Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sheriff Paul

I am not an advocate of the Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu, but I do think that he is being subjected to unfair attacks. Unlike ex-Senator Larry Craig and the Reverend Rekers he has not sought to deny his sexual orientation, but freely avowed it in his press conference on Saturday. Yes, he was outed and did not come out voluntarily, but the same has happened to many of the rest of us. Almost all gay and lesbian people can remember a time in which were in the closet. Altering this status is not a simple matter of snapping one's fingers. Coming out is a gradual process. Sherrif Paul Babeu should be accorded this privilege just as much as anyone else.

One news story described the Sheriff as “ultraconservative.” He has even been called a "fascist" What is the evidence for these claims? To be sure, Paul Babeu is a Republican and also gay, but so are the members of the Log Cabin group and GOProud. I have never been inclined to join those organizations, but their existence suggests that the two descriptors--Republican and gay--are not inevitably mutually exclusive.

Much of the denigration of Sheriff Babeu stems from the matter of immigration. In fact, his views on immigration are not very different from those of President Obama. Both believe that our borders must be secured--as do a majority of Americans. They might differ on the related question of how the illegal aliens in our midst are to be treated, but in fact the Obama administration has not been able to articulate a coherent policy on this question.

Somehow, though, it is inferred that Sherrif Paul must hate Mexicans, so that he is guilty of hypocrisy in having an affair with a Mexican man, The allegation is ridiculous.

Finally, I am disturbed by witnessing a number of gay writers and pundits dumping on a fellow gay person. We may disagree with his views, but we should support his coming out. Otherwise it is we ourselves who are the hypocrites.



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