Coulter's Words v. Edwards' Sticks & Stones

There's not much to say about Ann Coulter calling former Democratic Senator John Edwards a "faggot" when she was addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference last Friday. That sort of thing one expects from Coulter. She's like a wan Andrew Dice Clay. Hideous bigotry is just part of the show that people expect when they attend her speeches and read her books.

More interesting to me is John Edwards' act of being offended. Yes, he should condemn Coulter's comment, but let's not ignore that Edwards has made anti-gay discrimination part of his political platform by opposing marriage equality. And frankly, as a gay man, I'm much less offended by Coulter's locker room slur than Edwards' willingness to write anti-gay bigotry into his presidential platform.

Adding insult to injury, Edwards' website encourages people offended by Coulter to contribute to his presidential campaign—what he's calling Coulter cash. This is so incredibly offensive to me. It's encouraging people to act against rhetorical bigotry by funding state-sanctioned bigotry in the form of an Edwards presidency. That's a bit like asking people in 1964 who were offended by K.K.K. propaganda to contribute to the George Wallace for President campaign.

I really don't give much thought to Ann Coulter. Her anti-gay bigotry is shtick I've seen too many times before. Edwards, though, I'd like to be in the audience when he acts like a great, injured friend of the lesbian and gay community. I'd remind him of his open opposition to marriage equality and say, frankly, "Senator, I've served with friends of the lesbian and gay community. I know friends of the lesbian and gay community. They are friends of mine. Senator, you're no friend of the lesbian and gay community."


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