Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Did the Gays Keep Rove Married?

We now learn that the man who pushed antigay marriage amendments to help Bush get elected has finalized his divorce. And let's not forget about his gay father (he was not Karl Rove's biological father but a stepfather whom Rove called his adopted father) whose rights he worked against and who is now deceased. Since the argument against marriage for gays and lesbians is that it somehow affects traditional heterosexual marriage, all over Twitter and on blogs people are joking that it must have been the gays who destroyed Rove's marriage.

But actually, gays probably prolonged Rove's marriage. People who are married for 24 years don't just wake up one day and decide it's over. The break-up is usually years in the making and they often put it off because of how it might affect others -- or themselves -- for the time being. It was hypocritical enough that Rove had a gay father whom he claimed to love and yet was pushing a cynical re-election strategy for George W. Bush that was all about demonizing gays by claiming they were destroying marriage. Rove quietly went out to Palm Springs when his father died, trying to keep it all on the down low and had been circumspect when discussing his father to reporters. To then go on and get divorced while in the thick of defending "traditional marriage" -- and any time during the Bush administration -- would have certainly only underscored that and brought a lot of attention.

So, interestingly, the Roves divorced after Bush was out of office, and after Rove had established himself as a pundit, granted a quickie Texas "amicable" divorce during the low-attention holiday time. I don't think it's a stretch to say it's quite likely gay marriage -- and that fact that Rove fought against it -- is what kept the Roves together longer than they may have stayed together otherwise.