Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor in New York, does not consider gay-pride parades suitable for kids, informing the "Today" show hosts this week that parade participants "wear these little Speedos, and they grind against each other... why would you bring your children to that?" He's right, says William Saletan in Slate. "If you want [your children] to think of homosexuals as normal people," such spectacles are probably best avoided. But if Paladino is so keen on showing his offspring good role models, why is he adamantly opposed to letting responsible, boring gay couples get married? Here, an excerpt:
Drag queens... don't represent gay America any more than Mardi Gras, Spring Break, and Jersey Shore represent straight America. The reality is less sexy. According to the most recent census estimates, 700,000 to 800,000 same-sex couples now live together. One-third of them are raising children. But most of these people don't refer to their partners as spouses, and few have gotten married. Legally, they can't.
That's what makes Paladino's position so odd... if skimpily clad pole dancers are bad models for kids, the obvious antidote is to legalize and promote gay marriage.