Virginia’s Attorney General hopeful Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican facing off against Steve Shannon, is the type of social conservative you people love! He wants to give legal rights to fetuses at conception and favors restrictions that would all but shutter many abortion clinics. Oh, and he doesn’t want any of you homos pleasuring yourselves.
It’s not that gay people are abhorrent, says Cuccinelli. Just their sex lives: “My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. … They don’t comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.”
His comments, sadly, are typical. But we’re sort of loving what’s happened since those remarks went public: A newspaper of record has gone, uh, on the record identifying Cuccinelli’s statements sans bullshit, cherry coating, and fluff as this: bigotry.
Kudos to the Washington Post, for this: “Putting aside what Mr. Cuccinelli has to say about homosexuals when he’s not trying so hard to be polite, let’s call his comments what they are: bigotry. Bigotry is as pernicious today, applied to homosexuals, as it was a century ago or less, when immigrants and minorities were its main victims. And it is just as familiar. Appeals to ‘natural law’ and ‘intrinsic’ rights and wrongs were the usual cliches deployed to justify the old-time religion of hatred then directed at African Americans, Jews, Italians, Irish and other immigrants.”
We want more of this. More branding of such rhetoric not as “religious beliefs” or “conservative values,” but as “hate speech” and “bigotry.” We’re no longer talking about “opposing viewpoints”; this is a matter of right and wrong.