Gibson on Republican Campaigns

In Bob Gibson’s Sunday “Political Notebook,” he expresses a rare partisan opinion in criticizing the Virginia Republicans’ anti-homosexual advertising campaign. “The Old Dominion,” writes Gibson, “allows its politicians to engage in gay bashing, gay baiting and the somewhat queer habit of kissing off the gay vote while conveniently cleaving the rest of the electorate.” This is the first major public reaction to the GOP’s anti-gay campaign, based around the “Virginia is not Vermont” slogan. If you can get ahold of Sunday’s Progress, be sure to check this out.

21 thoughts on “Gibson on Republican Campaigns”

  1. The Republicans don’t have a lock on homophobia. I saw a Mark Warner ad in which he said he is opposed to gay marriages.

    Kevin Cox

  2. I heard that ad this morning on wINA! It appears that Warner has a response advertisement to the Republicans’ negative advertising, in which he, not surprisingly, accuses the GOP of negative advertising. “Yay,” Amazingly, the only reply to the gay marriage issue that I heard was “Marker Warner is opposed to gay marriage.”

    Way to go, Warner. Spinning straw into lead isn’t a terribly useful talent.

  3. Although Warner’s response isn’t as progressive as some (myself included) might like, I’m not sure that it’s fair to categorize his opposition to gay marriages as homophobia. I suggest that specific responses to these charges from the Republicans only feeds the whole “gay-baiting” strategy that they’re employing.

    Surely there’s a world of difference between Warner’s position and the mean-spirited, intellectually dishonest (is hateful too stong a word?) venom coming from Republican Lt. Governor candidate, Jay Katzen? This man made up charges that his opponent wanted to throw the Boy Scouts out of the schools to make room for homosexual groups.

    Bob Gibson’s column in Sunday’s Daily Progress was a correct and gutsy observation. How badly do these people crave political power that they would hurt people to get it?

    Harry Landers

  4. Somebody anonymously e-mailed me to point out that Bob Gibson didn’t actually refer to the Republicans in his column, and that it’s wrong of me to jump to conclusions.

    Since I can’t e-mail this person back, I figure that I should point out here that anybody that doesn’t think it’s totally clear that Gibson was talking about the GOP needs their head examined. That is, unless the Democrats have been waging some anti-gay campaign that I’ve somehow failed to notice. But I doubt it.

  5. Harry wrote, “Although Warner’s response isn’t as progressive….” Oh I see, publicly announcing opposition to gay marriage is sort of progressive just not “as progressive” as you’d like!

    Harry continued, “I’m not sure that it’s fair to categorize his opposition to gay marriages as homophobia” So what would you call it? Would pandering to homophobia be too strong?

    Kevin Cox


  6. Repeat this with me:

    “Being opposed to gay marriage is not homophobia.”

    Good! Now repeat this:

    “I will not label people as ‘homophobes’ simply as a method to cut short any debate or reasonable disagreement on the subject.”

    Hrm, I guess that was asking a bit much. Seriously, though, that term really irks me. If it must exist in its wildly misdefined way, however, I demand that we introduce the words “christophobia,” “religiophobia” and “heterophobia.” I mean, what better way to silence the opposition than by crediting their positions to mental illness? Good grief.

  7. If Kevin Cox can’t understand the difference between Warner’s opposition to gay marriage and the race-baiting tactics of the Virginia Republican Party, I give up.

    I choose not to label Warner’s position as homophobia as Mr. Cox, apparently does. “What would you call it?”, he asks. How about calling it “opposition to gay marriages”? That seems like a pretty good label.

    Of course, some folks just like to argue for the sake of argument. Remember the old Monty Python routine?

    Receptionist: Yes, sir?

    Man: I’d like to have an argument please.

    Receptionist: Certainly, sir, have you been here before…?

    Man: No, this is my first time.

    Receptionist: I see. Do you want to have the full argument, or were you thinking of taking a course?

    Man: Well, what would be the cost?

    Receptionist: Yes, it’s one pound for a five-minute argument, but only eight pounds for a course of ten.

    Man: Well, I think it’s probably best of I start with the one and see how it goes from there. OK?

    Receptionist: Fine. I’ll see who’s free at the moment… Mr. Du-Bakey’s free, but he’s a little bit concilliatory… Yes, try Mr. Barnard — Room 12.

    Harry Landers

  8. Repeat this with me:

    “Being opposed to gay marriage is not homophobia.”

    Good! Now repeat this:

    “I will not label people as ‘homophobes’ simply as a method to cut short any debate or reasonable disagreement on the subject.”

    This is a debate that I’ve mentally wrestled with for some years: how to explain opposition to gay marriage without classifying it as a fear of gays? What is the difference between this and passive racists, the people who think that blacks are a fine race that simply shouldn’t marry whites?

    I’m not clear on that. I think that it’s largely a generational gap, and I recognize that opposition to gay marriage is largely a result of people’s desire to preserve the concept of marriage in the traditional manner. What is a wedding, after all, but tradition? I’ve found that many people that are opposed to gay marriage are not opposed to homosexual civil unions. It’s simply the term of “marriage” that bothers them. I cannot sympathize with this, but I’m glad to say that I can understand. More important, I now recognize that this does not equate to homophobia. It’s simply a desire to preserve a millennia-old traditio and hold sacred a word and a state of being, that of marriage. So call we’ll it a “civil union” and not a “wedding” or a “marriage.”

    And that’s OK by me. I think.

  9. I agree with Burnt Hombre that the term “homophobia” is commonly misused and I was guilty. I also have no use for the Republicans use of the issue of gay rights to get votes. They introduced the issue and Warner is weakly following. My point is that Warner’s opposition to gay marriages is anti-gay but you seem ready to excuse it because he’s a Democrat. Are you going to tell me opposition to gay marriage isn’t anti-gay? Can anybody tell me why Warner is opposed to gay marriages? BTW, when did “race-baiting” become the issue? Gibson’s column was about using fear of gays to make political hay, not about race.

    Kevin Cox

  10. Has Warner said he supports homosexual civil unions? Somehow I think most of those who are opposed to gay marriage are opposed for more substantial reasons than jargon.

    Kevin Cox

  11. Has Warner said he supports homosexual civil unions?

    Dunno, but I’m no Warner expert. I’ll ask him at the Warner picnicky thing that I’m going to in a couple of weeks, though. I e-mailed just now to see if I can get some clarification on this, and I will, of course, post any relevant response that I received.

  12. I offer no excuse for Warner’s opposition to gay marriages. I don’t care what his political affiliation is. My point (and I believe, Bob Gibson’s point) is that this latest advertising blitz by the Republicans is a nasty political tactic designed to appeal to the base prejudices of what they perceive to be a majority, at the expense of a minority.

    Gay marriage? For God’s sake, sodomy is still a felony in Virginia! To think that there’s going to be gay marriage in Virginia before the sodomy laws are overturned is like debating the merits of affirmative action while there’s still slavery.

    My error in using “race-baiting”; I meant “gay-baiting”. Gibson used the analogy and I mis-spoke.

    Harry Landers

  13. 18.2-361. Crimes against nature

    A. If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, except as provided in subsection B.

  14. Weird. Do you think the reason this law is still on the books is that no politician wants to be known as “the guy (or gal) who wanted to make anal sex legal?” I’m not familiar with any attempts to override it, but I’m guessing politicians would rather spend their time kissing babies and going on fund raisers than championing back-door lovin’.

  15. The reason that I didn’t (and don’t, as a habit) link to that in the original story was because it’s subject to “linkrot” — that link will cease to work as soon as Bob Gibson’s next column appears. It’s great to have people mention the link in a comment, but I figured I should mention the rationale behind not mentioning it in the first place.

  16. I imagine no one wants to be known as “pro sodomy.” But someone please explain to me why our reps in Richmond are interested in what goes on in people’s bedrooms. A law that specifies which body part may touch which body part during love-making (whether homo- or heterosexual) is just plain ridiculous.

    I’d love to hear what the debate in Richmond sounds like whenever someone brings up the subject of getting rid of this law. People who want to keep that law – what do you suppose they say to defend it? Really. I want to know. I find it hard to believe that a majority of the senators and delegates have ever objected to oral-genital contact performed on them. (did I word that delicately, or what?)

  17. The weirdest part of that, too me, is part B.

    “B. Any person who carnally knows by the anus or by or with the mouth his daughter or granddaughter, son or grandson, brother or sister, or father or mother shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, if a parent or grandparent commits any such act with his child or grandchild and such child or grandchild is at least thirteen but less than eighteen years of age at the time of the offense, such parent or grandparent shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.”

    Apparently vaginal incest is fine, just god forbid you get a blowjob.


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