08/12/2007 03:25 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Gay Squirm Factor

One of my favorite jokes: a Jewish guy is talking to a gentile and says, "Nobody cares about the Jews anymore. Nobody cares about the Jews. Last night I dreamed Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews, and two rodeo clowns."

The gentile says, "Why did he kill two rodeo clowns?"

The Jewish guy says, "See? Nobody cares about the Jews."

I just returned from Denmark and Sweden, where nobody cares about the gays. In Denmark gay marriage is legal and in Sweden it might as well be. Most of Western Europe and Canada are the same, with full marriage equality or at least equivalent rights. Straight people leave gays alone and let them live their lives and, except for the requisite pockets of religious fanaticism, no one cares. Either they are more enlightened, not poisoned by religion or just drunk most of the time, but nobody cares about the gays.

In America the spectacle of uncomfortable straights tiptoeing around gays is in full squirm. The HRC/LOGO Democratic forum showed the candidates gamely trying to not run screaming into the night. Hillary was at her prerecorded best trying to justify her hubby's crippling Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell, two laws passed only to appease said uncomfortable straights. Obama danced around the reasons why black churches are so antigay (if he had just said "The brothers just don't like the 'mos," it would have been honest).

Melissa Etheridge, dubbed by George Stephanopolous as "the new Ted Koppel," helped John Edwards continue his gift of free publicity to Ann Coulter, deny that he ever said he was uncomfortable around 'those people,' and reassure us that he's comfortable now and just as cute as ever. Then she asked Bill Richardson, who once used the word "maricon" on the Don Imus show, if being gay was a choice. He sputtered, "It's a choice," before going into compete "Holy fucking shit, let me backpedal" mode. He might as well have said, "Bear with me, the only reason I'm here is so you maricons will support me - I'm Latino, for God's sake." The only way he weaseled out of it was to congratulate Melissa on her Oscar.

Only Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel endorsed marriage equality, easy to do when you don't have a chance in hell. The others gave convoluted answers, not having the nerve to say Look, it would be OK with me, kinda sorta, but there's no way I'm going to get elected if I support it. I'll pass the buck so your marriages can vary from state to state, like cell phone service.

Republicans might have agreed to the forum had it been held in a giant closet. Matt Barber of Concerned Women For America went ballistic, writing "It's shameful that our nation's moral standards have nose-dived to the point that it's now considered good and "tolerant" to hold a debate organized entirely around the promotion of sexual immorality." The head of the CWA is Beverly LaHaye, wife of "Left Behind" author Tim LaHaye. Their son Lee is, by most accounts, gay. One can only imagine the squirm factor in that office.

The head of the Young Republicans was just caught yanking a buddy in the dead of night, and all traces of his existence were yanked from the website. Rep. Bob Allen (R-FLA) offered an undercover cop $20 for a blowjob and then squirmed out of it, blaming it on his fear of blacks in the park. Gee, I feel like blowing someone every time I walk through Harlem.

The mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, Gaytown USA, made enough antigay comments to force a possible recall election. Meanwhile, the new Florida governor denies he's gay, while everyone else begs to differ.

San Diego firefighters scream and holler because they had to be in the horrible gay pride parade and people made suggestive comments to them. What a bunch of faggots.

In entertainment, the squirming continues apace. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, South Park and Lil'Bush crank out every gay stereotype in the book for cheap yuks and then make half-assed statements about "tolerance," not to mention the thought of Adam Sandler and Kevin James having sex, which makes gays squirm.

It's enough to make you want to move to Scandinavia, where nobody cares about the gays. If it just wasn't so freaking cold.