When do right-wing websites, radical Christian bloggers and Tea Party fringe characters sincerely care about someone who is targeted simply because he or she may be gay? When they can blame the evil Muslims, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democratic policies -- that's when.
A deluge of far-right blogs and sites, based on nothing but unnamed sources and speculation, began dutifully claiming over the weekend that: 1) Ambassador Christopher Stevens was gay; 2) that the Obama administration is responsible for his death because it had the supposedly terrible judgment to send a gay man to an Islamic country, or even did it as an intentional provocation, and; 3) that Stevens' corpse was dragged outside and sodomized by an angry mob because that's what Muslims do -- they have sex with the dead bodies of gay men.
It's all beyond the pale in terms of the vile and grotesque lies perpetrated by many on the right, but it's exactly in line with those lies that started this latest explosion of hate and violence -- the film, The Innocence of Muslims, which portrays Mohammed just like they're now portraying Stevens: as a homosexual.
Most of the sites and blog posts have been accompanied by brutal photos and grainy videos of what they purport to be Ambassador Stevens' body after it was pulled from the burned consulate building in Benghazi. The reports on the right-wing blogs seem to have emanated from at least two distinct sites. One is RomanCatholicImperialists.org, which is taking great pleasure in disseminating claims of Stevens being raped before and after his death -- which has not been reported by any news organization of any kind -- with this headline: "Homosexual J. Christopher Stevens U.S. Ambassador Was Sodomized Before And After Being Murdered By Homosexual Muslims. His Inability To Discern The Evils Of Islam Got Him Killed."
And the other is Hillbuzz, where longtime gay conservative blogger and Tea Party smear artist Kevin DuJan, who last week hooked up with prominent birther Jerome Corsi to claim President Obama used to go to Chicago gay bars and bathhouses, now claims people in the gay bars in Chicago told him Stevens is gay. DuJan, who also claimed a while back that gay leftists were trying to poison him, also says it's clear from Stevens' good friend Austin Tichenor's Facebook page that Stevens and playwright and actor Tichenor were in a longtime gay relationship, mostly because of some cheesy 70s-era photos of them together which were posted on the page, as well as some references to Brideshead Revisited posted by some commenters.
That's beside the fact that Tichenor, who expresses sadness on the Facebook page for the loss of his lifelong friend Stevens, with whom he went to high school and college, thanks people for offering their condolences to him "and Dee." A few searches on the web reveal that Dee is his wife, and that they have two children. (I know: Just because a man is married to a woman doesn't necessarily mean he can't be in a relationship with another man. But you'd think the right-wing brigade would have mentioned the fact. By not doing so it betrays how they're trying to twist this into the story they want.)
DuJan claims a Serbian consulate employee in Chicago named "Dino" told him that Muslims sodomize corpses to show "utmost disrespect to the body." (This, by the way, is being reported on the other right-wing blogs as "Serbian Consulate Claims...") Like the great many others who've picked up his claims, DuJan then attacks the Obama administration for sending a gay man to be the ambassador of an Islamic country.
I don't know anything about the sexual orientation of 52-year-old Ambassador Stevens, whom the Washington Post described as "never married and had no children." But even if he were gay, it's absurd to claim he couldn't do the job, nor shouldn't have been sent to Libya, particularly since he'd been working in foreign service in North Africa for most of his working life and doing nothing less than a stellar job according to every news report. To the people who attacked him and to many of those who were scaling Western embassies in other cities, the fact that he was an American or a Westerner was enough to inspire their anger. Being gay or straight is almost beside the point.
It's encouraging, though, to learn that right-wing bloggers actually do care about the well-being of American gay people. Who knew? Now someone just needs to tell them that, when it comes to blocking us from attaining rights, Muslim fundamentalists thousands of miles away are the least of our problems. Maybe they could, oh, get their leaders here in this country to stop bashing us, and perhaps they could, say, get their presidential candidate to drop his plan to make gays second class citizens in the U.S. Constitution.