The Death of "Special Rights"?

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Death of "Special Rights"?

Was the Rev. Jerry Falwell drunk when he appeared on "The Situation with Tucker Carlson" earlier this month?
[TUCKER] CARLSON: Jerry Falwell, I notice you wrote a piece supporting Mr. Roberts. Are you rethinking that? [Because of the news of Roberts's work on Romer v. Evans]

FALWELL: Oh, not at all.

You know, I—if I were an attorney, I‘d certainly fight for the right of gays or anyone else to be employed or be housed wherever they wished to be housed. I may not agree with the lifestyle. And I don‘t. But that has nothing do with the civil rights of that member of our—that part of our constituency.

John Roberts would probably have been not a very good lawyer if he had not been willing, when asked by his partners in the law firm to assist in guaranteeing the civil rights of employment and housing to any and all Americans.

CARLSON: But wait a second. I thought conservatives are always arguing against special rights for gays. And the idea is that...

FALWELL: Well, housing and employment are not special rights. I think—I think the right to live somewhere and to live where you please or to work where you please, as long as you‘re not bothering anybody else, is a basic right, not a—not a special right.
FALWELL: But civil—civil rights for all Americans, black, white, red, yellow, the rich, poor, young, old, gay, straight, et cetera, is not a liberal or a conservative value. It‘s an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on.
Perhaps it just felt safe to say this on Tucker's show because Falwell knows nobody else was watching.

OK, all kidding aside, these are remarkable comments. If the Rev. Jerry Falwell is softening his harsh anti-gay stance on some basic GLBT civil rights then someone should give him a freaking medal. Seriously. (Are you listening HRC? NGLTF? PFLAG?) This is the same man who poignantly blamed gays and lesbians, feminism and liberal organizations for the tragic events on 9/11 on 9/13/01. If Falwell were to reject the "special rights" argument it could be quite a blow to the anti-gay crusade movement. Maybe Falwell learned a very valuable lesson from his good friend Tinky Winky after all?

(Unfortunately neither Jerry nor Tinky were available for comment.)

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