“Are (or were) you a practicing homosexual?”
That’s the question on the tip of Peter LaBarbera’s salivating tongue and he’s posing it to Elena Kagan, whose name has been mentioned as a possible Obama Supreme Court nominee; David Dreier and Patrick McHenry, both Republican representatives; and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.
“We appeal to Kagan, McHenry, Dreier, Crist and all potential ‘hiding-in-the-closet’ politicians or appointees to answer the question: ‘Are (or were) you a practicing homosexual or do you consider yourself homosexual (gay)?’” said LaBarbera, founder of Republicans For Family Values.
LaBarbera wants to know if these folks are on the down-low because “each (has been) the subject of wide speculation that they practice(d) homosexuality.”
The big question I have is, what does it mean to “practice” homosexuality? You can practice the piano. You can be a practicing Catholic. You can practice your jump shot. But homosexuality isn’t like a musical instrument, a religion or a sport (no, not even figure skating or softball).
And what does LaBarbera mean by “were” here? What past deeds, exactly, does he want Kagan, Dreier, McHenry and Crist to confess to? Does he want to know about that one time at Girl Scout camp? Or the time a certain seventh-grader got a boner in the boys’ locker room? Is he looking for juicy slumber-party details?
And how is LaBarbera’s question to be answered? Via text? Slam poetry? Through a bullhorn out the back of a police wagon? Or maybe before the House Committee on Un-Heterosexual Activities?
Is homosexuality America’s new communism?
Hardly. Not for most folks, anyway. But LaBarbera is certainly trying to make it so. Whether or not the politicians LaBarbera’s named are gay, he’s sure as hell going to do his best to cement the idea in as many minds as possible, hoping the specter of homosexuality will be enough to bring these pols to ruin.
Not only does LaBarbera think gay people are bad and icky, he also thinks they can’t be trusted.
“Homosexuals’ privacy interests simply do not outweigh the public’s right to know about potential conflicts of interest in the lives of their representatives and judges,” he said.
After all, gays always stand by each other, which is why the gay community and gay-rights movement, unlike any other community or movement, is completely free of political infighting, personality clashes, petty bickering and differences of opinion.
LaBarbera does make a good point, though. If you’re active in political life and in the closet, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. If you come out, assholes like LaBarbera can’t use your closet door against you. And you have the opportunity to come out with dignity instead of, say, by sending graphic instant messages to young teens or tap dancing in an airport terminal toilet.
“In an era of ubiquitous pro-gay messages and pop culture celebration of homosexuality, it’s ridiculous that constituents should be left guessing as to whether a judicial nominee or politician has a special, personal interest in homosexuality,” LaBarbera said.
Ah, yes, “a special, personal interest in homosexuality.” Well, Mr. LaBarbera, someone certainly does.
D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet (believe it!). When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock ’n’ roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister.