Maya Keyes, the daugther of Former US Senate candidate Alan Keyes, is a lesbian. This has been well known around the blogosphere since at least October, and though the media hinted at this (one reporter in fact asked Keyes if he'd dealt with issues of sexuality in his family during a "town hall" forum where students asked Keyes and Obama questions), they decided not go public.
But now, Keyes the elder has thrown his daughter out of the house, terminated her employment with his organization, and she's on the street, and the media is covering the story. Keyes seems a bright enough young girl; I'm sure things are going to be difficult for her, but she's been clever enough to use this media attention to secure funds so that she can pick up her studies at Brown. Given time, I'm sure she'll be a passionate and effective advocate for change.
Her story, though, is a common-enough example of the immense difficulties faced by gays and lesbians in American society. There is, unfortunately, a large part of this population that views sexuality not just as a question of different, not as a question of rights, but as a question of right and wrong--an inherently moral question, which they feel entitles them to legislate the issue. Erasing this moral dimension from sexuality may take decades (erasing this moral dimension from our conception of law--well, that will take even longer).
Lest anyone--from Andrew Sullivan to that turncoat Bill Clinton--forget what's really at stake in these debates, I'd like to copy--à la Maureen Dowd--a snippet of an email that my uncle recently sent me, when I pushed the issue of gay marriage:
Here are my thoughts on the gay movement...I have a problem with their constant SHOVING OF THEIR AGENDA IN MY FACE AND THERE CONSTANT ATTEMPTS AT GAINING ACCESS TO OUR KIDS...
I believe the end game or eventual goal of the gay agenda is social acceptance of adult-child sexual relationships. Thinks this is far fetched? Has your uncle gone off the deep end? Do a google search on "Nambla."
Anyone who really thinks the rift between red and blue isn't fundamental clearly hasn't been paying attention.