by Chisun Lee
Bashing Back at Bush's Anti-Gay Crusade
last-minute scramble to head off George W. Bush’s homophobic agenda is working, for now. Instead of voting to pass an anti-gay-marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Wednesday, senators will now likely be voting to vote whether to pass that amendment.
For once, thank goodness for the procedural morass that is Congress. People need some time to mobilize beyond the online petitions and call-in campaigns that began Monday.
Inflamed by Bush’s anti-gay marriage rhetoric—and hopelessly unable to find anything inspiring to say about the war or the economy—an alliance of cynical political operatives and earnest evangelicals recently threw the amendment crusade into high gear. Their professed objective is to restrict marriage rights to straight couples only, but their secret delight is watching Democratic pols dance the tightrope of being pro-gay rights but also anti-gay marriage.
Indeed, the conservatives' celebration of "tradition" and "marriage" is very tricky. It seems mild as milk. But as distraught Americans pointed out in e-mails that shot around family and friend networks yesterday, this proposed amendment would be the first in history to denyl people rights and consecrate discrimination among the guiding principles of the nation. There is nothing mild about that.
Procedural vote may come up
Boston-AP -- Democrat John Kerry and running mate John Edwards may end up not voting on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
President Bush has called for the amendment and top Republicans are trying to get one passed in the Senate.
But opponents of the measure are trying to block it from ever coming to a direct vote. The only vote likely to occur now is a procedural one scheduled for tomorrow aimed at forcing the Senate to act.
A Kerry spokeswoman says Kerry and Edwards would be in the Senate to vote against the amendment if it actually comes up, but they will not be there to vote on the procedural measure.
Tomorrow, Kerry is scheduled to be in Boston preparing for the Democratic National Convention.
'Cover boy' outing revives rift
BULL'S EYE | Political Special
by Chris Bull, senior political correspondent
In May 2001, the "Coverboy Confidential" column in the Washington, D.C. gay magazine MetroWeekly featured a young man posing in a white tank top emblazoned with the word "DISCIPLINED." Identified only by initials J.B., he declared that while he is a "government bureaucrat by day," at night he wants to date guys "with six-pack abs you could eat chips and dip off of."
The column, which regularly features dozens of similarly sassy interviews, would be forgotten were it not for the heated debate over the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) in the U.S. Senate. Since the cover boy turns out to be Jonathan Tolman, senior aide to FMA champion Sen. James Inhofe, the incident has resurrected the long-dormant dispute over the ethics and merits of outing.
The FMA may be dead even before the Senate vote, but outing is back -- with a vengeance. "Washington is engaged in a conspiracy to cover up the fact that many members of Congress and their staffers are gay men and lesbians," insists Michael Rogers, the D.C. activist who unearthed Tolman's youthful indiscretion. "We can't sit around and condone the fact that lots of us are complicit in the conspiracy."