BY JOHN GUSTAFSON
I’m following the Teddy Warner-Gary Stradling exchange with interest, and thought I’d weigh in with a third-party observation, because why not?
Stradling chides Warner for pulling out of context some narrow phrases from his Facebook post, but in fairness to Warner the original letter included a screenshot of Stradling’s full post, so all of the context was there to read.
I think Warner is totally in bounds in trying to parse some of Stradling’s comments. As we have seen from the Supreme Court on down, individual beliefs can impact how people in public positions execute their duties. (Anyone remember when the then-Los Alamos County Clerk would not issue same-sex marriage certificates, even though it had been legalized in New Mexico?)
Stradling’s comment from the Facebook post that particularly caught my attention (maybe because of Warner’s highlighting?) was that people he knows in sexually-variant situations (think non-heteronormative, not a gymnastically difficult position in bed) “do not have a clear path to the wonderful experiences I described of my family.”
I applaud Gary Stradling for reading and thinking about these issues. He clearly is trying to operate from the perspective of love and acceptance, and I can accept that he believes he does not fear or discriminate against homosexual people. If he is unable to see a “clear path” to happiness for people whose lives are unlike his, I expect it’s because he is aware of the fear and discrimination that others in this world will express toward sexually-variant situations. Maybe the disability we should all be working to eliminate is that endemic fear and discrimination. Raising the shield of “Housing!” does nothing in that on-going battle.