Kerry Eleveld explains to the Wash. Post what homophobia means in 2010.

In this week’s “View from Washington,” Kerry Eleveld takes the Washington Post to task for its editorial endorsement of NOM-backed candidate Delano Hunter. (My post on the Post is here.)

This is an especially good column because it explains what homophobia means in 2010. And, it calls out the usual B.S. arguments used by those who oppose full equality:

First off, can we please drop the canard that allowing certain people to marry each other somehow impinges on certain other people’s religious freedoms? No one will be forcing churches or religious leaders to perform same-sex ceremonies against their will, and people will undoubtedly maintain their right to worship as they choose completely free of government interference—as they always have. And for the Post to suggest that recognizing marriage equality necessarily conflicts with the beliefs of all religious groups is completely disingenuous, especially after nearly 200 religious leaders in the district stood with the multifaith group D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality.

But perhaps more to the point, it’s time for mainstream America to realize that endorsing politicians who claim to support “equality” for LGBT Americans but not marriage equality is tantamount to aiding and abetting homophobia; that they are mounting a direct attack on the love shared by fellow tax-paying, law-abiding citizens who want to make lifelong commitments to care for one another; that they are relegating people they work with, live with, and, yes, worship with, to second-class status.

There is no gray any longer, no hair-splitting, no rationalization or triangulation that suffices anymore. If you don’t support same-sex marriage, you don’t support equality and that is quite simply homophobic.

Sure, some pols are more virulently homophobic than others, but the outcome is the same: equality denied.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Congrats to Kerry Eleveld on her award for ‘Excellence in LGBT Media’

For the past year and a half, either late on Friday or early Saturday, we post a link to Kerry Eleveld’s weekly column, The View from Washington. I’ll be linking to the latest column later.

But, first, we have to offer our congratulations to Ms. Eleveld, who is receiving the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media tonight at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association (NLGJA) conference in San Francisco. When NLGJA announced the award, the press release stated:

Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate has been selected to be honored with the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media. Named for the late Newsweek journalist and founding editor of Out magazine, the award recognizes outstanding contributions of a journalist working in the LGBT media.

Of Eleveld’s work, judges said: “Eleveld needs to be commended for pushing for a D.C. bureau for The Advocate,” as well as “From her unique place inside the White House, she’s consistently making news and controlling the direction of news stories.”

Indeed, Kerry has been making news since she arrived in D.C. last year. She’s broken story after story — and has asked savvy questions of those in power. The LGBT community has benefited immeasurably from having her on the D.C. beat.

I love to watch her in action. I know when she asks a question, it’s so well thought out that she’s going to get news from it. I guess that’s why the White House hasn’t let her interview the President. For example, this question to Robert Gates showed up on Rachel Maddow:

So, congrats to Kerry. It’s an honor well-deserved.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Eleveld on marriage and Mehlman

Kerry Eleveld in the Advocate:

I fully understand that Mehlman’s revelation this week picked the scab off a wound that runs deep throughout the LGBT community, and I’m not absolving anyone of anything. But nor do I think it’s my place to stand in judgment.

Every morning newsprint slaps my coffee table with a mountain of injustice that often rims my eyes with sadness and occasionally rushes my heart with rage. And I would much rather train my sights on creating a future of fairness than stay mired in yesterday’s despair.

So instead of crucifying Mehlman, let’s hand him a pickax and a shovel and let him get to work on dismantling the hate he and his cronies helped heap upon a vulnerable and undeserving minority.

And who knows, maybe even President Obama and his advisers will get a whiff of the fact that spring is on its way.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Kerry Eleveld interviews Ken Mehlman about coming out

I’m not sure that there’s much earth-shattering in this interview. Though at one point, Mehlman does seem to wish he could take back some of the RNC’s past anti-gay actions.

There’s a lot of gays and lesbians and other people who are still angry about the 2004 election and the fact that that those 11 amendments were on the ballot. Is there anything that you would like to say about that in particular?

Look, I have a lot of friends who ask questions and who are angry about it. I understand that folks are angry, I don’t know that you can change the past. As I’ve said, one thing I regret a lot is the fact that I wasn’t in the position I am today where I was comfortable with this part of my life, where I was able to be an advocate against that [strategy] and able to be someone who argued against it. I can’t change that – it is something I wish I could and I can only try to be helpful in the future.
But I understand the anger and I talk to friends about it – it’s something that I hear from a number of friends.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Eleveld on Obama and marriage:

Kerry Eleveld in the Advocate:

I get the distinct feeling the White House hopes it can simply duck the marriage question straight through 2012, and I’d also bet dollars to doughnuts it won’t be able to. What became clear to me while interviewing attendees of the August 6 meeting was that while the friendly audience may have cut the administration some slack on legislative items like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Defense of Marriage Act, the one place advocates unapologetically stood their ground was on marriage equality.

Why? Because on that issue state activists have been the proverbial tip of the spear, if you will. They may not have a front-row seat to the maddening process of trying to chisel equality from the gut of an ossified federal government, but state-by-state they have shed blood, sweat, and tears for the recognition of their love and their families.

Make no mistake, this is an issue that the president’s chief advisers have misjudged from day one. They underestimated how angry people were that candidate Barack Obama wasn’t more vocal in his opposition to Proposition 8; they dismissed the devastation felt by millions of queers who poured their hearts into electing Obama only to watch Prop. 8 proponent Rick Warren give the invocation at the inauguration; they remained silent in 2009 as gay Mainers fought to preserve their right to love, marry, and build a life with their partner; and then David Axelrod reassured the nation two weeks ago that the president still opposes granting the freedom to marry to all Americans.

When Gibbs lampooned the professional left it was code for, “Oh, it’s just those coastal big-city liberals pushing their intemperate views in the media again.”

But that couldn’t be further from the truth on the issue of marriage equality after the sting of bigotry tromped from Florida to Maine to California and nearly every state in between. The president and his advisers may hope to stay below the radar on the question of marriage straight through 2012, but they are flying blind if they can’t see that activists across the nation are already seething.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Keith Olbermann: There is no ‘Ground Zero Mosque; Eleveld on Obama’s other mixed messaging problem

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And from Politicususa.com, a good summary of Keith’s remarks (no transcript yet). A snippet:

Olbermann described the Right’s campaign as, “Yet in a country dedicated to freedom, forces have gathered to blow out of all proportion the construction of a minor community center to transform it into a training ground for terrorists, and an insult to the victims of 9/11, and a tribute to the Medieval Muslim subjugation of the West. There is in fact no Ground Zero Mosque. It isn’t a mosque. A mosque technically is a Muslim holy place where only worship can be conducted. What is planned for 45 Park Place New York City is a community center. It’s supposed to include a basketball court and a culinary school. It is to be thirteen stories tall, and the top two stories will be a Muslim prayer space. What a cauldron to terrorism that will be, terrorist chefs and terrorist point guards.”

Olbermann pointed out that since 9/11 Muslims have been at greater risk of being victims of US terrorism than non-Muslims. After he debunked Newt Gingrich’s fear mongering over the name Cordoba House, which he called a figment of Gingrich’s imagination, and the MSNBC host pointed out that the community center will be open to all New Yorkers.

He also knocked down the falsehood that the community center is located on Ground Zero, “This place Park 51 is not even at Ground Zero, not even right across the street. Even the description of it being two blocks away is generous. It is two blocks away from the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site, from the planned location of the 9/11 Memorial, it is more like four or five blocks even.” Olbermann showed that there is no view of the World Trade Center visible from the community center.

***

On a related note, Kerry Eleveld’s latest column in The Advocate points out that “Obama’s mixed messaging on the mosque proposed near Ground Zero leads one to wonder why the White House is so unwilling to touch other hot-button issues.”

Like “The Homosexual Agenda“?

Well, he sure likes taking our money, huh? Just doesn’t like to step on that third rail (other than to send David Axelrod out to bleat out incoherent messaging about equality and marriage).

Obama’s position – that he defends the right to build without supporting the project – mirrors national polling numbers. While one poll found that about 64% of voters believe proponents should be able to build, another poll found that 68% oppose the plan itself.

The situation brings several questions to the fore.

First, what exactly is the administration’s communications team doing? They either miscalculated the national mood or they misjudged how the president’s words would be received on Friday. But they unquestionably should have seen flashes of the firestorm to come from Sarah Palin and her cronies eons before they sent the president out to carry the torch for democracy.

Or is it possible that the president and his advisers understood exactly where this was headed but just couldn’t take the heat once they stepped into the pit? No matter what the answer, the White House squandered the president’s most precious commodity: his word – his compact of trust with the American people.

And here’s another stumper. The same CNN poll showing that more than 2/3 of Americans opposed the project was also the very first poll in history to find that a majority of Americans (52% to 46%) believe gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

Now marriage polls do see-saw even as they continue to trend toward equality and a Public Policy Poll late last week found that 57% of voters still think same-sex marriage should be illegal. But the fact remains that both of those polls show less opposition to marriage equality than to the Mosque project, and I can’t help but puzzle at the White House’s willingness to broach one subject while they continue to run away from the other as if it’s too hot touch.

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—  John Wright