Conservative lawmaker warns citizens that vote on state’s domestic partnership laws could be ‘the final battle’ in the culture war
People in the public eye who utter inanities about gays keep me busy. I regularly poke into the verbal and written slams offered up by folks all around the world, from Oklahoma state legislator Sally Kern (Homosexuality is "the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism"), to Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov (Pride parades are "satanic").
As a citizen of the state of Washington I’d like to highlight my homies now and then, but prominent Washingtonians have been largely restrained of late — and thus uncooperative.
Val Stevens changed all that. The state senator penned an anti-gay diatribe that is world-class. She’s suddenly become Ã¼ber-cooperative.
With Election Day near at hand, Stevens wrote a letter that appears on the Web site of Protect Marriage Washington, the group that got Referendum 71 on the ballot with the aim of ditching the domestic partnership rights the legislature granted.
The purpose of Stevens’ letter is to urge supporters to pony up more money. I assume it will work, because her message is that Armageddon is coming — and it’s dressed in drag:
"Could this be the final battle?
"Are the homosexuals finally going to take control of our culture and push their depraved lifestyle on our children and families?"
That’s gotta have some folks reaching for their wallets — and it’s only the start of the letter!
I give my fellow Evergreen Stater credit for effective writing. She mixes hyperbole, hysteria and hate into a paranoid witch’s brew — just in time for both Halloween and the election.
Further on, Stevens refers again to "the final assault on our families and American culture by the homosexuals."
Clearly she has an exaggerated view of the importance of our state. I mean, I’m fond of Washington and all, but Referendum 71 is no Yorktown.
Even if the gays win this particular vote in this particular state, we won’t be taking control of American culture. We lack the infrastructure.
Stevens bemoans the state having repealed sodomy laws in 1970, "with government turning a blind eye to a behavior commonly considered perversion — and still the case with a majority of Americans."
Apparently the Arlington Republican was AWOL from the planet in 2003, when that notoriously bawdy bunch, the United States Supreme Court, took a different view of consensual gay sex.
But then, her aim is to terrify. So she pushes several of the tried and true buttons.
In addition to sodomy, she invokes NAMBLA, always a crowd-pleaser. Stevens also points to "the devastation in Scandinavian countries," apparently referring to the discredited but often cited statistical "proof" provided by conservative pundit Stanley Kurtz that gay marriage destroys straight marriage.
I wonder how Scandinavians feel about American social conservatives holding them up as a sociological nuclear winter?
Stevens also frets over "the objective of the feminization of the male in our society."
Wow. I wouldn’t want to be a guy in her household. One hint of sensitivity and you’re off to military school.
She worries about school children being told that homosexuality is normal, and about the free speech rights of pastors — two of the drumbeats that have become popular with her set in the recent past.
While she bemoans the fact that gays in Washington are, "after 27 years of relentless pursuit," a protected group, she doesn’t use the phrase "special rights." Obviously an oversight.
Now that the Washington state senator has put herself on the world map of bigots, I look forward to her next offering. I don’t think she can top this for sheer hysteria. But on the other hand, if she can tell supporters "we are on the verge of losing the battle of our lifetimes" over domestic partnership, there’s no telling, when the battle really is over same-sex marriage, what hyperbolic heights she’ll climb. •
Leslie Robinson is a freelance columnist on LGBT issues who lives in Seattle.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 30, 2009.