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despicable me 1
Shit. I don't think I can go read the whole thing right now, this did me in.
Posted by despicable me on February 26, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Rotten666 2
That is a hell of a story.
Posted by Rotten666 on February 26, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
I have three siblings. I would trust one to do the right thing. The other two -- not so much. That is why my husband and I have wills, medical powers of attorney, durable powers of attorney, and a whole bunch of other documents that we wouldn't need in a marriage equality state. Even then, a homophobic judge could override our wishes.
Posted by Clayton on February 26, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 4
I've never wondered why Sullivan supports rights for his own group. It's because he's gay. What I wonder at is his lack of support for groups he's not a member of.

Gay Republicans share the conservative belief that there should be a special club where all the money and power resides. They just want themselves to be counted in.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 26, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
@3: They could. And imagine outliving all your closest relatives and having some distant cousins show up after your death to steal from your widow or widower. This happens. And it needs to stop. And only marriage equality can stop it.
Posted by Dan Savage on February 26, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
I'm 45 and came out just a few years before The Protease Moment(TM) and I am always stunned by how much I have forgotten and how many friends of mine who are as little as five years younger than I don't know what a non-stop fire hose of horrors it was to be an out gay man from the mid-80s through the mid-90s.

Sigh, the bad old days. Never forget.
Posted by East Coast Douglas on February 26, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
SoapMacTavish 7
Sullivan is the modern day version of the house negro. Can't take him seriously at all. Conservatives are only for something if they have a personal stake it in. The repubs that signed that amicus brief, though it is encouraging, are only doing it because of cynical reasons, it's their attempt to swing a few gay votes their way without taking any actual electoral risk. Wake me up when republicans that are currently holding elected office sign it!
Posted by SoapMacTavish on February 26, 2013 at 2:58 PM · Report this
@7 Of course they're doing it for cynical reasons. That's still major progress. (And the Democrat's support is equally cynical at the national level--Mr. Obama's all kumbaya and filing amicus briefs now, but never forget DADT was repealed despite him, not because of him. He hopped on board when it became obvious the train was leaving the station without him.)
Posted by usagi on February 26, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this
@7 It's kind of odd that you should say that, given how vociferously he's supported Obama pretty much right from the moment he started running for the primary.

Like @6 above, I'm someone who's been out of the closet since 1990, who experienced a little of the horrendous combination of fear, guilt and fatalism surrounding all the sex and death. That was my coming out experience.

And Sullivan's right: in those days, no-one was seriously talking about marriage equality. I'm not talking about mainstream, straight politics, no-one in the gay community ever even considered the idea, not as a matter of law and as the social equivalent of straight marriage.

In those days, if you read a personal ad for a "mwm", everybody, but everybody understood that that person would be married to a woman and fucking around on the downlow. And that's how I knew things had changed: the first time I saw an ad for a mwm and wasn't sure if he was married to a guy or a girl. That's when the reality of marriage equality really struck home for me.

That's Sullivan's doing. He's right: he had precious few allies back in those days, on any side of the political spectrum, either inside or outside the gay community. He's the one with the radical vision to include us in every aspect of society, not just in narrow terms of certain contexts (like employment) but holistically.

I, frankly, never even imagined that I'd live to see that day.
Posted by Corydon on February 26, 2013 at 3:13 PM · Report this
SoapMacTavish 10
@8, you are right but as it was republicans signing this one and as Sullivan still identifies as a republican, that was the focus of my post. Most politicians are cynical, I do agree with you there. And I also agree that this is good progress but I'd still like a few repubs in office to sign, then maybe I wouldn't view it as completely cynical.
Posted by SoapMacTavish on February 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
Fnarf 11
I will never forget the overwhelming impulse to pile misery upon the miserable and affliction on the afflicted of the AIDS Years. Truly awful days.
Posted by Fnarf on February 26, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
debug 12
I'd be a lot more encouraged if more of those signing the petition were actively in power.

The man singing by himself in the hospital made my eyes sting and my heart rage.
Posted by debug on February 26, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
SoapMacTavish 13
@9. I admit I don't know much about Sullivan, maybe I'm wrong about him. I thought he was a republican.
Posted by SoapMacTavish on February 26, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Hover Dog 14
I'm not exactly Sullivan's biggest fan, but I do read the Dish on occasion. The guy isn't a dyed-in-the-wool Republican by any means. I think it's important to make a distinction between when a person calls himself 'conservative' and when that same person aligns with the fringe right wing. Sullivan does the former, but I haven't seen much fringe out of him. That said, I didn't start reading him at all until around 2011, so I may be missing some history there.
Posted by Hover Dog on February 26, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this
I remember those horrible days and they made me the rabid GOPer hater that I am today. Not that the Dems were any better back then, but they evolved. We died and that fucker Reagan wouldn't even say a single word. Now he is a hero to those ratfuckers. I have the same compassion for GOProuders and Log Cabiners as I have for the collaborators at Auschwitz. If Andrew Sullivan woke up tomorrow feeling all heterosexual, he would not be our ally. Of this I am positive. However, since I do remember those horrible days, I welcome any help we can get to get our civil rights and human rights. That doesn't mean I trust any of those ratfuckers any farther than I could throw one.
Posted by kwodell on February 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM · Report this
seandr 16
That was moving.
Posted by seandr on February 26, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 17
That story was heartbreaking, and a grim reminder of just how horrible the AIDS crisis was. But I couldn't stand reading the surrounding "gay marriage is a conservative issue" baloney surrounding it. Conservatives (fiscal or social) fundamentally do not believe in equality, and I have a hard time believing Sullivan would be at the forefront of such a struggle if he were straight. Conservatives NEVER fight for the rights of others.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 26, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 18
I wasn't sure that marriage v domestic partnership was much of a big deal, UNTIL I got married in December. It was only then that the full impact of inlaws, next-of-kin, step-kids, etc finally sank in.
I will never be an advocate of anything but legal, full marriage equality for every US citizen now. DP's and CU's are not equal to marriage...ever.
And yes, until marriage equality, I lost sleep worrying my homophobic father would take everything my husband of 20+ years and I had worked for after I died.
Posted by OutInBumF on February 26, 2013 at 4:05 PM · Report this
merry 19
Well, that just made me cry.. here at work......

So SO proud of my state of WA and all of us who voted for the Freedom to Marry...
Posted by merry on February 26, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Anyone who condemns Sullivan for being a Republican hasn't read him since 2005. While he still calls himself a conservative, he has emphatically renounced the GOP, and is positively loathed by the right wing establishment.
Posted by Jarz on February 26, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
venomlash 21
That's just awful. I really can't believe how petty some people can be, to exclude someone from a funeral.
Posted by venomlash on February 26, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 22

I came out in the mid-1980s, right in the early days of AIDS, before any sort of treatment was available, when a vast majority of gay people were in the closet. It was typical for someone newly diagnosed with AIDS to die within 6 months. It was horrifying. And yes, it was not at all uncommon for a homophobic family member to waltz right in during the final days, and exclude the dying guy's partner from everything, exclude him from hospital visitation or any decision-making, exclude him from the funeral, and take all the deceased's property right out from under the surviving partner. That wasn't the exception. A supportive family that included the lover was the exception.

It makes me angry just to type this. It brings back a flood of viscerally awful memories. Sometimes I feel like I have PTSD for having survived those years with any semblance of sanity intact. While I'm not really a Sullivan fan, I can totally relate to the feelings he is expressing in this article.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on February 26, 2013 at 6:47 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 23

The Executive Committee of the Illinois House is about to debate the Senate's marriage equality bill. If it passes committee tonight, it goes to the full floor of the House for a vote.

Here's a live stream of the debate:…

Posted by passionate_jus on February 26, 2013 at 7:21 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 24
So far it has all been positive, with all of the witnesses (a black preacher, a lesbian couple and a psychologist) being in favor of marriage equality.
Posted by passionate_jus on February 26, 2013 at 7:51 PM · Report this
@7: Sullivan does not identify as a Republican. He's a conservative—who's for gay marriage, marijuana decriminalization, legalized sex work, he voted for and publicly backed Barack Obama, he's moved on "socialized medicine," etc., etc., etc.

He was also a leading—and a lonely—voice for marriage rights for same-sex couples years before anyone else was pushing for it. And he backs rights for all same-sex couples (and opposite-sex couples too), not just gay white male couples. And he was attacked for it from the left and the right. But his message resonated with average gay people all over the country. While gay orgs were selling t-shirts and stuffed "pride bears," average gays and lesbians intuitively understood that we would never be equal until our loves and our families were treated equally. The first lawsuits in Hawaii and Vermont and Mass. weren't filed by big gay orgs backing marriage. They were filed by gay and lesbian individuals and renegade lawyers. The big gay orgs opposed those first lawsuits. Then one day... suddenly everyone is for marriage equality, because they saw that it was a winning issue for us. It was and it is. And all the opposition, all the shit Andrew got, was all stuffed down the memory hole.

And marriage—pushing for marriage—is helping us win in other areas. They used to say, "We have to get ENDA first, then we can move on marriage—maybe, sometime, later." But I believe we'll get ENDA after we get marriage. Pushing for the big thing—the biggest—is going to get us the rest.

Andrew lead on this shit. And you swan around in comments threads shitting on him for this? About this issue? Fuck you. You don't know what you're talking about.

Also: the right hates Sullivan. He's persona non grata on Fox News, he's attacked on The Corner, Jonah Goldberg attacks him. When Fox News showed an issue of Newsweek that Andrew had written the cover story for—they were discussing his story—they blurred out his name on the cover and never mentioned his name. He's a non-person on the right. It's Orwellian. And you call him a "house negro" for the right? You really don't know what you're talking about.

Also, too, you're an asshole.
Posted by Dan Savage on February 26, 2013 at 8:02 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 26
Oh God now the debate in Illinois is the anti side -- a staffer for NOM, a black woman who claims to be "an ex-gay", an someone who says marriage equality undermines religious freedom. The usual bullshit.
Posted by passionate_jus on February 26, 2013 at 8:09 PM · Report this
SoapMacTavish 27
@25. OK I stand corrected. Apologies for the ignorant misinformed post but I do stand by the fact that I will be impressed with the Republican party (which I now understand Sullivan is not a part of) when actual elected members stand by marriage equality. Sorry again for demonizing the wrong guy.
Posted by SoapMacTavish on February 26, 2013 at 9:10 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 28
Sorry, Dan. Yes, Sullivan was right on this issue, which affected him personally. That's nice, I guess he gets a cookie or something.

He's still the same loathsome toad who spent most of the early aughts licking Dick Cheney's diseased taint, cheerleading for the debacle in Iraq ($2Trillion, a million dead Iraqis, thousands of dead Americans and still counting), and calling anti-war leftists fifth columnists who were de facto in league with Saddam. (He then tried to spin the fact that he was one of the last people to realize that invading Iraq was a bad idea into some sort of great moral self-discovery.) He's still the same wink-wink-nudge-nudge white supremacist who's self-described "proudest moment" as editor at The New Republic was giving puff-piece coverage to Charles Murray and "The Bell Curve." He's still the same "editor" that let Philip Morris and the Manhattan Institute ghostwrite fantasmagorical hit pieces against "Hillarycare" under TNR's masthead in 1994. He's still the person who hired Stephen Glass.

In short, fuck Andrew Sullivan, now and forever. If that makes me an asshole, I will wear that badge with pride.
Posted by Doctor Memory on February 26, 2013 at 9:12 PM · Report this
It may be different for those for whom marriage was always the Great Ideal - personally, I've been inclined to settle for it as the most workable answer in the US.

My main complaint with Mr Sullivan concerns his delight over the death of gay culture and community, where he appears to have been short-sighted. From what I've been seeing lately, the new young gay men can't stand each other, see other gay men either as threats or at best potential bedmates for a week or a month, and all have almost exclusively straight friends. This kind of assimilation is bound to facilitate a new wave of oppression. I only hope it's better for women.
Posted by vennominon on February 26, 2013 at 10:13 PM · Report this
dirac 30
@25 It always takes one to know one.
Posted by dirac on February 26, 2013 at 10:59 PM · Report this
dirac 31
@28 is completely right. Where pet issues are concerned, the vile get a pass though.
Posted by dirac on February 26, 2013 at 11:01 PM · Report this
sirkowski 32
Andrew Sullivan is dead to me and I don't believe in zombies.
Posted by sirkowski on February 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM · Report this
sirkowski 33
@28 Andrew Sullivan also contracted AIDS on purpose and then tried to pass on the disease. He's a twisted piece of shit.
Posted by sirkowski on February 26, 2013 at 11:32 PM · Report this
@28 Thanks Dr. Memory, I just can't bring myself to read him. He's foul.
Posted by Mugwumpt on February 26, 2013 at 11:51 PM · Report this
lolorhone 35
I don't agree with, excuse, or exonerate Sullivan's politics. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. He's making a genuine and unassailable point about the lives at risk (and the ones already shat upon) because of our marriage laws. Pretending otherwise is simply foolish partisanship.
Posted by lolorhone on February 27, 2013 at 2:57 AM · Report this
smajor82 36
I hope that I will someday be able to love somebody that much.
Posted by smajor82 on February 27, 2013 at 6:32 AM · Report this
Don't need to read it. The reason that l'il Andy cares about this issue - HELL, the only reason he cares about any issue - is that it might affect him. The man is a walking advertizement for the sociopath GOP. Others pain is not real but anything that might hurt me is the end of the world.
Posted by frankdawg on February 27, 2013 at 6:46 AM · Report this
SoapMacTavish 38
A misinformed asshole I may be but after a little research on Sullivan reveals he is the same guy I thought he was so I do stand by my comments. I get why you (Dan) feel the way you do about him, an ally is an ally in the struggle that you deal with (and have dealt with) daily. I'm a straight married guy so I haven't experienced the discrimination gay people have when it comes to civil marriage so won't pretend that I've felt what you have but at the end of the day Sullivan is a typical conservative that only cares about issues that personally affect him. I don't get that and never will because I don't have to have issues personally affect me to support them. To plagiarize Doctor Memory, it that makes me an asshole, I too will wear that badge with pride.
Posted by SoapMacTavish on February 27, 2013 at 10:12 AM · Report this
@ 25 - Like millions of people, I've been way ahead of Sullivan on all those issues - like, ten years ahead or more - but since we're not well-known and we're not in the U.S., you're not singing OUR praise.

Sullivan might have been at the forefront on those issues in the U.S., but he's British and must have been aware of what was going on in the rest of the world, at least in Europe - so really he's always been way behind those who were truly leading the way.

Come on, Dan, choose your battles! Sullivan is a major asshole, and you become one by association if you keep defending him.
Posted by Ricardo on February 27, 2013 at 10:37 AM · Report this
When the call comes, be calm.
Say to your wife, "My brother is dying. I have to fly
to California."
try not to be shocked that he already looks like
a cadaver.
Say to the young man sitting by your brother's side,
"I'm his brother."
Try not to be shocked when the young man says,
"I'm his lover. Thanks for coming."

Listen to the doctor with a steel face on.
Sign the necessary forms.
Tell the doctor you will take care of everything.
Wonder why doctors are so remote.

Watch the lover's eyes as they stare into
your brother's eyes as they stare into
Wonder what they see there.
Remember the time he was jealous and
opened your eyebrow with a sharp stick.
Forgive him out loud
even if he can't
understand you.
Realize the scar will be
all that's left of him.

Over coffee in the hospital cafeteria
say to the lover, "You're an extremely good-looking
young man."
Hear him say,
"I never thought I was good enough looking to
deserve your brother."

Watch the tears well up in his eyes. Say,
"I'm sorry. I don't know what it means to be
the lover of another man."
Hear him say,
"Its just like a wife, only the commitment is
deeper because the odds against you are so much
Say nothing, but
take his hand like a brother's.

Drive to Mexico for unproven drugs that might
help him live longer.
Explain what they are to the border guard.
Fill with rage when he informs you,
"You can't bring those across."
Begin to grow loud.
Feel the lover's hand on your arm
restraining you. See in the guard's eye
how much a man can hate another man.
Say to the lover, "How can you stand it?"
Hear him say, "You get used to it."
Think of one of your children getting used to
another man's hatred.

Call your wife on the telephone. Tell her,
"He hasn't much time.
I'll be home soon." Before you hang up say,
"How could anyone's commitment be deeper than
a husband and a wife?" Hear her say,
"Please. I don't want to know all the details."

When he slips into an irrevocable coma,
hold his lover in your arms while he sobs,
no longer strong. Wonder how much longer
you will be able to be strong.
Feel how it feels to hold a man in your arms
whose arms are used to holding men.
Offer God anything to bring your brother back.
Know you have nothing God could possible want.
Curse God, but do not
abandon Him.

Stare at the face of the funeral director
when he tells you he will not
embalm the body for fear of
contamination. Let him see in your eyes
how much a man can hate another man.

Stand beside a casket covered in flowers,
white flowers. Say,
"thank you for coming," to each of seven hundred men
who file past in tears, some of them
holding hands. Know that your brother's life
was not what you imagined. Overhear two
mourners say, "I wonder who'll be next?" and
"I don't care anymore,
as long as it isn't you."

Arrange to take an early flight home.
His lover will drive you to the airport.
When your flight is announced say,
awkwardly, "If I can do anything, please
let me know." Do not flinch when he says,
"Forgive yourself for not wanting to know him
after he told you. He did."
Stop and let it soak in. Say,
"He forgave me, or he knew himself?"
"Both," the lover will say, not knowing what else
to do. Hold him like a brother while he
kisses you on the cheek. Think that
you haven't been kissed by a man since
your father died. Think,
"This is no moment to be strong."

Fly first class and drink Scotch. Stroke
your split eyebrow with a finger and
think of your brother alive. Smile
at the memory and think
how your children will feel in your arms
warm and friendly and without challenge.

~ Michael Lassell
Posted by Sweetlethe on February 27, 2013 at 5:39 PM · Report this
rob! 41
Thank you for that, Sweetlethe. It brings back those years.
Posted by rob! on February 28, 2013 at 9:10 PM · Report this

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