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Something You Didn’t Know About Ford

Despite being a Republican, he was pro-gay rights, including the right of non-heterosexual people to marry.

Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars, I’ve just finished reading Pam’s post. I was totally unaware that President Ford refused to tow the fundy line.

As this is the Blend, you know I’ll include a relevant gay rights angle to the story. The former president was a member of the Republican Unity Coalition (RUC), a gay-straight board of heavy hitters, including former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, which advocates “making homosexuality a ‘non-issue’ for the Republican Party.” (An FYI: Mary Cheney, of all people, served on RUC’s board in 2002-2003). Clearly there are very few Gerald Fords in either party today.

In Gerald Ford’s case, in October 2001 he notably went on the record in support of gay rights issues, including full marriage equality at the federal level, in an interview with Deb Price of the Detroit News. (PNO):

I think they (same-sex couples) should be treated equally. Period,” he said. In addition, he stated support for a federal law banning workplace discrimination against gays: “That is a step in the right direction. I have a longstanding record in favor of legislation to do away with discrimination.”

Ford was the highest ranking Republican ever to make such a statement about civil equality, and it earned him the wrath of the homobigots like James Hartline, who said that Ford and his fellow members of the RUC would “turn the party into pacifists when it comes to dealing with the gay agenda,” and “these are liberal Republicans who are not strong advocates of Christian conservatism.” The San Diego “Christian” activist and “former homosexual,” as usual, went off the deep end in 2005, alleging that RUC was some sort of gay cabal.

Why can’t we hear such unequivocal support from either major political party today? I mean, I understand that the Republicans have been taken over by fundy whack-jobs, but even the Democrats won’t reach down and grab their cojones and stand up for what’s right.

I believe we’ve just lost a member of that all-to-rare species politicus vertebratum (politician with a spine), and I’m rather shocked that I’m saying such a thing about a Republican.

Filed under: Education, Fundies, More Formal Blogs, Politics, Religion, Romance, Sex

9 Responses

  1. blipey says:

    We don’t hear these things from politicians of any stripe because it doesn’t get them elected. This is merely my opinion but I think politicians think their job description is merely getting elected. I often joke that I am a professional auditioner, as most actors are. Many politicians also seem to spend more time campaigning than doing any work. When campaigning actually becomes the number one item on the agenda, we get very bland actions.

    Bold (often negative) hyperbole, but bland stances and bland actions. Wouldn’t want to anger too many voters.

  2. JanieBelle says:

    When it comes right down to it, then, it really is our fault. Didn’t somebody once say something about people getting exactly the government they deserve?

    P.S. I’m tired, and may just be a little pessimistic.

  3. Zachriel says:

    It is almost nostalgic to remember to good old Republicans of yore (compared to the neo-con non-reality based Republicans of today).

    Ron Suskind
    In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

    The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

  4. blipey says:

    No “wow”. HOLY SHIT.

    I’m currently in what I like to refer to as “the dumb-struck and mildly horrified” community.

  5. Darmok says:

    President Ford was apparently quite influential in shaping our space program as well, according to a Space.com article I read today.

  6. JanieBelle says:

    Y’know, I usually exhaust Space.com every single day, but I’ve just been soooo busy lately that I haven’t made the trip.

    I’m now at a standstill on everything else trying to fact check the correction in the Nifong thread…

    A girl’s work is never done, I suppose….

    (At what point did this blog go from fun to work, and WHO THE HELL IS RESPONSIBLE? )

  7. Darmok says:

    I can totally understand—it’s become increasingly difficult for me to keep up with my RSS feeds, and I’ve had to ditch a bunch.

  8. JanieBelle says:

    Of course this one isn’t on the chopping block, right?

    RIGHT??????

    (Don’t make me call Kate, ’cause I will.)

    ithinkijustchannelledmymother

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