PEEK

Bush Admin Pisses off Evangelicals, OKs Gay Marriage [VIDEO]

The Cultural Conservative Exodus has begun...
A week ago today, and just six days before the religious right's anti-gay hullabaloo, Liberty Sunday, Condi Rice swore in a new U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Dr. Mark R. Dybul.

The ceremony also featured a very curious group of people for a high-level Republican affair; from the State Department's website:
"I would like to extend a special welcome to the First Lady. Mrs. Bush... a number of Ambassador Dybul's family members joining us on this auspicious occasion. They include: partner, Jason Claire; mother, Claire Dybul; father, Richard Dybul; and mother-in-law, Marilyn Claire. Please join me in extending a very warm welcome to all of our distinguished guests."
Dr. Dybul is gay, and is, ostensibly, "married" to Jason Claire.

As Andrew Sullivan points out in the clip to the upper right, most Republican elites don't have a problem with gay marriage. Their only problem with it is that they'd lose their power were they to acknowledge their genuine values. In the clip, Sullivan, a former Bush supporter, and self-proclaimed conservative says:
We know that Condi Rice and Laura Bush have no problem with gay marriage. In fact, most of the elite republicans on the Hill have no problem with gay marriage. But they use homophobia to win votes at the base. And that is the underlying, tectonic problem going on here: Hypocrisy.
Even Condi's and Laura's acknowledgment of the legitimacy of this one couple, may, in fact, be another trickle in the Republican Party's imminent hemorrhage. They'll need to stick a "finger in the dike," but quickly, if they're to stop it.

Ironically, I only learned of the event via the eagle-eye of one Tony Perkins -- head of the very Family Research Council which hosted and organized Liberty Sunday. Perkins writes:
Dr. Dybul placed his hand on a Bible held by his homosexual partner Jason Claire. First the State Department's Deputy Chief of Protocol, Raymond Martinez, and then Secretary Rice herself referred to Mr. Claire's mother as Dr. Dybul's "mother in law." Both Martinez and Rice referred to Dr. Dybul's "family"...
Then there's the book by David Kuo, laying waste to the Bush administration's Faith-Based Initiatives program and his commitment to ending poverty.

It was only a matter of time, then, before bits of the religious right began to set sail for more compatible shores. An Op-Ed in Tennessee's Chattanoogan could be the death knell for the 30-year-old marriage of the Republicans and the religious right: "...it is time to build an ark. It is time to leave the Republican Party."

Defending his call for a new party, Greg Cain writes:
I know that seems like a radical move. But it has become increasingly apparent that the core values of the Republican Party are not Tennessean or Christian values. The Mark Foley Branch of the Log Cabin Republicans has seen to that.
The Republican Party has had success convincing Christians that their party actually is more moral and more sincerely religious than the Democrats. However, the events of the last year have begun to unravel that carefully constructed image. It is time all Christians to ask ourselves if it is possible for God to bless a polluted party.
Read more on the split in Alan Wolfe's front page article, "Are Evangelicals Over?"

And here's that photo once again... it's worth it's own spot...

Evan Derkacz is an AlterNet editor. He writes and edits PEEK, the blog of blogs.
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