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While America Aged

While America Aged

By Roger Lowenstein

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Ear to the Ground

A Glasnost in Bush & Co.‘s Gay Stance?

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Posted on Oct 20, 2006

We could be wrong, but it appears Tony Snow defended Condi Rice for recognizing the mother of a new White House appointee’s gay partner as his “mother-in-law.” (h/t AMERICAblog)

Could this be the way it starts? Subtle, implicit recognition of gay rights preceding something more formal? Was this a top-down decision? Or did Tony Snow and Condi Rice just accidentally let slip a little human compassion, despite the best efforts of their religious-right taskmasters to keep the country shrouded in a veil of hate….


White House spokesman Tony Snow just said the following at today’s White House press briefing:

REPORTER: At the swearing in of Mark Dybul as an AIDS ambassador, Secretary of State Rice referred to the mother of a gay partner as “mother in law,” and my question, how does this adhere to the President’s belief and policy that marriage is between one man and one woman?

WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN TONY SNOW: The secretary said what she said and she was showing due deference to the people involved.

Note that Snow didn’t just say that Condi said what she said, and leave it that. Snow went one step further and decided to defend what Condi said. He said that Condi showed “due deference” by treating the gay couple as married. That’s a value judgment that Snow is making. And the values he’s supporting are the values of a gay married couple over the values of homophobe Jerry Falwell and the men at the Concerned Women for America.


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By Rich, October 21, 2006 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think Condi supports gay rights.  For instance, she supported John (now Joan) Roughgarden when (s)he was going through the change during her tenure at Stanford.  This story is a bit too subtle for most of the red meat homophobes to wrap their talons around so Snow threw his support behind Rice’s comments.  For the administration, then, there was nothing to lose and all to win by showing deference to the couple and their family.  I only hope the time doesn’t come when the Republicans burn down the log cabin as they look for energy in their election campaigns.

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By Kate, October 20, 2006 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s run with this!!!!! I think we should run with this…subtle recognition. If we meet it by continuing to subtly maintain the tone of equal marriage being a given, I think eventually we will see this change take place.

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