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Chan Lowe: GOP congresswoman goes rogue


With each passing day, gay bashing as a political issue is becoming more and more of a loser. It used to be that the mere raising of the specter of gay equality was enough to coax a flood of cash from conservative wallets, but as more and more families discover they have one⎯or several⎯gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender members, the “stigma” continues to fade.

The only surprise is that American social attitudes have come so far so fast on the issue. Ultimately, gay rights will no longer be considered suitable for discussion in the political arena, in the same way we would never discuss equal rights for diabetics, or for redheads. It is a mark of national shame that gay equality was politicized in the first place.

When those whom we would normally call “conservative,” like Dick Cheney, come out in favor of equal rights for gays, the divide between “social” and “libertarian” conservative becomes even more stark. One only need listen to the verbal contortions of Michele Bachmann to realize how impossible it is to square the idea of freedom from government intrusion with a blanket ban on marriage for a large proportion of our population (unless one truly believes America ought to be a Christian theocracy).

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has personal family reasons for breaking with conservative orthodoxy on the subject of LGBT equality. The "why" doesn’t matter; the important thing is that for her, common sense has trumped ideology, and we can hope that her courageous act may be the beginning of a torrent of defections.

My guess is she will not lose her seat over this, nor should she.

Author's note: Since I can't print this upside-down, I'm placing it at the end: In case you read the cartoon and were left saying, "Double-barreled surnames? WHUH?" I was talking about Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

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Gay marriage is a CIVIL contract between 2 consenting adults whereby each undertakes obligations and responsibilities to the other. It is not intended to be confused with the SACRAMENT of Holy Matrimony which is administered by religions. Therefore, churches have no involvement in the issue. They have every right to bar gay couples from their church doors. They have absolutely NO right to bar them from the courthouse door, nor to call upon a deceased deity to do so!

"...we can hope that her courageous act may be the beginning of a torrent of defections. My guess is she will not lose her seat over this, nor should she."
Yeah, just *one* problem with that: we've seen already how the term "moderate Republican" has become if not an oxymoron, then an impossibility. These people know which side the bread is buttered on. I've said this before but it bears repeating: Shakespeare (in HENRY IV, PART ONE) had a character say "Tell truth and shame the Devil." That may have been true then, but these days it's "Tell truth and don't get (re)elected." And you can substitute "do what's right, rather than wha'ts politically expedient" for "tell truth". Comes down to the same thing these days.

Bloody time people (and politicians) started thinkin' for themselves instead of just following a party line. It's what this country is (or should I say "was) about.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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