In light of Germany's vice-chancellor and foreign minister seat now being filled by an openly gay man, Guido Westerwelle, Andrew Sullivan took to his Daily Dish blog to ruminate on America's' comparatively slow crawl towards accepting gays -- especially on the federal level.
"Westerwelle is now the world's leading non-leftist gay leader. His politics are eclectic: for example, he favors removing the last American nuclear weapons from Germany. He came out formally five years ago. The Germans paid no mind.
Meanwhile, in America, there are almost no openly gay politicians, and one major party seeks to marginalize and disenfranchise gay people, stripping them of all relationship rights, and running ad campaigns focused on the "threat" that openly gay couples pose to schoolkids.
The other party, while offering lip service to gay equality and being disproportionately financed by gay donors, enforces the federal ban on gay soldiers, refuses to repeal the law that requires the federal government to treat gay couples as strangers to one another, and has no openly gay people in any but minor roles in government."
And there doesn't seem to be much hope of things changing in the near future. Despite the many hurdles we've overcome in our attempt to secure basic civil rights, much of America -- including our government -- is stuck in a time warp. But it's comforting to know that even the smallest gesture -- from Lady Gaga using her (over)exposure to give visibility to the gay community to Sullivan's posts -- can make a world a difference and to remind ourselves that changes can and do happen in this country every day.