The Steele Interview

So, the GQ interview with Michael Steele has been getting a lot of attention, for obvious reasons; he probably doesn’t need anyone questioning his integrity right now, yet several of the answers he gave could supply his fellow Republicans with enough ammo to do just that. As interesting as intra-party bickering is (</sarcasm>), I thought I’d focus for a moment on what he thinks about gay marriage:

Let’s talk about gay marriage. What’s your position?
Well, my position is, hey, look, I have been, um, supportive of a lot of my friends who are gay in some of the core things that they believe are important to them. You know, the ability to be able to share in the information of your partner, to have the ability to—particularly in times of crisis—to manage their affairs and to help them through that as others—you know, as family members or others—would be able to do. I just draw the line at the gay marriage. And that’s not antigay, no. Heck no! It’s just that, you know, from my faith tradition and upbringing, I believe that marriage—that institution, the sanctity of it—is reserved for a man and a woman. That’s just my view. And I’m not gonna jump up and down and beat people upside the head about it, and tell gays that they’re wrong for wanting to aspire to that, and all of that craziness. That’s why I believe that the states should have an opportunity to address that issue. (Source)

What kind of weird reasoning does it take to convince yourself that being against gay marriage isn’t anti-gay? It’s particularly strange that Steele can think this way while apparently having gay friends who he’s ‘supportive’ of. As I’ve said plenty of times before, gay rights is one of the few issues on which a person can be blatantly discriminatory without realising it. Being anti-gay is still a perfectly legitimate stance to take, and even those who disagree with you are unlikely to call you out on it as readily as they would a racist or a misogynist.

This is a problem that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Fighting against its products is obviously a noble thing to do, but trying to obtain true equality is going to be far more difficult if society refuses to condemn this kind of bigotry, and they won’t condemn it unless we try to show them how wrong it is.

At the very least, Steele is straightforward about why he feels the way he does: his religion demands it of him. Hopefully, a few decades from now, Christians everywhere will look back on people like him and cringe.

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