Hillary and Homosexuality
From the NYT, an article that starts out boring, gets to a little bit of good stuff, and then completely leaves out the most interesting aspects about Hillary and homosexuality
Hillary Clinton’s Gay Rights Evolution
By AMY CHOZICK AUG. 29, 2014
… It’s a sentiment often expressed as gay voters mull what Mrs. Clinton’s potential 2016 presidential campaign would mean for gay rights. In her four years at the State Department, she prioritized international gay rights, including a 2011 speech in Geneva in which she urged countries to accept gays and lesbians. …
In June, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Mrs. Clinton denounced Russia’s treatment of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people. In March 2013, she released a video endorsing same-sex marriage both “personally and as a matter of policy and law.”
The efforts have endeared Mrs. Clinton to many gays and lesbians who are raising money toward her potential run. But others look back on the policies of the Clinton Administration and question why it took Mrs. Clinton so long to get on board.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 measure President Clinton signed into law that barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages, are widely viewed as among the most significant setbacks the gay rights movement has encountered.
“She wasn’t at the back of the pack, but was she out in front with a banner? No,” said Tom Sheridan, a lobbyist who works on H.I.V.-AIDS policy. The Economist put it more bluntly, calling her “belated conversion” to support same-sex marriage “cautious to the point of cowardice.”
So far, Mrs. Clinton does not have an easy answer as to where she stood in the 1990s. …
“For me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states,” Mrs. Clinton said.
Federalism? That’s downright un-American. The whole point of modern America is for one part of the country to impose their tastes and standards on everybody else. The more the other Americans object, the sweeter the victory.
As for whether she supported same-sex marriage when she was in the White House, she said, “I think I’m an American, and I think we have all evolved.”
This being the NYT, after the eye-glazing opening, the reporter actually tosses in an interesting middle section
To a generation of younger gay men in particular, Mrs. Clinton’s appeal extends to a more primal connection. Her ability to come back after a bruising defeat by Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries appealed to gay men, many of whom had also weathered setbacks.
“We get her like we get our moms,” said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group. “We’ve seen the travails she’s been through and the fact that she’s not just a survivor but a conqueror.”
A sizable fraction of gay male culture derives from the fact that many gay men identify more with their mothers than with their fathers. (It’s a stereotype, so it’s true.)
Of course, this article leaves out the most interesting aspect of thinking about Hillary and homosexuality: back in her Wellesley and Yale Law School days she was closely associated with the lesbian feminist movement. For example, in prominent reporter Joe Klein’s anonymously authored roman a clef bestseller Primary Colors, the big reveal at the end [spoiler alert] is that the Hillary character used to be more or less of a lesbian and maybe kind of still is. There’s a widespread belief among political insiders that the immense sexual appeal of Bill was decisive in tipping Hillary from sapphism to heterosexuality.
The ex-lesbian wife of the current mayor of New York is an example of how a male political star can cause a rethinking of sexual orientation in a woman, which has interesting implications for refining the current dogma that homosexuals are Born That Way and can’t choose any other way. (This is not to say that today’s orthodoxy isn’t statistically more valid than not.)