The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Jon Stewart Gets It, Too

I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but I just love Jon Stewart too. Here’s a man who really gets it. From his recent interview with Mike Huckabee. (Favorite line: “At what age did you choose not to be gay?”)

In particular, he gets something that I’ve written about here before as Steve Benen explains.

Pay particular attention to the last substantive exchange, which struck me as the most devastating. Stewart concluded, “You know, you talk about [abortion] being one of the great shames of our nation. I think if you want number two, I think it’s that it’s a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights as someone else.”

It’s something I wrote about recently.

Tell your stories, and empower others to tell theirs, if only because the indignity of having to make the case for your humanity can touch someone else’s and spark them to action.

Because it is an indignity. People are basically saying to us “Convince us that you are human beings like us. Convince us that you are our equals. Convince us that you belong to the human family the same as us.

They are arguing from a position of superiority and requiring us to argue from an position of inferiority, because we are considered inferior and less than equal until we prove otherwise.

By the way, Jon gets that too.

And, Mike, I’m sorry, but when you advocate discrimination against me and my family you are doing so from a position of bigotry and hate. Be man enough to own it, and at least I can respect you.

There are times when I wonder if we lose something of ourselves by not calling things what they are. Do we give people a pass they don’t deserve, because they are able to hide behind their religious beliefs? When people gather for the express purpose of denying equality to another group of people, what else can we call it but hate?

From a religious perspective, is it really possible to love someone that you don’t see as an equal? Is it possible to see someone as less than equal without hatred, or without at least contempt? If so, how?

From my perspective, either you see me as equal or you don’t. If you don’t, as far as I’m concerned it amounts to hate – and the actions taken to maintain inequality stem from hatred. I don’t care if it’s for religious reasons. If you can’t see me as equal – and treat me as equal – then you have to see me as (even slightly) less than human. You can’t really see me as equal and still deny me equal treatment. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.

I’ve heard all I can stand of “love the sinner, hate the sin.” My gayness is not what I do. It’s a part of who I am – who I’ve always been. It’s what I feel – have always felt – in my heart. Even if I became celibate (giving up my partner and my son), I would still be the same gay person. I would still feel the same in my heart.

My gayness is not something I do. It’s part of who I am, and what is in my heart. Hate it, and you hate who I am. You hate what is in my heart. You hate me.

It’s that simple. Isn’t it?

It is as far as I’m concerned, because you then leave me and my family to bear the consequences discrimination without redress, or — as I put it earlier — you force us to endure injustice indefinitely and without remedy.


  1. Something to note, and that I would have gone after but Stewart didn’t, was Huckabee’s repeatedly tying marriage to conception (something you’ve brought up numerous times). I’d like to hear him defend how a childless couple (be it by choice or by medical/physical inability) is any less married than a couple with children.

  2. I saw this interview too, and some of the most important points Stewart made were about the fact that marriage for five thousand years has been redefined over and over again, from a sort of property arrangement, through polygamy to the one man, one woman modern concept. So if we are going back to Biblical marriage, why not have many wives, and stone them when they commit adultery?