- Written by Michelangelo Signorile
24 Aug 2012
CIVIL RIGHTS - The Missouri GOP Senate candidate who's become infamous for his "legitimate rape" comment not-so-shockingly has some pretty whackadoodle and frightening ideas about homosexuality, too. And, just as with his extreme position on abortion, though Rep.Todd Akin may have uttered words that got him in trouble, his actual positions are embraced by many in the mainstream of the Republican Party.
Akin voted for a federal marriage amendment twice, just like Paul Ryan and the vast majority of Republicans in the House, and just like Paul Ryan and the vast majority of GOPers, he voted against repealing "don't ask, don't tell" (twice) and against a federal hate-crimes law to protect LGBT individuals (twice).
Last May, Akin, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, proposed an amendment to include a "conscience clause" in US military code to "protect" all of those in the military who don't support gays serving openly in the military. "This is a legitimate conscience protection act," Akin said, claiming that those who are antigay are being victimized. "There is a war on religious belief in the military. Chaplains and service members should not face recrimination or persecution in the military for standing strong on their religious beliefs in opposition to homosexuality."
In 2006, Akin took to the House floor to warn that gay marriage would be the end of civilization, which is among the boilerplate paranoid delusions of far-right anti-gay ranters, from Bryan Fischer to Mike Huckabee to Kirk Cameron.
"From a practical point of view, to preserve our civilization and society, it's important for us to preserve marriage," Akin said. "Anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived."
Really? We can just as well say that no civilization that has condoned heterosexuality widely and openly has long survived. Or that no civilization that has promoted the family as central and practiced religious faith has long survived. But of course, all of that falls on deaf ears because Akin and his ilk are followers of the late James. D. Kennedy and Truth in Action Ministries, which embraces Christian "dominionism" -- having government completely run by the tenants of the Bible.
Akin is praised by Kennedy in his book How Would Jesus Vote? and Akin has said that Kennedy's sermons have influenced him. As Zack Beauchamp points out, "Kennedy, in his book What's Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage?, wrote that marriage equality would 'sink the culture from civilization to barbarism' because 'there's never been a society -- ever in the history of the world -- that has survived this kind of perversion.'"
As kooky as all that sounds, it's not likely far from what many if not most GOPers in the House truly believe, including Paul Ryan, since their votes on gay issues are just about identical to Akin's -- and we know Akin and Ryan are ideological soulmates, having teamed up to promote a "personhood" bill in 2009 which would have declared a fertilized egg as a human being. Akin has simply been more honest, publicly expressing the beliefs that many in his party agree with but try keep on the down low.
(Michelangelo Signorile is Editor-at-large of Huffington Post Gay Voices. He is an author, journalist and commentator, and the host of "The Michelangelo Signorile Show," which airs each weekday on SiriusXM's LGBT channel, OutQ 108 [2-6 p.m. ET.]) This article was posted first at huffingtonpost.com
Vol 10 Issue 68
Pub: Aug 24, 2012