The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart was selected as a questioner of the Democratic candidates by the Human Rights Campaign. He did a good job, I thought. He also fit the bill: a Democrat, and a pliant member of the gay establishment. But it seems to me that he represents something that plagues gay elites. To put it bluntly, they have limited conviction about their own equality, especially if it means challenging those who give them access to power. Capehart is an openly gay journalist with wide access to the media. He is of the same generation as the rest of us who have forged a revolution in public attitudes about homosexuality. He is of the AIDS generation. He is a black man wirting and working at a time when gay black men need all the support they can get. But I have never seen a piece of his, an editorial or a speech defending or advancing the case for marriage equality - for his own equality as an American and as a human being. I wanted to make sure so I emailed him to see if I'd missed something. He wrote back:
Except for two editorials for the Washington Post (one on New Hampshire's civil unions law [Gay Gains] and the failure to derail Massachusetts gay marriage law [The Sky Didn't Fall]), I have not written a signed piece in favor of marriage.
But he did manage to write a signed op-ed Monday defending the Democrats' decision not to support gay equality. He wote that he didn't "fault them" for their decision. He also played the usual card of defending Democratic cowardice and illogic because the GOP is worse. Sigh. Capehart's one of the good guys, he's an excellent journalist, and he played a role in getting Bloomberg to back marriage equality. But sometimes movements are too pragmatic for their own good. Sometimes, a writer is called to stand up for something, rather than defend those who cannot stand for what's right. Too many gay activists in Washington have flunked that test. If we are not passionate about our own equality, how do we expect straight politicians to be?
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