Here’s today’s Opinion Journal on Gerry Studds’ death, and it says everything I want about Democrats, Foley, Studds, PC reporting — you name it:
Links and Studds
“Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said,” the Associated Press reports. We suppose this is something of a journalistic milestone, one of the first ever uses of the phrase “his husband.”
Studds fell Oct. 3, four days after Mark Foley resigned from Congress. He was later diagnosed as having suffered a blood clot in his lung. We mention Foley, of course, because Studds had his own page scandal:
In 1983, Studds acknowledged his homosexuality after a former Congressional page revealed he’d had a relationship with Studds a decade earlier Studds was censured by the House for having sexual relations with the page. He acknowledged having sex with a 17-year-old male page in 1973 and making sexual advances to two others and admitted an error in judgment, but did not apologize.
The Boston Globe quotes a fellow Massachusetts Democrat paying tribute:
“Gerry’s leadership changed Massachusetts forever and we’ll never forget him,” US Senator Edward M. Kennedy said in a statement. “His work on behalf of our fishing industry and the protection of our waters has guided the fishing industry into the future and ensured that generations to come will have the opportunity to love and learn from the sea.”
Ah, Ted Kennedy–always a bridge over troubled waters.
Just yesterday, I got an email from an astute friend who had also caught that “his husband” bit. Although my friend sent me another email pointing out that, because Studds’ got “married” in Massachusetts, he probably did have a “husband.” Nevertheless, I’m printing her original email here because I think her point is a good one. While gay marriage may be legal for the time being in Mass., it isn’t anywhere else, something that doesn’t stop the media:
And they say the Christian Right pushes its agenda down our throats. As far as I know, gay marriage is still not legal in the US, yet in article after article I see gay couples referred to as “married”, including Elton John and other celebrities. In today’s paper alone, these 2 references.
From the NY Times article “Studds, 1st openly gay congressman” by Damien Cave, the announcement of his death is made by his “husband”. In USA Weekend, the insert magazine to Sunday papers in the Who’s News section is a question about a pop singer, Lance Bass, who recently announced he is gay, and is seeing another celebrity, The question; “Will they get married?” Answer; “We asked….”
In other words, get used to seeing gay couples referred to as married to get society used to the idea. If you challenge the NY Times by pointing out that legally, though these men may have a loving and committed relationship, their relationship is not yet defined as marriage, so the term to use is “partner” or “long term partner” rtaher than “husband”, you would be attacked as a homophobe.
For what it’s worth, in my small sample of journalist acquaintances, 2 are lesbian, one a gay man, one a bisexual woman, and 1 a straight, married (but Communist) man.
Once gay marriage is legalized, our children will be taught in school that men marrying men and women marrying women is as normative as men and women marrying. Like the story I heard on the radio of some kindergartners playing house. One little girl picked another little girl to marry. Another child said, “You can’t marry a girl.” She said, “Yes I can. I’m a lesbian.”
While I have great empathy for loving gay couples, I resent this sneaky change in language appearing in our papers well before any legal or societal shift has occurred. That’s because if we all use the term “husband” or “wife” for years, legalized gay marriage will seem the natural and only logical next step. (Emphasis mine.)
I’ll say what I always say in this point about gay marriage. Gay marriage may prove to be a logical or appropriate change to societal norms. I simply don’t like being rushed into a change that will affect thousands of years of human history, especially when I think an ill-considered change will open the door to polygamy, pedo-gamy (my word for child marriages) and even, for the more creative and twisted, besti-gamy (yup, I mean marriage to animals). I’m therefore entirely with my friend, who rejects a stealth agenda to normalize something that requires more thought than an hour-long talk on Oprah or the View.