112522-cp-web-oped-Bidlack-1

Hal Bidlack

My regular reader (Hi Jeff!) will likely recall my many references to my regular reader, Jeff. As it turns out, Jeff is a real person and is a regular reader. He’s been a very close friend for decades, and he’s a remarkable chap. He is just returned from an adventure that fulfilled a life-long goal — walking on the ice of Antarctica. Through the magic of modern technology, even near the bottom of the Earth (though I hear Australians and folks from New Zealand disagree) Jeff was able to keep his many social media followers up to date on such things as penguins, blue ice and a near-constant feeling of seasickness while transiting the Drake Passage, the roughest waters in the world.

Jeff made it through with the help of anti-nausea patches and lots of movies on his trusty iPad. And here, dear reader, is where I will start to tie this back to Colorado Politics (ed: finally!).

It seems that as Jeff was leaving the waiting area of the monster that is the Atlanta airport, he foolishly left his beloved iPad under a seat in said waiting area. On the plane he realized his error, and because of the tracking ability of the “Where am I?” app, he was able to see exactly where his gizmo was located, under a chair in the waiting area.

He immediately contacted Delta Air Lines, giving them the exact location, a location that soon moved to inside an office in the Delta complex. Huzzah, right?

Not so much. Delta lied and lied and lied. They said it could not be found, despite an exact location being given. Later, the iPad was tracked to a room in a nearby hotel used by lots and lots of Delta personnel, including pilots and flight attendants. And in that hotel room, the iPad was finally shut down and is now lost forever, except to the Delta employee who has it in his or her carry on. And yet Delta continues to insist it has no knowledge of where the device is. Frankly put, either Delta looked in the exact place it was located and couldn’t find it, or more likely, they never looked at all. Delta lied, a lot, and that’s troubling and will influence my future airline choices.

Which, of course, brings me to the national GOP and its opposition to marriage equality and same-sex marriage (ed: really?). I swear that it is true that my mind really did jump from Jeff’s frustrations to gay marriage, as I was pondering big organizations that find lying easier than telling an unflattering truth.

You may recall that back before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, back in 2015, we often heard from national GOP leaders ranting on about how gay marriage was an attack on “traditional marriage” and how such traditional marriage would be wounded, if not destroyed, if gay marriage was allowed.

This was, of course, before the GOP stole a Supreme Court seat in the last year of the Obama administration and then snuck two more far-right (and dishonest) people onto what is now a radically right and wholly partisan court (I say dishonest because all three said, in their confirmation hearings, that Roe v Wade was settled law, though Barrett said it wasn’t a “super precedent,” whatever that means).

Sign Up For Free: Gazette Opinion

Receive weekly updates from our editorial staff, guest columnists, and letters from Gazette readers. Sent to your inbox 6:30 a.m.

Success! Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Now, here in Colorado, we’ve just seen the nation’s first openly gay governor get reelected, and by a huge margin. It is clear that most folks in Colorado, to our credit, care a whole lot more about the issue positions and actions of a candidate than whom he or she loves. But nationally, at least in the GOP, this bigotry is not rejected and is in fact, often embraced, especially by the MAGA crowd.

So, I thought to myself, I wonder how devastating to traditional marriage the ruling on traditional marriage has actually been. I started close to home and asked my wife if she wanted a divorce because gay people can get married. She said no. Or rather, she said, “well, not for that reason,” so I’m feeling pretty comfortable here.

A quick internet search of the phrase “list of Republican divorces because of marriage equality” did not return a single example of a GOP marriage that just couldn’t go on, knowing that gay people were getting married. The search did return a number of examples of GOP hypocrisy on the issue, such as GOP Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, who represents Pennsylvania’s 15th district, who recently voted against the “Respect for Marriage Act” and then three days later attended his son’s marriage. More specifically, his son’s marriage to another man. You know, a gay marriage. And the list of hypocritical behaviors does not stop there.

Now, to be clear, a simple search of social media is not exhaustive. Perhaps there does exist somewhere in a deeply red state a couple that truly loved each other but decided that they must now divorce because of gay marriage. But, frankly, I doubt it.

I’m so pleased to live in Colorado, where I did not see (though of course, there might have been some) a single anti-Polis advertisement that focused on his private life (which, by the way, includes a happy marriage and a couple of great kids). Perhaps in the Centennial State, we have moved past homophobia being a dominate political force. And congratulations to the Republican couples who decided that, as it turns out, their own marriages were in no way impacted by marriage equality.

And so, just as Delta Air Lines has repeatedly lied (or been grossly incompetent) to my friend, the national GOP apparently lied (or was grossly incompetent) when it came to marriage equality destroying their “traditional” marriages (ed: I was wondering if you were going to tie things together).

I hope this means that, just perhaps, there are more and more on the far right who are coming to the realization that a same-sex couple being happily married doesn’t impact them one bit.

Hal Bidlack is a retired professor of political science and a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who taught more than 17 years at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.