Following the President-elect’s poor choice of pastor for the invocation at his inaugural celebration, former special prosecutor Ken Starr has filed a lawsuit in California on behalf of the klan that pushed for passage of proposition 8 which seeks to divorce married couples they don’t like.
There are those who think these two seemingly random acts have nothing to do with each other, but they don’t take into account the knapsack of straight privilege that the heterosexual majority in the United States often wields like a bludgeon in what is frequently described as “innocent ignorance.”
Somehow, it is okay for a man who called homosexuals an abomination to pray for Barack Obama. Which gives courage and confidence to latter day homophobes to try to exterminate loving committed relationships. The national pulpit on the historic occasion of the inauguration of the first black president is speaking loudly, not only to the gay community, but to all Americans, and the message is clear: if you are not one of us, you are expendable. Heterosexual couples can walk down the street, holding hands, without much fuss. Homosexual couples have to “not flaunt their lifestyle.” Heterosexuals can get engaged, get married, adopt children, visit each other in the hospital, put each other on their insurance plans without much to do – just some paperwork. Homosexual couples have to fight to do any of these, and often fail and are told directly it is because of who they love and want to be with.
Gay marriage is on the ballot, as if miscegenation laws banning blacks and whites from cohabitating and marrying weren’t wiped off the books forty years ago because they were discriminatory, or that the American populace somehow has a right to vote on who should be married. No one voted on whether my wife and I should be married. That was our decision. I don’t see any reason that should not apply to all American citizens of consenting age. It’s as if our nation picks one or more groups each generation to hold up to second-class citizenship, and then denies them basic rights that all other Americans enjoy. Rick Warren, James Dobson & Ken Starr are all members of a fraternity – a homophobic clan that also boasts Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and to my chagrin, Barack Obama. And while I don’t agree that Obama has thrown the gay community completely under the bus, his choice of pastors has definitely pushed them into incoming traffic.
The symbolic nature of Warren’s speech is just that, a symbol – of hate, of intolerance, of religious bigotry, of exclusion, of division, of betrayal, of casual dismissal. And it obviously symbolized HOPE and CHANGE for Ken Starr and his cronies. From a man as thoughtful as President-elect Obama is, this was a thoughtless and unnecessary boost for the forces of Christian extremists and intolerance. Just ask Rick and Ken.