Oregon state Representative Dennis Richardson certainly offered a mountful in his newsletter last week:
This past week has been like no other. On Monday the world witnessed the tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. On Tuesday Oregon witnessed the passage of Domestic Benefits for same-sex couples (HB 2007) and Civil Rights based on sexual orientation.
Whoa. Talk about apples and oranges. 32 lives lost and the opportunity for countless happy lives to be lived. Our words fail us right now, so we’ll let Loaded Orygun do the talking:
I could come up with any number of adjectives to describe this noxious juxtaposition–such as ignorant, hateful, paranoid, misinformed, calculating, neanderthal or just plain stupid–but let’s just stick with “pathetic”…
Oh, wait, that inspired us: Richardson’s words are tasteless. Not to mention totally idiotic. But, sadly, not surprising.
Richardson spends the rest of his newsletter dissecting the issues. We won’t get into his gun-toting support for the Second Amendment, but we’ll allow a few words on his absolutely ridiculous take on gay rights. Not only does he claim the Bill creates a privileged political class – long a conservative argument against gay rights – he goes on to blast the Bill’s prohibition of discrimination based on “actual or perceived” sexual orientation:
Since it provides government enforcement power against those accused of discriminating because of “perceived” homosexuality, appearance, expression and behavior SB 2 will have far-reaching consequences… I believe there will be societial anomalies to deal with as well as the legal ones. In the years ahead, I believe SB 2 will result in a small minority of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) activists imposing their lifestyles and views of behavior on an unwilling majority in Oregon’s schools, work places, and eventually in all aspects of our society. When it comes to political strategy and maneuvering, the GLBT activists have certainly been successful in moving forward their political agenda.
Because discriminating against gays doesn’t help the Republican political agenda? Right. What scares Richardson the most, it seems, is the fact that you can’t discriminate against someone just because you think they’re gay. You don’t have to know they’re gay. Unlike race, faggotry’s very easy to hide. It’s truly a specter, to borrow a term from old Karl Marx. It could be all around you. That’s the most frightening enemy: the one you can’t easily identify. The idea that someone may appear gay and not actually be gay also raises the possibility that someone may appear straight and actually be gay. There’s nothing more unsettling to homophobes than the idea that a queer can be just like them.
Thus, they have to create their own privileges to secure their social and political space, allowing one small area in which they know who’s who. If gays can “marry”, it’s all over. A wedding ring won’t prove a man or woman’s sexuality (not that it does, anyway). The sissie specter, then, will be truly invisible. And you can’t fight something you can’t see.