“Gay is the new black”

“Gay is the new black”

From The Guardian. I am struck by their understanding of the issues involved. Wouldn’t it be nice if major newspapers in the U.S. also spoke so clearly?

“The gay rights issue has been a ticking timebomb for the Bush government. And now it looks about to explode.

Republican strategist, Rich Galen, summed up the contradiction thus: “In America in 2003, you can’t say bad things about African-Americans, but you can still say bad things about gays. That’s where we are.”

That is is not quite true. Racism in America’s public discourse is certainly more subtle than homophobia, but no less pervasive. Whenever politicians refer to welfare, crime, inner-city deprivation, teenage pregnancy or affirmative action – which is often – they are talking about race, and rarely in terms supportive of minorities.

And even if Bush could persuade his own side to bury the subject, the courts could resurrect it. A supreme court ruling on a law in Texas which criminalises sexual practices between same-sex couples that are lawful when performed by heterosexuals, is expected by the end of today. The Massachusetts supreme court should rule on the legality of same-sex marriages by mid-July.

The most that conservatives can hope from either judgment is a confirmation of the status quo. More likely, however, is that one or both will extend the rights of lesbians and gay men, sending the Christian right into a frenzy and demanding that Bush make a stand. Under pressure from his own side he would be forced to show us where the conservatism ends and compassion really starts.”