Monday, December 16, 2002

Don Nickles is a Bigot

CNN is reporting that Frist is getting behind Nickles [UPDATE -they just corrected - behind his call for new leadership, not necessarily behind Nickles as Leader]. Okay, pundits on the right - online or otherwise, time to take a look at Don Nickles' bigotry. Is Andrew Sullivan going to come out strongly against him? Will Instapundit? Robert George? Jonah Goldberg? Jay Caruso? We all enjoyed the little orgy of conservative backslapping as they rallied to praise themselves for their opposition to bigot Lott. How about their principled opposition to Bigot Nickles? The world awaits their responses.

In 1998 Don Nickles vehemently opposed the nomination of James Hormel for U.S. Ambassador to Luxemborg. His clearly stated reason was that Hormel was unqualified simply because he was gay.

"He has promoted a lifestyle and promoted it in a big way, in a way that is very offensive. One might have that lifestyle, but if one promotes it as acceptable behavior, I don't think they should be a representative of this country. I think it's immoral behavior and I think a lot of other behavior is immoral and shouldn't be treated as acceptable behavior."

As noted in Gay Today:

The Bible, according to the Oklahoma Senator's calculations, teaches that homosexual behavior is "a sin" and "if one promotes that behavior…that person shouldn't be a representative of this country."

This of course, is not just the view of an anti-gay bigot, but a closet Christian Reconstructionist or Christian Identity adherent as well. The latter in particular used the bible to justify their views of racial inferiority and its supposed support for the institution of slavery. Should we accept Nickles' use of it to justify his own belief in discrimination both personal and as a matter of public policy?

Don't let the anti-gay code words like "promoting lifestyle" sucker you in. What lifestyle? Being gay? Promoting the right to be gay? Maybe promoting the right to be gay and be free of employment discrimination from the likes of Senator Don Nickles?

Be clear, there was no resistance from the charming, if disturbingly multilingual, country of Luxembourg:

In Monday's edition of the New York Times, Luxembourg's Ambassador to the United States, Alphonse Berns, said, "We would welcome Mr. Hormel." Additionally, discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal in Luxembourg, as it is in all European Union countries.

Let's be clear - Nickles was not objecting to civil union laws, or gay adoption laws, or any other new piece of legislation - objection to which is itself despicable, of course, but admittedly slightly less despicable than what Nickles was advocating in this situation- explicit employment discrimination based on nothing other than sexual orientation.

Nickles' involvement with anti-gay bigots goes much deeper than this. You could say he hangs around with the anti-gay bigot version of the League of the South/Southern Partisan crowd.

Nickles is involved with the McLean Bible Church, which has such other noteable congregants as Ken Starr and Steve Case. Its Pastor is the religious world's version of David Horowitz - former hippie turned crusader for cultural conservatism - which seems to revolve mostly around gay-bashing. As Signorile says in the article linked above:

Pastor Lon Solomon is a former hippie drug dealer who speaks out against adultery, abortion, premarital sex and homosexuality, including how and why people must come out of "that lifestyle," as the church's Worrell put it. "He does speak very openly about it," she explained. "Over the past year he's given several sermons on it."

McClean Church is also affiliated with Exodus International,

the "ex-gay" group that preys upon confused and conflicted gay youth, churning out slick propaganda. On the McLean Bible Church's Web site it's clear what other organizations the church is affiliated with: The site links to the far right Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, both of which have funded anti-gay ballot initiatives and which promote reparative therapy to "cure" gays.

I have heard the horror stories from people who as teenagers and young adults were forced into such "gay conversion" programs by their pastors and parents. It's a truly hideous, harmful, and dangerous "therapy."

Perhaps some on the Right would tell us which Republican senator SHOULD be Majority Leader?

P.S. Cancel your AOL acccount.