From last night’s episode of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on MSNBC:
JOSEPH LOWERY: “Well, I’ve never said I support gay marriage. I support gay rights and I support civil unions. Like a whole lot of people, I have some difficulty with the term gay marriage. Because deep in my heart, deeply rooted in my heart and mind, marriage is associated with man and woman. So I have a little cultural shock with that. But I certainly support civil unions, and that gay partners ought to have all the rights that any other citizens have in this country.”
DAVID SHUSTER: “Fair enough, but when somebody suggests that gay partners are somehow like incest or pedophiles, um, what should the response be from people to that?”
JOSEPH LOWERY: “Well, I think that’s wrong. I condemn it. I take all kinds of sharp and robust differences with that kind of denigration. But even so, I will not refuse to be on a program with him because we have these differences. That’s what the president-elect proposes to do. Bring people together with different views and hopefully out of these discussions and out of association we can find common ground to serve common good.”
RELATED: Rick Warren drops loaded references to incest and pedophilia into the conversation when same sex marriage comes up, only to claim he wasn’t saying that at all. A commenter on SF Gate nails it:
Context means everything. It seems highly unlikely for someone as well-versed in the Right’s “culture wars” as Rick Warren to raise the issue of incest & pedophilia when talking about gays without intending it as a slur. It’s like talking about stinginess & Jews, welfare & Blacks – when you raise certain issues that play on peoples’ prejudices, you are committing slander on a group of people. The context of the Inauguration is also important. Sure, we need to be tolerant & include all sorts of people. But there is one and only one group in society that lost something in the last election, and Obama should have been particularly sensitive to the fact that gays and those who believe in their equality feel extremely vulnerable right now. We’ve had 28 years of administrations that have treated us poorly, an election that took away our rights in four states, and even a homophobic murder in New York. Could he not have chosen someone else at this sensitive time?