— Southern Baptist Convention Official
In the wake of the Foley scandal, disaffection among members of the GOP’s powerful anti-gay faction has escalated again — this time over the swearing-in ceremony for the new U.S. global AIDS coordinator, Dr. Mark R. Dybul, who is gay.
The ceremony was held at the State Department on Oct 10, 2006. It was conducted by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, with First Lady Laura Bush standing in for the president. Fundamentalists are angry because Dybul’s partner, Jason Claire, was allowed to hold the Bible during the swearing-in — and because Secretary Rice described Claire’s mother as Dybul’s “mother-in-law.”
No decent person would find these niceties to be controversial in the least, but among the champions of bigotry and intolerance there has been a great gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.
Southern Baptist Convention official Wiley Drake:
“I think it’s a tragedy to have a sodomite living with another man and being the AIDS coordinator …because we all know that if we do away with sodomy we’d almost eradicate AIDS… I certainly … believe most Baptists would be like me; they would be appalled at what Condoleezza Rice has done, and in general [with] what the Republican Party is doing with things like Log Cabin Republicans and other sodomites [in] trying to get their vote.”
Peter Sprigg, a vice president at the Family Research Council:
We have to face the fact that putting a homosexual in charge of AIDS policy is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse,” says Sprigg. “But even beyond that, the deferential treatment that was given not only to him but his partner and his partner’s family by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is very distressing.”
Sprigg says in light of the Foley scandal, “it’s inexplicable that a conservative administration would do such things.” He also notes that Rice’s comments defy an existing law on the books protecting traditional marriage. “So, for her to treat his partner like a spouse and treat the partner’s mother as a mother-in-law, which implies a marriage between the two partners, is a violation of the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act,” the FRC spokesman states.
With election day just 20 days off, fundamentalists’ anger over gays in the GOP is becoming a wild card in the midterms. The conventional wisdom is that they might stay home on Nov. 7 in sufficient numbers to cause Republicans to lose the House.