Thursday, August 19, 2004

Updated on August 19, 2004 at 2:30 pm

Outing, Gays, Marriage, Sin and Redemption: Michael Bauer meets Alan Keyes

Michael Bauer: Mr. Keyes, Michael Bauer, I am a long time City Club member and a small business owner. One of the reactions to the Federal Marriage amendment [on Capitol Hill] is that [gay rights] activists have begun “outing,” Republican staffers and Republican members, including the campaign manager for Bush Cheney, the executive director of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee; what is your reaction to staffers and members being outed and do you think there is a role, and if so, what is the role for gay men and lesbians in the Republican Party?

Alan Keyes: Step No. 1, I find it to be a kind of extraordinary contradiction that folks who are out there using the language of rights, claiming that they are doing so because they have such consideration for individuals, would then heartlessly adopt a cruel tactic that obviously is aimed at sacrificing people’s lives for the sake of their political and ideological agenda. This seems to me to show the contradiction at the heart of what they do. That’s step No. 1. Step No. 2, issues like gay marriage and such are not issues that are about and I know people like to pretend this is about how you feel about this or that individual who is gay—that’s not true. The gay marriage issue is about marriage and about whether or not we should accept a re-definition of marriage that entirely eliminates, in principle, its connection with procreation. I believe that to do so will destroy in principle the meaning and significance of the marriage institution, and we must reject this, not because we are against homosexuality but because we are for a marriage institution that must remain the foundation of strong families without which our society cannot endure. Finally, is there somebody in here who is not a sinner...which one of us wants there to be a heartless rejection of our other abilities, of our other virtues, of our other qualities because we have sometimes stumbled and made a mistake...there is no contradiction between defending the institution of marriage and understanding that even when you look at somebody and know that they are in sin, you can still remember that they are children of God because God remembers and you treat them as such and respect them for those things that He would always value in them and that is why Christ spent so much time with sinners- he didn’t just see their sin; he saw the possibility of their salvation and so should we.
Exchange at City Club of Chicago lunch program on August 18, 2004.