Proposition 8 is back in the news in California. In San Francisco, closing arguments were heard yesterday in the federal civil trial in which opponents are seeking to overturn the anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution passed by voters in November. Whatever the outcome of the trial, the case will undoubtedly be appealed, and could well be heard before the Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, GOProud, a new national Republican gay organization, has announced it has chosen the Grand Hyatt hotel in San Diego as the venue for an event next month, despite the fact that the hotel is under a boycott by gays and others because its owner, Doug Manchester, was an early donor to Prop 8.
If Manchester hadn’t given $125,000 to the mostly out-of-state anti-gay operatives seeking to prevent gays in California from marrying in 2007, it’s unlikely Prop 8 would have been an issue in the November 2008 election. The anti-gay activists used Manchester’s money to pay professional signature-gatherers to collect the 700,000 signatures required to get Prop 8 on the ballot that year.
At the time, Manchester, a Catholic, said, “When they say that we cannot say that a marriage is between a man and a woman, that’s where I draw the line.”
Apparently, GOProud has no problem with the fact that Manchester’s “line” prevents them from the right to marry:
According to GOProud’s event page, “GOProud’s ‘Don’t Tread on Us’ reception will feature Fox News Channel political analyst and national radio talk show personality Tammy Bruce as the program’s MC…”
Tammy Bruce is an out lesbian and former liberal who now hosts a right-wing radio show on the Internet.
Apparently in answer to criticism about breaking the boycott against Manchester’s hotel, GOProud released a statement on Twitter: “We are making new allies, not enemies by having our event at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.”
Of course, with “allies” like Doug Manchester, gays don’t need enemies. This would be laughable if it weren’t such a pathetic display of Stockholm Syndrome, the psychological phenomenon that results when subjugated people come to identify with and even join the cause of their oppressors — think Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army.
If GOProud really believes they’re going to turn a hidebound gay-hater like Doug Manchester into an “ally,” they truly are delusional. In reality, breaking the boycott of his hotel is more likely to marginalize these Republican gays even more. For each of the few new friends they win in their party, they’ll likely gain dozens of new detractors who’ll view their sucking up to a wealthy homophobe as yet another sign of right-wing gays’ self loathing.