Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Missed post on Larry Craig

All right, I was afraid of that. I lost last night's post on Larry Craig when my cable went out. Can't remember precisely what I wrote, but here's the gist:

I worked with Larry Craig's office and talked to him a few times when I was working on my book, "Ambush at Ruby Ridge," about the Randy Weaver affair, which happened in Idaho. He was on the side of the angels then, outraged that the feds had abused their power. He struck me as a sincere constitutionalist. I don't know if he's gay or not, and really don't care. There's nothing inconsistent with being a gay constitutionalist; I know several.

What's tragic, and something I attribute in large part to the unfortunate power of the "rligious right" (I question whethwer it's really religious or really right) in the Republican Party is that it's almost impossible for a gay conservative who wants a political career to be honest about who and what he is. That's sad. I suspect that in a generation the issue won't have anywhere near the fundraising power it has for those who use religion to forward their political ambitions (almost every "religious right" leader I've talked to or interviewed over the years, including Gary Bauer and Ralph Reed, has been much more interested in politics than religion; indeed it's been almost impossible to engage them seriously on religion). But for now it does, and I think it's been used cynically.

The fact that even a few conservatives have found it almost impossible to repress their homosexual tendencies completely (think Ted Haggard) suggests that it is much less a choice than something inborn. What you do with your sexuality is a choice. Homosexuals and heterosexuals can choose (it's harder for some than others) to be promiscuous, faithful or even celibate.

To be sure, the evidence on Larry Craig is far from conclusive. But I would love it if some conservative who is "outed" would say something like: "Yes, I like having sex with men. I've struggled with it and I probably haven't handled it very well, and I apologize for the deception to my wife and children (if relevant) but it's who I am. Now that I'm out of the closet I'm asking for understanding and tolerance and begging conservatives to end the unspeakable cruelty of making a moral and political issue of what, in my sad experience is something inborn rather than chosen; Lord knows I didn't ask for it nor would I have chosen it. But it's time for our society to come to terms with the fact that some people are gay."

Guess I'm dreaming.

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