We are hearing a cacophony of names and insults being hurled at Republicans these days especially from the GiBLeT (gays, bisexuals, lesbians, transgendered) community. Anyone who doesn’t believe marriage should be opened to same-sex couples is now a homophobe. The Minnesota state legislature is simply teeming with homophobes, or so the argument goes. If a legislator votes for having the people vote on codifying the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, they are bigots, or worse. It’s a whole-scale assault on conservative thought and traditional beliefs. But, their use of the term ‘homophobe’ is just plain wrong. They are using the gay community as a tool to change the perception of the Republican Party. The American Left is portraying the GOP as being nothing more than a group of prejudicial Neanderthals. If we allow a definition of homophobe to be that simplistic, then only one conclusion can be drawn.
The late Senator Paul Wellstone was a homophobe.[i]
There. I said it. The liberal saint of socialism and government rule over individual rights and a god in the pantheon of the Democratic left was a gay bigot. He obviously hated and feared gay people because he voted for DOMA. If their loosey-goosey use of ‘homophobe’ is acceptable and accurate, Wellstone certainly must be labeled as such.
He voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 which allowed states to deny same-sex marriage or anything like it, from being recognized. It was a constitutional maneuver that suspended the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution from forcing states to accept same-sex legal relationships that happened in other states. Wellstone, supposedly the greatest friend to all things gay, voted for the Act and our first black president, Bill Clinton signed it. So, according to the lazy, intellectually inconsistent usage of the word ‘homophobe’, clearly Wellstone and Clinton are also homophobes.
If we use a quantitative effect analysis to the actions of Wellstone and Clinton, their homophobia is many, many times worse than say, House Speaker Kurt Zellers. In fact, Wellstone and Clinton acted on a national level while Minnesota’s legislators did so merely on a state level. Zellers and the legislative Republicans vote only affected five million Minnesotans. Wellstone’s vote affects over 300 million people. Clearly, Wellstone’s vote was a much bigger assault on gay people, 60 times worse.
Then, if we take into account that Minnesota Republicans merely sent an amendment for the people to vote on while Wellstone and Clinton effectively nullified the actions of the several states in recognizing same-sex relationships, it fails a qualitative test as well. DOMA doesn’t just single out gay marriage. DOMA allows states to ignore ANY legal relationship THAT IS TREATED AS MARRIAGE that another state offers to gay people. While the Minnesota amendment only defines marriage itself as between a man and a woman, it allows for other possible legal relationship arrangements to occur. DOMA, on a national level, allows these alternative arrangements, arrangements entered into by consenting adults voluntarily, to be disregarded by other states.
Wellstone is both quantifiably and quality-wise more homophobic than any Minnesota legislator who voted for sending the amendment to the voters. Undeniably. So, to the useful idiots screaming their heads off, calling people names, and generally making fools of themselves; be careful. Your patron saint did far, far worse to far more people.
[i] Note – I’m not claiming Wellstone was a homophobe. I’m merely taking their use of the word to its obvious and logical conclusion.