The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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GOP Rep. Glenn Thompson Loves His Gay Son Except When He Doesn’t

GOP U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson

I went to Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When people ask where I went to college, it takes some explaining because inevitably I get “What’s that?” The college just underwent a name change and is now PennWest Clarion. It’s too convoluted to try to explain what that means.

U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson represents the 15th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, which includes Clarion. Having worked in Pennsylvania politics for many years, I’m familiar with most of the state’s federal representatives, except for Thompson. I never heard of him until Tuesday. And wow, talk about convoluted! When you look that word up in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Thompson’s face.

And how could Thompson show his face at his son’s same-sex wedding after voting no on marriage equality three days before? I keep reading the previous sentence over and over, and I still can’t come to grips with what Thompson did. But I have a couple of ideas about why he did what he did and how he'll end up a loser professionally and personally.

You don’t have to have experience in politics to understand what Thompson tried to do. The 15th District is in rural Pennsylvania. Donald Trump got 71 percent of the vote there in the 2020 presidential election. People in this part of the state love their guns for hunting and their God, who they believe loves their marriages straight. After all, it's in the Bible (or is it?).

Thompson has been an unbridled and unabashed supporter of Trump. After the disaster of Trump’s 2020 State of the Union, during which Trump obscenely gave the scummiest of scumbags, Rush Limbaugh, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Thompson said, “President Trump's vision for America is bold, future-focused, and packed with commonsense solutions to our greatest challenges.”

That speech was a horror show, and Nancy Pelosi put the final touches on it by ripping up Trump’s remarks.

Thompson also offered his “unequivocal support” for Trump around his impeachment trial for jerking around Ukraine, and we all know how that has turned out.

And you’re not going to be surprised to learn that Thompson has been perpetuating the "big lie," even voting against certifying Pennsylvania’s electoral votes from the 2020 election.

Thompson goes by “GT,” which presumably are the initials of his name but clearly stand for his zest for the former president, “Gleefully Trump,” or his detest of same-sex marriage, “Gay Terror.” You can only derive that in each situation, Thompson is “GT” or “Gaslighting Truth.”

What is the truth behind Thompson’s stand on marriage equality? At his son’s wedding, he said, “So this has been a really good experience, especially for Penny [his wife], to have a new son enter the family!” Or is this true, quoting Thompson’s press secretary, “This bill [the Respect for Marriage Act] was nothing more than an election-year messaging stunt for Democrats in Congress.”

If the latter is true, then was his son’s wedding “just a stunt”? After all, Thompson has been beside himself backing all the former president’s stunts during the last six years. Did Thompson wake up the next morning after his son's wedding, look at his wife, and say, “Don’t worry, once Clarence Thomas gets his way on marriage equality, the stunt we saw last night will be illegal.”

That’s got to be it! Thompson knows that in all likelihood the Senate won’t pass the House’s marriage equality bill, because a majority of Senate Republicans, like three-fourths of the House Republicans, will vote against codifying marriage equality. That means, again in all likelihood, Clarence Thomas will get his wish, and the Supreme Court will stunt marriage equality — putting it in the dustbin of history along with abortion rights.

Thompson knows that his son’s marriage will also end up in the dustbin of history. That’s why he was so euphoric at the wedding. His speech in defense of his son’s marriage was just a politician's words — or lies; Thompson is good at that, lying. While he smiled outwardly, inwardly he was seething: These people are so stupid. This marriage is a sham.

Thompson can’t have it both ways. He can’t be for marriage equality when he voted against it. He couldn't support his son’s marriage when he voted against it. He can’t welcome another son into the family because he voted against allowing that man to marry his son.

There is another side to this, the more likely one. Thompson was kowtowing to his constituents by voting against marriage equality and labeling it a stunt because that’s how his district feels about two men marrying.  

He crows about protecting the sanctity of marriage, the Bible, and the sinful idea of two men or two women tying the knot. Like all members of Congress, and I know this for a fact, Thompson likely sends out congratulatory notes to newlyweds in his district — but only to those whose nuptials were between a man and a woman.

Thompson then turns around, and with his fingers crossed behind his back, bestows his blessing on his son and his new son-in-law. He either blindly thought that no one at the wedding was smart enough to put two and two together, or he assumed the wedding guests — and his son — would understand that he had to vote no on marriage equality, or he’d be toast in the next election.

GT would then be forced to go back to being a therapist, rehabilitation services manager, and licensed nursing home administrator. That’s the job he had for 28 years before he entered politics. A therapist? As the old saying goes, “Physician (he’s not, but let’s pretend for a minute), heal thyself.”

GT, and his constituents will be happy to know that that phrase comes from the Bible. It can be found in Luke 4:23, where Jesus quotes a common Jewish phrase of the time, saying, “Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, 'Physician, heal thyself.'”

There’s also another line in the Bible, from Proverbs 12:22, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Seems to me that the lord doesn't delight in the untrustworthy Thompson and detests him as a liar.

Oh, and GT, just to remind you, the Bible never once mentions same-sex marriage. Just an FYI in case Thompson tries to spew another lie about religion and same-sex marriage to suck up to his constituents.

Because that’s all that’s left for him now. He’s backed himself into a corner. If marriage equality passes and is signed into law, his constituents will turn against Thompson because,he bragged about his gay son getting married.

And if marriage equality doesn’t pass and isn’t codified into law, and the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell, his family will turn against Thompson because he bashed the legality of his own son’s marriage.

John Casey is editor at large for The Advocate.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, Equal Pride.

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