Friday, August 26, 2011

Will Rick Perry pay a political price for his anti-gay bigotry?

I wrote this post last night and, as I was writing, I was drinking a glass of red wine. According to Rick Perry, I suppose this means I was having a gay experience. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.)

Because, as you may have heard, Perry thinks homosexuality is like alcoholism. (Not that I'm an alcoholic, but you get the point.)

At ThinkProgress, Igor Volsky asks if that view will "hinder" his campaign.

Short answer: Not in the primaries, given bigoted Republican views on homosexuality generally, but certainly in the general election, should he make it that far. At least, one would hope that general election voters, those not in the hardcore Republican base, would recoil from such bigotry.

Longer answer:

Perry is not alone. Republican presidential candidates from Michele Bachmann to Mitt Romney continue to make offensive and homophobic remarks in debates and on the campaign trail, despite the public's growing acceptance of gay people. It's unlikely that these positions will resonate with a constituency beyond the party's social conservative base, since, as Paul Thornton notes in [yesterday]'s Los Angeles Times, "the radical ideas espoused by Bachmann, Perry, Santorum and others are [already] held up not for genuine consideration but for scorn." "Perry's and Bachmann's views aren't weighed against President Obama's 'evolving' stance on same-sex marriage; rather, they are simply ridiculed. It says as much about our society as it does the candidates."

I wonder if this isn't a tad optimistic -- America has come a long way in a fairly short time, but such bigotry is still quite common.

But I really hope it's the case. Such views, and those who espouse them, deserve our scorn and, in politics, to be held accountable at the polls.

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