Al Gore | Gay Rights | News

Al Gore Speaks Out on Gay Rights

I'm not sure what prompted this, but late last week Al Gore posted a video to his own Current TV on gay rights.

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  1. the tragedy for all of us was that Gore was voted president and it was stolen from him.

    Posted by: the queen | Jan 22, 2008 5:24:39 PM


  2. Although Gore is not running for president again - it's nice to see someone with a political profile stating his support for gay rights in unequivocal terms.

    Posted by: mike198 | Jan 22, 2008 5:48:46 PM


  3. Love LOVE LOVE Al GORE

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jan 22, 2008 6:33:42 PM


  4. Man do I wish we could re-elect Gore.

    Posted by: Donnie | Jan 22, 2008 6:49:35 PM


  5. @THE QUEEN,

    you are absolutely right, your madge. he, we, and all americans were victims of a judicial coup d'etat by the right-leaning supreme court. back then, i read a vanity fair article by christopher hitchens (before he went bat-shit crazy) in which he described an astonished sandra day o'connor at an evening cocktail party expressing dismay that cbs had called the election for gore. later, her's was the deciding vote to accept the unprecidented repug challenge to gore's presumptive victory. i will never forgive that cunt.

    that said, and as much as i admire al gore, why does his delivery make same-sex marriage sound dirty?

    Posted by: nic | Jan 22, 2008 6:58:12 PM


  6. Thank you, Al.
    If the Baptists want the fags to stop sleeping around, how about protecting the sanctity of our marriages!
    www.pinksheepofthefamily.com

    Posted by: Beej the Pink Sheep | Jan 22, 2008 9:54:33 PM


  7. @SKINTOPFL...If you would peruse the political posts here on towleroad, you will find that I am a frequent and passionate commenter on all things political. I did not comment on the views presented here by Al Gore because A) Al Gore is not currently running for office and B) there was breaking news about the death of someone who endeared himself to the GLBT community by sensitively portraying not only a closeted homosexual in love with another man but also the dilemmas imposed on homosexuals by an intolerant society--a message that reverberates even in these 'modern times'.

    Additionally, SKINTOPFL, I'll wager Heath Ledger's performance in Brokeback Mountain likely caused many a straight person to re-examine their views of homosexuality, thereby helping open the door to marriage equality. Meanwhile, Al Gore was Vice President in an administration that passed Defense of Marriage...remember that one?

    Save your judgement for someone who deserves it.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 22, 2008 10:00:21 PM


  8. peterparker, be a man. you left a comment in an area where people were commenting on AL GORE. If you wanted to comment about Heath Ledger, then anyone with two brain cells would have waited until something was posted about his untimely passing and THEN leave a comment THERE. NOT in the section about Al Gore. but you aren't man enough to admit that you did something inappropriate. your ego is out of control, as I've noted time and again with your posts. it's pitiful.

    moreover, to compare the impact of Heath Ledger and Al Gore is preposterous...but you only did it to bolster your absurd position. thinking people aren't buying it.

    Posted by: mepaul | Jan 22, 2008 10:22:54 PM


  9. The other day, my friend and I were having a heart-to-heart, lamenting the fact that Madonna no longer talks openly about her pussy. Remember how she used to keep people on their toes thinking about liberated sexuality and freedom from repression? I bring this up half-jokingly to point out that Al Gore's video, though appreciated for the sentiment, in fact perpetuates the kind of conservatism that queer people, in my opinion, should be rallying against.

    Although I too love Al Gore, I have to say that I am dismayed when intelligent people make arguments that pit marriage against
    "promiscuity" -- and, in Al's rather suggestive words, "all the problems that can result from promiscuity" -- in the debate about gay rights to marriage.

    Let's not confuse the issue, which is (if I may): under the constitution it is unlawful to deny citizens of the U.S. equal protection. Denying marriage to someone based on their sex and the sex of their partner is tantamount to denying equal protection due to the fact that marriage allows for certain benefits, such as transfer of wealth upon death, hospital visitation, joint custody of children, etc. etc.

    The issue is not sex. In fact with Lawrence v. Texas the Supreme Court once and for all passed down a majority opinion that regulating or policing sex between consenting adults is not under the purview of the law (to borrow from Kathy Griffin, "allegedly").

    By introducing into the debate the issue of sex and "promiscuity" (a word whose original meaning, ironically, meant the mingling of the two sexes in public forums), Al Gore is confusing the issue and taking a moral stand. And I am not sure if his moral stand is one that we should be comfortable with -- namely, the demonization of those who choose not to partake of monogamous relationships. In my opinion, the larger political issue here, beyond the legal marriage debate, is the outright conservatism of such arguments -- that you're either pro-marriage (read, pro-monogamy) or pro-"promiscuity" (read, pro-"social irresponsibility"). Of course, reality is not that black-and-white, and such binaries often reflect a simple-minded way of stating a political case. That is, we all know that there are plenty of ways to be socially and sexually responsible without having to be monogamists or a member of a married couple.

    As gay men, we should indeed fight for equal rights and benefits, which are due to us as U.S. citizens and under the constitution. This means fighting for the right to marry. But we should also remain aware and active on the broader "sexual politics" front. This means not buying the conservative hype, even if it comes from the mouth our rightly electing president Al. If we do not remain aware and active, then who will?

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 22, 2008 11:33:21 PM


  10. Thank-you Mr. Gore. It's sickens me every day to know that we should've had a Nobel Peace Prize Winner as our President instead of the pile of fecal matter we have now. Truly depressing...

    Posted by: Dr. Christopher Blackwell | Jan 23, 2008 12:06:29 AM


  11. Michael:

    I don't get it. What exactly are you asking for here? He's taking the other extreme and something that many gay rights groups have used as a talking point for years now.

    Namely, "If you're so concerned with the sanctity of marriage, shouldn't we then be promoting the idea of two men or women being married together?"

    Besides, I think with the AIDS rate still unthinkably high and dangerous staph infections now around, no one is advocating strongly for promiscuity. Aren't we supposed to get that out of our system when we're pretty young?

    Posted by: STH | Jan 23, 2008 12:17:55 AM


  12. I don't usually care for Al Gore all that much to be honest (I think his environmental work is over-rated and sensationalist and distracts us from small changes that can actually make a difference but I digress) but I'm very glad that he has chosen to come out in favor of equality. I also further agree with his position that it will do more to promote monogamy in the gay "community." Being promiscuous does cause problems simply because too many people don't practice safe sex and good hygiene while being promiscuous and therefore we need to do a better job promoting better sex education and trying to change American culture to stop being so damned puritanical. I personally prefer to live a monogamistic life style but if you prefer other ways of living that is perfectly fine by me.

    Posted by: Jason Young | Jan 23, 2008 12:51:16 AM


  13. Dear MEPAUL,

    For the record, I'm not the only person who posted in this thread about Heath Ledger's death. I'm one of three. So apparently there were other people who thought it appropriate to comment here on Ledger's death.

    Now, go fuck yourself, asswipe.

    xo,
    peterparker

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 23, 2008 1:26:03 AM


  14. MICHAEL,

    thank you for expressing in more and better words my feelings ("...and as much as i admire al gore, why does his delivery make same-sex marriage sound dirty?") about mr. gore's appeal for gay marriage rights.

    PETERPARKER,

    you clearly need no help in defending yourself, but i'm in your corner. there is no point in responding to scurrilous commentary. people with feelings know when to be honest and when it is not cool to be bitchy. and, how is it that some people feel qualified to measure one life against another? i don't know why i have been crying off and on since i heard the news. perhaps it is because heath's performance in BBM touched all but the most hardened souls and certainly struck a chord in the hearts of most gay men. your reaction needs neither an explanation nor an apology. sometimes art has a more intrinsic value than politics (think "uncle tom's cabin"). and, sometimes it is ok to put aside the cynicism. phuck the philistines.

    Posted by: nic | Jan 23, 2008 4:05:55 AM


  15. Please Al, rethink your position on running in November. I can't take 6 or 7 more months of HRC and Obama going for each other's jugular.

    Right now, you are the only voice of reason.

    Posted by: Russ Weiss | Jan 23, 2008 6:03:22 AM


  16. Y'know, can we please leave the celebrity worship off of one post please? Really?

    Jesus. Why is it, every time, that posts about celebrities get many more times the amount of feedback than ones about politics?

    Y'know, things that can actually effect our lives?

    Posted by: STH | Jan 23, 2008 7:03:13 AM


  17. I <3 STH.

    Posted by: RP | Jan 23, 2008 7:51:34 AM


  18. ♥♥GORE♥♥

    Posted by: 1♥ | Jan 23, 2008 8:07:40 AM


  19. Gore is speaking from the position of reason and rationality that many people reach not only after knowing someone gay (or, of course, being gay) but after thinking about LGBT equality outside of the sensationalist, distorting forum that is national politics. The strength of his statements here--even if he isn't a candidate--is a nice counterpoint to the over-cautious (if generally commendable) positioning of our Democratic front-runners.

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Jan 23, 2008 10:23:59 AM


  20. I applaud GORE for publicly stating what he believes to be true. And I also agree with MICHAEL. Promiscuity shouldn't be an issue when debating civil rights. Granting gay people the right to marry will NOT curb/affect promiscuity and neither should it. People have extra marital affairs all the time and this isn't something new. Been around since day one. Someone else said it best when they mentioned this "conservative stance" as the one thing civil rights are all about. Nothing to do with morals and EVERYTHING to do with individual rights and freedoms!

    Posted by: Shabaka | Jan 23, 2008 12:08:11 PM


  21. Gore Rocks!

    Posted by: ZEKE | Jan 23, 2008 12:25:02 PM


  22. If Gore had decided to run this year--this very important election year, the Election of 2008 would be over. Al Gore would be president (with possibly Barack Obama or Evan Bayh as vice-president). Al Gore would be deciding the next 3 or 4 appointments to the US Supreme Court, and many federal judgeships. Instead we have to go through more bickering from Hillary, Barack and JohnBoy.

    I am not pleased with Al Gore's decision. I am not one happy camper Democrat.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 23, 2008 12:55:09 PM


  23. STH - 1) With regard to your question: "Shouldn't you be getting it out of your system when you're pretty young?" I don't think it is necessarily up to anyone to decide what is right for another person sexually. In fact, I pray that we all live to be 109, that we're still having great sex then and that we're having alot of it.

    2) You are right: Gore indeed is saying to anti-gay marriage folk, "If you are so concerned about the sanctity of marriage, then why not promote marriage between two people of the same gender if they wish to be married?" He says in the video (to those against gay marriage) that marriage curbs promiscuity and all the problems that come with it -- and, without saying it, he implies that promiscuity is associated in these people's minds with gay men, I think we can safely venture to say.

    You are also right: you don't get what I was aiming at. Again, my point is that Gore's is a moral argument which should have nothing to do with the legal argument. I am extremely uncomfortable with his making the marriage issue a moral issue. In so doing he privileges monogamy and demonizes other forms of sexual expression. It is part of a broader social and sexual conservatism which states that sex is only good/healthy/acceptable within the context (confines?) of a state-sanctioned marriage.

    If I may: FUCK THAT.

    One need not be married to have safe sex. One need not be monogamous to have safe sex. And one does not need a government or a society telling her/him when, how, and with whom s/he should or should not have sex, provided all parties are consenting adults -- just like any other right under the law.

    3) Mine is not an argument for or against "promiscuity." It is an argument for awareness of a brand of conservative sexual politics that gay men and lesbians all too willingly accept. Queer people were once on the forefront of sexual liberation. Unfortunately, the great civil rights fight for equal protection (i.e., marriage rights) that is taking place today has been yoked to a conservative stance on sexual politics.

    Why can/should/do we not simultaneously fight FOR equal protection (that is, the right to marry) and AGAINST sexual repression in the sociopolitical sphere?

    4) You hit on a good point that merits reiteration: there has been a frightening rise in HIV infections among younger gay men in this country. We do need to educate everyone about the risks of unprotected sex. This education should and usually does go hand in hand with open and frank discussions about sex and sexuality. It is a matter of observation that communities across the country and the world, in which open discussions of ALL sexual practices are socially or otherwise suppressed, are those very same communities in which new cases of HIV infection are highest.

    However, safe sex does not mean sex only within the context of a monogamous, much less a state-sanctioned, relationship. People can have multiple sexual partners and still be safe - and they do.

    Sex is not the enemy. Ignorance, usually borne of repression, is the enemy here.

    5) I am not sure that one contracts a staph infection from sexual contact, unless one is humping dirty hospital linens. Please correct me if I am wrong about this.

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 23, 2008 12:55:43 PM


  24. Yeah, Michael, you make strong, intelligent and clear arguments without sentimentality or phony morality; but people do fuck too much nowadays--all over this damn world. Do something else...read a book, play parcheesi...hit Andy's blog 400 times a day, then you won't need so much fucking. I know.

    Monogamy never hurt anybody 'cept a pimp.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 23, 2008 1:21:14 PM


  25. Derrick - you're funny!

    As someone who has been in an exclusively monogamous relationship for four years, I agree that there is nothing wrong with monogamy.

    But there's nothing wrong with lots of safe sex with multiple partners either -- at separate times or all at once for that matter.

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 23, 2008 1:45:39 PM


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