By Matt Shaw
At first glance, www.goodasyou.org is not unlike many mainstream weblogs of its kind. It’s strongly opinionated, highly biased, and takes full advantage of the first amendment. It’s witty, irreverent, and pointedly controversial. It’s a single-minded, all-out assault on anti-GLBT advocates and legislators, gift wrapped and served up piping hot to your computer through a RSS feed. Yes, there are thousands of blogs out there with the same goal as Good As You (GAY). But not one of them handles GLBT issues with the singularly unprejudiced mindset with which Jeremy Hooper, the founder of and blogger for GAY, conducts himself. Pulse Magazine had the opportunity to pick this up-and-coming GLBT-rights advocate’s brain about the upcoming election and its impact on the national GLBT community.
Pulse Magazine: Bill Clinton gave an impressive and whole-hearted endorsement of Barack Obama during the DNC. Many GLBT voters believe that, on the face of it, Obama is a good vote for GLBT issues. But not only has Obama downplayed GLBT issues, he also accepted a high-profile endorsement from the man who signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act. How good do you think Obama will be for GLBT rights if he is elected?
Jeremy Hooper: He’s with us in some very key ways. While he’s not yet with us on marriage equality, he supports civil unions, inclusive hate crimes legislation, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, equal benefits for same-sex couples, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, key HIV/AIDS provisions and programs, equal adoption, fair-minded judges, and the Uniting American Families Act. And he’s against constitutional marriage bans on either the state or federal level. There is simply no comparison on the issues between Barack Obama and John McCain.
PM: When, if ever, do you think we will see an amendment to the constitution that defines marriage as the union of any two people, regardless of gender and/or sexual preference?
JH: After we win at the polls in California, Florida, and Arizona this November — and we will win — we will see the state amendment efforts severely crippled. In short time, states like New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York go to full marriage equality. Then we will surely win a few more court battles, and over time, the bluer states will start to repeal their bans. Ultimately, the matter will be settled in the Supreme Court. That’s why the matter of justices is SO important.
PM: Certain Republican spin artists have categorized Sarah Palin as pro-family, while others call her an “inclusive” Republican. Where do you think Palin falls on the GLBT-friendly scale?
JH: This is one area where we actually have some concrete knowledge of Palin. Here’s what we know as of now:
She supported Alaska’s 1998 ban on marriage equality. One several occasions, she has very strongly indicated that she is against spousal benefits being offered to same-sex couples. In a 2006 questionnaire for the Alaska Eagle Forum, she said she was opposed to LGBT-inclusive hate crimes legislation, using the conservative talking point that “all heinous crime is based on hate.” In that same survey, she also said that one of her top three priorities as Governor would be “…Preserving the definition of ‘marriage’ as defined in our constitution.” So while I am certainly eager to learn all I can about Gov. Palin’s stances, there is not even the beginning of a reason to assume that she is our friend.
For more on these and other pressing social and political issues, as well as up-to-the-minute coverage of GLBT news and insight, please visit Hooper’s website at www.goodasyou.org.