Monday, December 28, 2009

My Bilerico Post: Homophobia explodes in Illinois Senate Race

This is a big story. My latest piece at Bilerico.com on the brou-ha-ha that's been getting whipped up today in Illinois. Please check it out.

Illinois GOP Senate primaries hit a homophobic low-note | The Bilerico Project:
"While openly gay Jacob Meister campaigns over on the Democratic side, it seems the Republican contest for the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama is the contest with the real gay scandal. Illinois Republican Representative and active Navy Intelligence reservist Mark Kirk--who has voted against the homophobic Federal Marriage Amendment, and in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act--now has to field schoolyard taunts from one of his primary competitors, Andy Martin; the 'Obama is secretly Muslim' guy.

Comparing this situation with a similar controversy taking place in the same race for the other party's candidate, openly gay Democratic primary candidate, Jacob Meister, released a statement this afternoon, saying in part:

As the only openly gay candidate for the U.S. Senate, I have experienced firsthand the bigotry and prejudice that the sexual orientation issue evokes. The subtle innuendo of the 'family values' issue, used by politicians such as Sarah Palin, Andy Martin and my opponent, David Hoffman, to infer that people who are lawfully refused the right to marry or begin a family are somehow less 'qualified' and relegated to second-class citizen status, must stop.

This is nothing less than an assault on the civil rights of all Americans, including the tens of millions of gay and lesbian people living in this country. It is appalling that we live in an America that still allows one's sexual orientation to be used as fodder for political attacks and, worse yet, as an obstacle to the civil rights availed to all of us through the constitution of the United States.

During the course of this campaign, my sexual orientation has been the source of underhanded remarks from my opponent, David Hoffman; the catalyst for a verbal and threatened physical attack toward a member of my staff; and the justification for one online suburban publication to accuse me of treason. Despite the enormous economic, national security and domestic policy challenges on which I have tried to focus my campaign - some think it more important to question someone's sexual orientation than to propose their own ideas on how to confront the many problems that desperately need our attention."

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