By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 21 2014 5:36 PM ET
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has taken issue with New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent remark that antigay people “have no place” in the state, with Beck making the questionable assertion that he knows no one who’s antigay, but also saying he doesn’t want any homophobe for a friend or fan.
Cuomo made the much-criticized statement Friday on The Capitol Pressroom, a public radio show in New York State, saying that “extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, antigay … have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
Cuomo has since stated that his comments were misinterpreted by other media outlets, explaining that he was saying politicians with those views aren’t palatable to state voters, not that people with those views aren’t welcome in the state. Cuomo has been denounced by conservative pundits, including Sean Hannity, and publications, such as the National Review, but Beck’s take on the matter indicates a bit of a turn toward acceptance of LGBT people.
“I’m sorry, governor, but I don’t know anybody who is antigay,” Beck said on his radio show Monday. “And if they do, I would be the first to point them out and say, ‘That person hates gay people because they’re gay.’ … I think basing your like and dislike on somebody’s sexuality is one of the most moronic things I’ve heard.”
Beck went on to condemn Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, as he has done previously, and took issue with statements Russian president Vladimir Putin made in his recent interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week. Putin claimed — wrongly — that homosexuality is still criminalized in some parts of the U.S., and that Russia’s “propaganda” ban, which essentially prohibits any display of support for LGBT causes or even identities in venues accessible to minors, is a “softer” approach than that taken in the U.S.
“Talk about the direction of law. The direction of the law in the United States is the opposite. Those are old laws that are being nullified,” Beck said. “He is putting in new laws that are being strengthened. So the direction is going the wrong way. And Russia is fascist.”
Beck added, “Anybody within the sound of my voice that hates a gay person because they’re gay, you have no place calling yourself a fan of mine, and you are not a fan of mine. You have no friendship here.” Nor does anyone who hates another person because of their political views or religion, he said.
“However, you have a right to be my neighbor,” he said. “You have a right to be somebody in the community and somebody whose voice is heard. And I’m not going to silence your voice. You’re just wrong. I’m not afraid of your opinion.”
Beck’s claim to not know anyone who’s antigay is a bit shaky, as he’s at times allied himself with such antigay figures as Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, James Dobson, Maggie Gallagher, David Barton, John Hagee, and Alveda King, and he himself has at times strongly opposed marriage equality, at other times said the government should get out of the marriage business altogether.
Another comment of his from Monday’s show: “I don’t even know what ‘antigay’ means.” Still, in endorsing U.S. progress on LGBT rights and saying, as he did last month, that he “will stand with GLAAD” against what he calls Russia’s “hetero-fascism,” he’s exhibiting a bit of evolution.
Watch a clip from Beck’s Monday broadcast below.