in exchange for lucrative donations. To willingly support candidates that do not advocate for the innocent victims of bigotry is unforgivably selfish.