A few final points about Weaselgate…
The Stranger was accused—or I was accused—of making a mountain out of a molehill when I wrote a quick Slog post on Sunday about Jamie Pedersen’s dishonest support-marriage-equality-then-support-me pitch. (I felt it was dishonest because everyone running in the 43rd supports gay marriage—seems like a pretty straightforward point to to me.) This morning The Seattle Post-Intelligencer put Chris McGann’s Weaselgate story on their front freakin’ page. So, um, who’s making mountains out of molehills now?
I’d also like to address this issue, raised in the PI’s story and by a Pedersen supporter in a comment thread on Slog:
The truth comes out (pardon the expression). Looks like Dan’s giant ego got hurt by lil’ ol’ Jamie Pederson: “[Dan Savage] admitted some past animosity because Pedersen had been quoted saying Savage was the wrong public face for the gay marriage issue, but said that exchange had nothing to do with his blog entry.”
If the Pedersen Rimjob Brigade wants to make his statements to The Seattle Times in March of 2004 the issue, hey, that’s fine with me. Because Pedersen’s comments in that piece only support my original contention—namely, that Pedersen is something of a weasel.
Here’s the story, and here are relevant bits from the Bob Young’s piece—and when you’re reading, remember that when it says “advocates,â€ť it means Pedersen, the only “advocateâ€ť Young quotes in his story:
Officials worried gay editor would beat them to court
Blame it on Dan Savage.
To some degree, it was Savage, editor of The Stranger, a Seattle weekly newspaper, who pushed local gay-rights groups and King County Executive Ron Sims to challenge the state law prohibiting gay marriage yesterday.
That’s because advocates and Sims were worried Savage would file a lawsuit challenging the state law before their own hand-picked gay couples did, thereby undermining an effort to use the most sympathetic local gays to test the legal waters…. Ideally, those [gay couples] would be stable, longtime gay couples, preferably with children…
Friday, Savage visited the King County office that issues marriage licenses. With him was Amy Jenniges, a reporter from The Stranger, and her lesbian partner.
Both Jenniges and Savage, who is gay, were refused licenses to marry their respective same-sex partners. What they might do next worried gay-rights advocates and Sims, who soon learned of Savage’s visit….
“No offense to Dan, he is a very important voice. But what lawyers look for are people who want to achieve the ends of the lawsuit but don’t have a different agenda. Dan has a newspaper. He has an interest in publicity,” said [Jamie] Pedersen.
Here’s the funny thing about Pedersen’s comments to the Seattle Times: I never had any intention of filing a lawsuit. I applied for a marriage license with Amy Jenniges, a lesbian co-worker, to make a point—and only to make a point—and the point was this: It’s fucked up in the extreme that a big fag like me can enter into a sham marriage with a lesbian I don’t love, don’t live with, don’t have sex with, and don’t have a kid with. How does that protect the sanctity of marriage exactly? Here’s the story I wrote about it for the Stranger. It was a stunt—a stunt that demonstrated the utter ridiculousness of gay marriage bans. KOMO News—and other media—got the point I was trying to make:
They married to prove a point. They hope lawmakers will notice their stunt and realize the reason why two people get married should be more important than their gender.
But what did Pedersen tell the Times? Not that I was the “wrong public face for the gay marriage issue,â€ť as the PI put it this morning, but that I was going to file a lawsuit and that this was hugely problematic because I wouldn’t be a good test case—you know, since I don’t have a kid and I’m not in a long-term relationship. And why was I going to do this? According to Pedersen, I was rushing to the courthouse because I had “an interest in publicity.â€ť Since I wasn’t a good test case, my vanity lawsuit—which existed only in Pedersen’s imagination—was likely to fail. But I was, according to Pedersen, willing to risk blowing gay marriage rights for all gay couples in Washington State just to quench my feverish thirst for publicity.
None of this was true—hell, Pedersen’s statements were borderline slanderous. Maybe if I had sued him then I wouldn’t have to clarify this now.
So Pedersen did to me in 2004 exactly what he did to his opponents in the 43rd District race last weekend: He misrepresented my position and my intentions. Perhaps he did it out of simple carelessness, not malice, but what does that tell us about Pedersen? This may have happened a while ago, but it was long after the invention of the telegraph, telephone, and email. If Pedersen was curious about my intentions, he should have called and asked me what I was up to before he made baseless accusations to the Seattle Times, dismissed my relationship, disappeared my child, and accused me of risking the rights of all other gay couples in Washington state. (That goes for you too, Ron Sims.)
If carelessness is a quality that 43rd district Dems are looking for in their state rep—it’s a bad trait in a politician—then it looks like Pedersen’s our man. But if support for gay marriage is what we want, then we have six candidates to choose from—again, they all support gay marriage. The seat Ed Murray’s is vacating isn’t a gay seat, and there are three other gay men—Dave Upthegrove, Joe McDermott, and Jim Moeller—in the House. Perhaps we should look at what distinguishes the six candidates in the 43rd from each other, not the issues on which they’re all in agreement.
There you have it, folks. The reason why Pedersen’s weasel move against his opponents jumped out at me last Sunday: It was dĂ©jĂ vu all over again.