Well, it didn’t take long for the right wing to lose their mind, after Obama’s announcement of the administration decision not defend lawsuits challenging DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex couples and denies all federal benefits, such as Social Security and health care. Republican Alan Keyes, who has run for unsuccessfully for president, had a few choice words to say about Obama’s decision:
After a little feigned deliberation, Obama has announced his “decision” to withdraw the U.S. government from participation in cases arguing in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), legislation passed when Bill Clinton was in the White House. I’ve received e-mails from several well-known conservative organizations with breathless subject lines like the one that speaks of Obama’s “betrayal of the American people.” Another announces “Obama comes out of the closet on marriage.”
These subject lines make about as much sense as the Obama faction’s contention that his decision has something to do with the fact that some federal judges have concluded that the DOMA is unconstitutional. Obama has little or no inclination to respect the Constitution. He has little or no inclination to respect the unalienable right involved in the defense of the natural family. Just as he promotes the physical elimination of the child’s life through abortion, he tacitly promotes eliminating the prospect of the child’s life from the definition of marriage. That’s what’s involved in the assertion that as such, homosexual couples can lawfully marry without eviscerating the natural basis for the definition of marriage.
Government doesn’t endow people with the ability to procreate the species. The Creator takes care of that. Like all unalienable rights, those associated with the natural family exist in consequence of this endowment. A couple that cannot, by nature, procreate has no claim to those rights. Nor can government grant them a semblance of it without impairing the claims of one or both of the parents biologically implicated in the physical conception of the child. The DOMA simply makes more explicit the government’s obligation to secure the Creator-endowed unalienable rights of the natural family. This obligation precludes government from fabricating other rights that impair them. In this respect, granting homosexuals the right to marry is like granting plantation owners the right to own slaves.(source)
Is it any surprise, that a man who stopped speaking to his daughter, and paying her college tuition,when he found out that she was a lesbian, would have such hateful commentary on this issue? The fact that he calls Obama’s decision “a betrayal of the American People,” evidences his determination not to validate the humanity of gays and lesbians. Their sexuality has nothing to do with their citizenship. Obama’s decision was one small step forward, to ending an unbalanced system that disenfranchises a minority community.
It is significant that he defines the sole purpose of marriage as procreation, because it is yet a further understanding of his limited view of how bodies functions. I wonder if Keyes believes that marriages involving two heterosexual people, who choose not to reproduce should be invalidated? What about those marriages in which one party is infertile? There are plenty of straight people living together who have no children and are content with this arrangement, but the mere fact that they are heterosexual, is enough for Keyes to find the relationship acceptable. This is not about reproduction or fertility, but about finding yet another ridiculous justification to oppress gays and lesbians.
Not content with oppressing gays and lesbians, of course he has to throw in a shot at reproductive freedom. I think Keyes spends far too much time thinking about what people do with their genitals and their bodies. Having an abortion is not murder and for all his angst, I have yet to hear what plans he has for all of these potential children that he wants to enter the world. He is a typical pro-birther. If Keyes is ant-abortion may I humbly suggest that he does not have one.
For Keyes, these conversations are not about right or wrong, they are about expressing power over people. Whether or not gays and lesbians marry, or women and trans men have abortions will not effect him personally. He simply believes that as a heterosexual cisgender male, that he should have the right to say what these specific groups do with their bodies. If such limitations on bodily equality, or restriction were placed upon him because of his race, he would quickly see that as an injustice. Keyes, is simply one of those people that feels that the way to upward mobility and respect, is to oppress others in the same way that he has been oppressed. The very fact that he brings slavery into the issue, though no person is actually oppressed by abortion or same sex marriage affirms this fact.
As a Black woman, I felt that it was extremely important to speak out about the homophobia and outright sexism engaged in by Keyes. It worries me that people will read what he had to say and once again suggest that this is a universal action on the part of POC. As a Black woman, I want to clearly say that Keyes does not speak for me, and he is not representative of the Black community. He is simply an angry, hateful little man, who will do and say anything not to be viewed as such. The more that marginalized bodies fight, the more that men like Keyes will spread their vitriol, because they fear that true equality means that they will lose the privileges and the small niches they have carved out for themselves. Power does not have to be expressed in the coercive manner that Keyes does and his actions only perpetuate the cycle of oppression.