Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is NASCAR Ready For An Openly Gay Driver?


Question of the Day

Fox Sports asked the question today: "Is NASCAR ready for a gay driver"? The question stemmed from an interview on the Race Hub with Stephen Rhodes, a former driver, who also happens to be gay. Stephen retired from driving to devote his time to helping his partner realize his dream of starting a restaurant. Now, that the restaurant is a flourishing business, Stephen Rhodes would like to get back into racing. Hence, the question.

I was pleasantly surprised that the comments to this article were as tolerant and positive as they were. NASCAR fans generally are not characterized by tolerance and positivity, in fact, they can often be downright vicious to those with whom they disagree. In this case, the majority seemed to have a rather casual attitude about the whole issue. In effect, "who cares?"

Naturally, there were some dissenters who wholehearted opposed what they see as a perverted lifestyle in their family friendly, wholesome sport. One told a married gay man with two children, "yeah, but you had to depend on a woman to have your children for you! because God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" Well, yeah, but couldn't the same be said for all adoptive parents, even the "normal" kind? Does that make their families any less legitimate?

(And speaking of Adam and Eve, exactly where did the rest of us come from? According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had two sons. Who were the mothers of their children since the only woman on earth at that time was, supposedly, their mother?)

And then, one commenter brought up the old "if we let men marry other men, where will it end"? idiocy. "Next", these people tell us, "people might decide they want to marry their dog or their goat and if we remove the restrictions about marriage, what's to stop them?"

Well, what's to stop them is very simple. Sex and/or marriage is between consenting adults....end of story. Your partner must be intelligent enough to make a freely offered choice. That precludes children, the severely developmentally disabled or presumably, goats and dogs. Marriage or sex cannot be based on fear or threats or force. That's what "freely offered" is all about.

Beyond that, as long as we are not doing one another harm, I really don't care. What about polygamy, you ask? In the accounts I've read, most polygamy did not involve free will. Girls were foisted off on men when they were still children, incapable of making an informed consent. This wasn't true marriage, it was child abuse disguised as marriage.

On the other hand, if one grown man and two grown women love each other and want to form a triumvirate, sharing everything they have with one another, that's okay with me. Human relationships are complex and personal and I've got no problem with letting them play out as they will.

So, eventually NASCAR will have a gay driver (or maybe already does). The only question should be: how good is he or she behind the wheel of a race car?. In Victory Lane, sexual preference is irrelevant.

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