Blog of Rights

Too Gay to be President? Houston, We Have a Problem!

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:35am

It’s not often that I am genuinely shocked by comments by a member of Congress. Obviously whenever you have a geographically, politically (and in pretty much every other way) diverse group of 535 people, you’ll occasionally hear some pretty wild/inspiring/disappointing/anger-inducing/etc. things. Still, I must confess to being shocked at reading the comments that South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint made to columnist Al Hunt on the prospect of having an openly gay or lesbian president.

DeMint considers such a prospect to be “immoral” and even cringe-worthy! Amazingly enough, his comments don’t even end there. In discussing marriage equality, he goes on to tell Hunt: “Governments should not be in the business of promoting a behavior that’s proven to be destructive to our society.”

It’s not often that you hear such nakedly homophobic rubbish from our highest elected officials in the country. Additionally, coming on the heels of an election that upended previous conceptions of who we thought could become president, his comments are also behind the times.

In fact, you don’t even have to go back to 2008 to find an election that upended the previous conceptions of electability. This past weekend, Houston became the largest American city to date to elect an openly gay or lesbian mayor — Annise Parker. You know what they say about messing with Texas Senator DeMint, so I’d tread lightly. Congrats to Mayor-elect Parker!

By the way, Annise and her partner have been together for nearly 20 years and are raising two children together.

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