It's funny - initially I had really wild thoughts about Richardson's "gaffe" at the HRC forum recently.
This was the moment were he said being gay was a choice, backtracked and then flustered about how he was not a scientist and equality was for everyone. I have to admit, it had me puzzled. And then, thanks to Stephen Cassidy and his amazing internet work, I came upon this post from the Nation:
RK: What did you all think about the way Bill Richardson answered the question, posed by Melissa Etheridge, about whether you are born gay or choose to be gay?
AS: I thought Richardson's failure to grasp that question was one of the most poignant moments of the entire forum. It honestly didn't matter to him. It just wasn't computing. Why would it matter? Why would protection from discrimination be appropriate for people who were born Jewish but not for people who converted to Judaism? It makes no logical sense whatsoever, and I think that's why it wasn't computing with him, and I found that kind of endearing and also heartening.
LD: I think it was the inadvertent best moment in the whole forum because his answer was basically so good. He said it doesn't matter, that equality isn't a matter of choice or biology. It's when he said, "I don't want to characterize people according to some standards of science that I don't understand."
AS: It was his least political, most direct answer. You could really see him processing the question and trying to think it through because for once, he didn't have a prepared answer. It was very naked and honest--and right-on.
LD: They pushed him on it over and over again. Margaret Carlson followed up and explained to him that saying you are born gay is the ground on which equality can be claimed. But he was clearly, absolutely resisting the language of choice versus biology. It's not clear to me why he was, but he was.
TN: That marks a certain political shift. I thought it was a positive sign.
It made me think - that his answer is the right one right? Because equality is for all. Whether or not someone chooses to be a certain way or is born, that is still them and their choices.
In many ways, it is the most post-modern yet old school answer one could have offered.