Reacting to a Gay Candidate

One of the many things that annoys me about sports broadcasters is their tendency to create a trend out of every slight turn of the game. My stepson is a professional pitcher, and if he throws a strike the announcer is sure to start talking about the strong performance and how if he just keeps pitching that way, the game is in hand. If he throws a ball, that too becomes a trend and we’re about to walk the opposing side.

This entry isn’t about sports but it is about overreaction and the things that tend to help us overreact. It starts with a news item from Agape Press, titled Sweet Home Alabama. The story begins in a more or less straightforward manner, with a close election, in which Patricia Todd won by 59 votes over Gaynell Hendricks. The district is predominantly black, and Todd is white. But in addition, she is a Lesbian.

The district committee voted to disqualify Todd, and also Henricks for that matter, because they had failed to file a financial statement to the party. The state part overturned that and restored Todd’s candidacy. It’s interesting to note that the Agape Press story fails to mention the fact that the financial statement requirement hadn’t been enforced in Alabama since 1988 because state financial disclosure requirements had taken its place. Compare their story to this one from the Montgomery Advertiser: Win OK’d for Gay Candidate.

Now here’s the comment from Joe Murray of Agape Press:

What happened next is what exposed the deep divisions in the Democratic Party and the power of the gay lobby.

Huh? Just where did he get that. A gay candidate is nearly removed and survives by a very narrow margin at the state level and it shows the power of the gay lobby? I’d suggest instead that the gay lobby, such as it is in Alabama, barely managed to keep the candidate on the ballot. And the key thing here is that she won! I’m sure there’s something wrong somewhere with lobbyists trying to get the candidate who wins the primary election on the general election ballot, but I can’t quite think what that would be!

The claim, of course, is that African-American voters are being displaced in favor of Gay and Lesbian candidates. But in a majority black district, one would have to assume that some African-American voters also voted for the winning candidate. Despite all efforts at gerrymandering, and I think our politicians in both parties should be ashamed of their district drawing efforts, the bottom line is people voting, and in this case they voted for Patricia Todd, who is white and a Lesbian.

Joe Murray continues:

Understand this — the homosexual lobby is on a quest to raise its rainbow flag over every state house in the Union. Blacks in the South are now learning this lesson, for their party is on the receiving end of a forcible makeover. Make no mistake, Todd was a trophy candidate; a candidate funded by the gay lobby, and her victory signals the Democratic wind is blowing in a new direction. Gays in, blacks out.

This makes me curious as to just what Murray believes Gay and Lesbian lobbying groups should be trying to do. It seems to me that the natural activity for a lobbying group is to try to get its candidates elected and its issues noticed and supported. Murray makes it sound as though attempting to win an election is some kind of dirty deed. But of course we know that if a candidate were a “trophy candidate” of the Christian right that would be OK. The sole problem here is that Todd is a Lesbian. The rest is just rhetoric to make perfectly normal, perfectly legal activity sound like some kind of conspiracy to commit fraud.

But then we have the reason I brought up my sports reporting analogy: How on earth does this mean “Gays in, blacks out?” Does Patricia Todd not have the right to run in a majority black district? Would a black candidate be wrong to run in a majority white district? That would result in no minority candidates at the national level, and is obviously silly. What all this comes down to is simple: The Lesbian candidate won the election. There’s nothing illegal about it.

The rhetoric that Murray is using in his article is very simply aimed at creating a split between African-American Democrats and Gays and Lesbians. “You can’t both have a place at the Democratic table, so come to us,” say the Republicans.

Somehow I just can’t see this kind of deceptive, divisive practice as appropriate Christian behavior. Let the winner win, whether we like her or not. And come to think of it, I haven’t heard anyone challenge her on any grounds other than that she’s white and Lesbian, and those are neither qualifications nor disqualifications. They don’t tell us what kind of legislator she will be.

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