Minnesota Republicans out Franken on lesbian jokes


It's a topsy-turvy world. And if you go for those political flicks where nobody knows who their friend is, well then don't leave your seat to pee--this one's just getting good.

At a press conference on Monday, Minnesota Rep. Laura Brod (R-New Prague) and Sen. Betsy Wergin (R-Princeton) released a letter with an attached page-long summary of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken's "tendency to objectify and insult women."

Of the eight incidents Brod and Wergin document, two involve lesbian jokes. Here's an excerpt from the document:

Franken Wrote Skit About Murder Of Lesbians: "[Franken and Davis] created a parody of TV cop shows called 'Ex-Police' (sometimes they called is 'X-Police') in which Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray played rogue cops who had been thrown off the force for excessive violence...In one episode, they barged into an apartment shared by two women and, assuming they were lesbians, battered one and murdered the other. 'Another homosexuality related death, they said as they walked out. The sketch provoked dozens of outraged letters from gay groups and other who wanted to know what was so funny about killing homosexuals." (Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad, Saturday Night; A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, Beech Tree Books, 1986, p. 161)

Franken To GLBT Group: "You Don't Have To Pay Me; All You Have To Do Is Send A Girl To My Room" - "At Least Two." "Comedian Al Franken returned to his hometown Saturday to address the annual fundraising dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, a national GLBT lobbying organization. '"You don't have to pay me; all you have to do is send a girl to my room,"' Franken said he told the HRC. 'And they did. But she turned out to be a lesbian. Great! Next time you do that, could you at least send two?' (J.H.)" (Rick Nelson; John Habich; Claude Peck; Chris Riemenschneider, "Item World: Local News And Views," Star Tribune, September 28, 2001)

The funny thing here is not Al Franken. Not at all. It's that two vocal representatives of a party openly hostile to the basic equality issues of the GLBT community are defending straight and gay women equally from Franken's frat-house brand of hetero-sexist humor. They are, in fact, modeling a kind of indiscriminate respect for the fundamental integrity of all people that the Minnesota Republican Party platform decidedly does not do. The 2008 platform isn't up yet, but here's a peek at the conventional wisdom on homosexuals that 2006 inspired in the party of Brod and Wergin:

Republicans believe that parents are responsible for their children’s education and that parents, teachers and local school boards can best make decisions about our children’s education. Therefore, we support ... enforcement of existing laws prohibiting promotion of acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgenderism when they are discussed in Minnesota public school classrooms.

And this:

The Republican Party recognizes the blessings that God has bestowed on this great Nation. We declare our faith in Him and ask His continued guidance as we work to preserve this government of “One Nation Under God”. We also recognize the sanctity of human life and marriage, and the central role of the traditional family in our society. Therefore, we believe that ... We should amend the U.S. Constitution and the Minnesota constitution to define marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman. We oppose civil unions or their legal equivalents between same-sex couples.

Strange bedfellows indeed.