Openly gay Seattle lawyer Jenny Durkan was one of the six U.S. Attorney candidates Obama announced on Friday he intended to nominate.
The nomination of Durkan, a confidante of Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, would continue the Obama DOJ’s break from the anti-gay culture of the Bush administration.
Remember when U.S. Attorney Margaret Chiara was fired in the White House political purge of 2006? Rumors were circulating that the Department of Justice’s White House Liaison and Senior Counsel to the Attorney General Monica Goodling had wanted Chiara removed because of rumors of a homsosexual relationship between Chiara and one of her employees, Leslie Hagen. Hagen was a career attorney serving as the Native American Issues Coordinator for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and was ultimately fired by Goodling.
But once Attorney General Eric Holder was confirmed earlier this year, Hagen got her old job back the same week.
Ah, but it’s not all peace and flowers yet for gays at DOJ. There’s the Judiciary Committee’s new hard-right conservative, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), to contend with.
Now the question is whether Sessions has the political will to oppose Durkan.
Last week on C-SPAN, he extolled his new staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he succeeded party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) as the panel’s top Republican. Sessions said he’s hired “a principled staff” that would act “more uniformly in accord with the basic Republican view of the Constitution and law.”
It turns out that one of those “principled” new staffers is William Smith, the new chief Republican counsel to the Committee, who has been quite outspoken on the issue of same-sex marriage. In an opinion piece published on the Web but since removed (a cached version is still available), he even connected gay marriage to pedophilia, reports the BLT.
Regarding former John McCain presidential adviser Steve Schmidt’s recent comments that Republicans have marginalized themselves by opposing gay marriage when the rest of the country is growing more comfortable with gay rights, Sessions’s staffer wrote:
Schmidt told a group last week that Republicans should embrace homosexual marriage. Otherwise, they risked becoming sectarian. [...]
Schmidt is just like a maverick, which is probably why McCain made him a top adviser. He has no guiding principles. He would rather be open-minded. [...]
I wonder if next week Schmidt will take his close minded stump speech to a NAMBLA meeting. For those unfamiliar with NAMBLA, the acronym is for North American Man Boy Love Association.
Schmidt would quickly tell you that he is not advocating that we support 60 year old men in their desire to rape 8 year old boys, but he would not classify his opposition as narrow minded. No! This is a principled position; there is some logic behind it, Schmidt would say.
Is Schmidt then going to take his close minded stump speech to the Bestiality Club? Again, his answer would be no, although there are a group of people who embrace this lifestyle.
Schmidt and other gay lifestyle proponents would say that my opposition is based on the slippery slope approach. I say that it is based on principle and that it is no more close minded than their position for gay unions. The difference between me and Schmidt is that I’m not a maverick. I’m guided by something called Christian principles. And I don’t need people in California, New York and Washington to tell me what the principlesshould be.
Schmidt took at least one more dig at those who actually have religious principles. He told the Log Cabin crowd that marriage between one man and one woman is a tradition and not a creed.
A creed, of course, is a brief authoritative formula of religious beliefs or a set of fundamental beliefs. Tradition on the other hand, has been described as the handing down of information, belief and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction.
A creed requires that you adhere to something. Tradition requires that you adhere to nothing. Schmidt wants the GOP to adhere to nothing, unless, of course the liberal crowd in Washington, California and New York ask for it.
Something tells me it was Schmidt who advised McCain to cancel his campaign and come back to Washington and help pass the bailout bill that America rejected. I know America joins me in telling Schmidt “we don’t need your advise on gay unions or otherwise. You’re a maverick and we believe in principles, because they actually matter.” That’s our stump speech, sectarian or otherwise, and that’s one we’re willing to deliver to any organization that invites us. That’s not narrow-minded, that’s principled.