Anti-Gay Politician's Lesbian Scandal Is a Gay Rights Win

rainbow flagIf you're looking for a silver lining in the anti-gay rhetoric coming out of America's ultra-conservatives these days, it's time to pack your bags for Alabama! Politician Bill Johnson ran for governor of the Yellowhammer State in 2010 on an anti-gay platform. No surprise for the South, maybe, but the fact that he has acted as sperm donor for a host of lesbian couples from New Zealand packs quite the punch! Sure, you can say he's a total hypocrite, but we've got lemons ... what do you say we make some lemonade?

I'm wondering if this means that maybe there's hope for the anti-gay politicians out there to come around? After all, Texas Governor Rick Perry did just find out he likes a gay guy's music so much it served as the soundtrack to his bigoted campaign ad. These folks are fast learning that gay people do some pretty nice things for the world too.

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In Johnson's case, the three lesbian women who have gotten pregnant via his sperm (in total nine have made use of his donations) have given him the chance to actually have kids of his own. Johnson says he loves and adores his wife, but a hysterectomy 10 years ago means Kathy Johnson couldn't have any more children. I'm a little shaken by his insistence that Kathy should be happy for him that he's gotten a chance to be a dad, especially when you consider he didn't officially tell her he was dipping his wick into little plastic cups.

And of course his anti-gay platform as a politician makes me want to scream. It's no wonder he's getting a lot of flack for the whole thing.

But look at it this way: Bill Johnson is happy to be a dad. And he's OK with the fact that the mother of his progeny happens to be gay. Call it what you will, but I call it an important lesson for the gay rights movement. Johnson has learned that being a dad matters more to him than hating lesbians.

Isn't that what we need more of in this world? People to sit down and really decide what's important to them? I can't tell you how many conservative Christian parents have been faced with their child coming out of the closet and decided that the love of their kid is more important than their tired old "value" system. They've gotten their priorities straight.

I don't see it working for everyone. Perry's love of Aaron Copland's tunes hasn't prompted him to raise a rainbow flag yet, and he probably will never be forced to reconcile his rhetoric with the millions of people it hurts.

But people are the key here -- proving to these politicians that gays and lesbians are people. In order to silence the drumbeat of the anti-gay crowd, what we need are more people who can measure the mettle of an individual gay person against an ideology and come down on the side of the living, breathing human being.

Bill Johnson's had to face his hypocrisy, and he has admitted it to the press. Who's next?

 

Image via dbking/Flickr

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