Herman Cain with CNN’s Piers Morgan (h/t: Rex Wockner)
On issues from evolution to climate change, the members of the GOP presidential class of 2012 (with one notable exception) have demonstrated a shocking contempt for science, dismissively tossing aside research-tested, reality-based scientific consensus and deciding instead to stick their collective heads in the sand in order to please their increasingly deranged, reactionary base. Concerned people from across the political spectrum, from Jon Huntsman to Paul Krugman, are alarmed by a Republican Party that is, to quote Mr. Krugman, “aggresively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge.”
This certainly holds true where LGBT issues are concerned. The current crop of Republican candidates have practically tripped over themselves in a quest to outdo each other in the homophobia department. Michele Bachmann, who has made opposition to LGBT rights the central pillar of her entire political career, co-owns a clinic that claims, in the face of the overwhelming medical and scientific evidence to the contrary, to be able to “pray away the gay.” Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry are both enthusiastic supporters of the American Family Association, a Southern Poverty Law Center-certified hate group that actively promotes the idea that sexual orientation can be changed. Rick Santorum, whose name will be forever linked with homophobic bigotry thanks to Dan Savage, most recently raised the horrifying specter of gay soldiers showering with other soldiers as a reason to reinstate the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and publicly embraced “ex-gay” propaganda.
The GOP’s current flavor of the month, Herman Cain, has eagerly jumped onto the anti-science, gay-hating bandwagon. Earlier this month, Cain told The View’s Joy Behar that he believes homosexuality is a personal choice and issued a challenge:
“You show me the science that says that it’s not [a choice], and I could be persuaded. Right now it’s my opinion against the opinion of others who feel differently. That’s just a difference of opinion.”
Truth Wins Out, Think Progress, and other groups hit back with the facts: sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed. Ours isn’t an opinion, but scientific fact.
But apparently, to Cain, facts don’t matter — he’d rather cling to his anti-gay bigotry, thank you very much. In an interview last night with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Herman Cain reiterated his Stone-Age, anti-science views on homosexuality: “Although people don’t agree with me, I happen to think that [homosexuality] is a personal choice.” When Morgan told the candidate that his comments were just as ridiculous as a gay person telling Cain that he chose to be black, Cain bristled: “You know that’s not true. I was born black;” he added that race “doesn’t wash off.”
Herman, Herman, Herman. I, along with most LGBT people I know, happen to be a big fan of regular bathing. Trust me: I’ve bathed over 9,700 times in my 26 years and it hasn’t washed off — I’m still gay.
Mr. Cain thinking he’s entitled to an opinion on a matter of scientific fact is quaint at best. When one considers that he’s a member of an oppressed minority group turning around and contributing to the oppression of another minority group, Mr. Cain’s bigotry seems tragic, hypocritical, and profoundly sad. When one remembers that Herman Cain is seeking the office of the Presidency of the United States, it becomes a cause for alarm. His dangerously unscientific views about LGBT people render him unfit for that office.