It is 40 years now since the Stonewall Riots first brought gay and lesbian civil rights into the public spotlight. People who are gay or lesbian still can marry only in New England (except for Rhode Island) and Iowa. They can’t serve in the miliary if they are openly expressing their sexuality. The issue of ordination of homosexuals is spliting the Methodist and Episcopal churches. And it appears that those leaders who are most vocal about the scanctity of marriage being only between a man and a woman are the most likely to divorce and the most likely to be as Jon Stewart put it “…just another politician with a conservative mind and a liberal penis.”
This is the graphic from Charles M. Blow’s op ed in the New York Times on Mark Sanford.
Sanford voted to impeach Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky saga. According to The Post and Courier of Charleston, Sanford called Clinton’s behavior “reprehensible” and said, “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally” to resign. “I come from the business side. … If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.” Remember that Mr. Sanford?
And this kind of hypocrisy isn’t confined to the politicians. It permeates the electorate. While conservatives fight to “defend” marriage from gays, they can’t keep theirs together. According to the Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract, states that went Republican in November accounted for eight of the 10 states with the highest divorce rates in 2006.
Conservatives touted abstinence-only education, which was a flop, when real sex education was needed, most desperately in red states. According to 2006 data from the Guttmacher Institute, those red states accounted for eight of the 10 states with the highest teenage birthrates.
A little bragging here: Massachusetts was the first to legalize gay marriage and we are at the bottom of the list in divorce and teen pregancy.
So we need less hypocacry from the conservative camp and a lot more reality. I really don’t think anyone, except the politician’s family, cares about them having an affair as long as other laws (Spitzer and Vitter engaging prostitutes which is still illegal or Ensign and potential conflict of interest) are not also broken. But please, practice what you preach or shut-up and don’t interfere with legal abortions or birth control or with the right of homosexuals to get married.
As Maureen Dowd put it
Sanford can be truly humble only if he stops dictating to others, who also have desires and weaknesses, how to behave in their private lives.
The Republican Party will never revive itself until its sanctimonious pantheon — Sanford, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Palin, Ensign, Vitter and hypocrites yet to be exposed — stop being two-faced.