Friday, August 27, 2010
I was going to take a nap before Paul Stanley had to mention Tiger Woods
After a long week that included a couple of political disappointments, I thought I would take a nap late this afternoon. But then I glanced at a Facebook post by Mr. Kleinheider. It was a link to this post at the Tennessean's political blog pointing out that former State Sen. Paul Stanley had decided to say a few words about Tiger Woods and the public's consumption of his recent scandals.
The former senator says, “Is it simply our desire to know what goes on within the four walls of celebrities’ bedrooms that enthrall us or are we just as curious about what goes on with Mike and Jane next door? ”
Neither the Tennessean piece nor Stanley's piece points out the obvious. This is a self-involved and misleading piece not just because of Stanley's own troubles, but because he introduced legislation that would harm others based on their relationships. SB0078, the bill that would ban individuals in a cohabitating sexual relationship from adopting children, is unavoidable background to Stanley's fall from the Senate. That detail is missing from the Tiger Woods story.
Perhaps the People-magazine reading crowd was interested in the senator, the intern, the intern's boyfriend, the camera, and the extortion. But what made Stanley's situation so notable is that it exposed the closeted sexuality of those who try to impose restrictions on others.
There was definitely a segment of the public that didn't really care about learning every detail of Stanley's scandal. The part that mattered the most to many of us is the fact that he pinned the ability to adopt on a certain definition of proper relationships. People, straight or gay, who live together but don't have a legal marriage in Tennessee, are not worthy, according to Stanley's legislation.
Maybe the golfers and the other retired right-wing state senators now living in exile in Franklin are nodding as they read Stanley's post, but I don't recommend that he try to sell it in the rest of the state, especially Shelby and Davidson Counties. We remember what he did. Redemption will come when he makes amends not just for the affair, but also for attempt to make us second-class citizens in the law.