Via Pam at Pandagon, I came across this recent quote from Al Gore concerning same-sex marriage.
It is that love, after all, that is at the heart of why everybody is here. That is what must be honored and respected. Your right to fall in love with who you fall in love with. And your right to expect that that will be recognized with the same dignity and honor that love is recognized for other couples. Love is transcendent and fulfilling and powerful and any force on earth that endeavors to make you feel that you should be ashamed for feeling genuine, deep love for another of your choosing is a form of oppression.
In light my previous post about the Democrats’ strategy on gay issues (or the lack thereof), I’d like to recommend something like the response above. It takes the high road, and without flinching or running scared from the subject, while at the same time embracing what ought to be the Democratic ideal of equal dignity and respect for everyone and equality before the law.
I don’t know that I agree with Afarensis, that Gore would have won in 2000 if he’d given speeches like this (perhaps he would have, but the same speech might not have been a winner in 2004), but I think a response like this would go a long way towards helping the Democrats defuse the issue without backing away from it in a panic. Especially if it’s delivered with the sense that this common sense that anybody ought to be able to grasp, along with the charge that Republicans are exploiting this issue in order to change the subject from issues that point to the corruption and weakness in their own party and its one-party rule in the last few years.
Democrats don’t have to prioritize gay issues above any of the other important issues. But they should have a message that defuses the issue while remaining true to (what I hope are still) Democratic values. Running scared from it only helps Republicans exploit the issue.