Mitt Romney on the death of Sally Ride

“Today, America lost one of its greatest pioneers. The first American woman in space, Sally Ride inspired millions of Americans with her determination to break the mold of her time. She was a profile in courage, and while she will be missed, her accomplishments will never be forgotten.”

Mitt Romney, on the death of Sally Ride.

Note: Ride’s partner of 27 years will be denied any federal benefits she might have gotten if they’d been an opposite-sex married couple.

Memo to Mr. Romney: If you don’t support our most fundamental relationships — if, in fact, you dedicate a significant amount of your political career to undermining those relationships, and make political hash out of marginalizing us and playing on people’s fears and hatred of us — you don’t get to speak about us with sentimental gushing after we’re dead.

Second memo to Mr. Romney: Fuck you.

Mitt Romney on the death of Sally Ride

105 thoughts on “Mitt Romney on the death of Sally Ride

  1. 1

    Sally Ride was one of my first heroes. She was the one who gave a dear friend of mine the courage to come out the closet.

    The world is a darker place today.

  2. 6

    Yea, I have a story too… I was born in 77, saw the challenger explode live on tv. I loved Sally ride, never new she was a lesbian like i am. It makes me just as mad that her partner will not get the support that she needs as it does that those women, like me, who served in our military will jot get the benefits they deserve.

    Mitt Romney is a shell, he does not take a stand because he does not care. So I can’t count the shits I do not give for him.

    But to those who actually have a stance that Sally Ride, and those I served with, and even myself, do are not human enough, though we gave so much…

    I have no response. There is nothing I can say, especially because of who I am, that will make a difference. I just hope you will learn what real love is before you die.

  3. 7

    What I find hard to believe is that this jackass actually has a chance to become president. I don’t think he’ll win, but even getting his name on the ballot is a travesty. He’s part of what makes America not so great.

  4. 9

    BBC’s obit outlines some of Prof. Ride’s other achievements, mentioning “… Ride is survived by her mother and partner Tam O’Shaughnessy.”

    I can’t decide whether that’s deliberately underplaying her orientation (as it would be in the US) or basic decency.

    Here’s hoping her funeral happens on a day when the Phelpses are busy.

  5. 10

    What Greta said.

    Sally Ride risked her life with her fellow astronauts. For that, I salute her–and am a little ashamed that she had to keep her true life so quiet. I knew she’d been married–perhaps because there was no other way she could fly?

    What a crime if the sky had been her limit…

  6. 12

    Thanks for highlighting this, Greta. This is one of the points I make to people who say, what does it matter if gay people can’t marry?

    Oh, and fuck Mitt Romney and the homophobes he panders to.

  7. 13

    Does anyone know if Sally was gay or bisexual? People seem to assume her marriage to a man was a lie, but i havent seen any proof of that. Id hate to see her bisexuality erased IF it it happens to be true. Anyway, mitt’s against the whole lgbt crowd, not to mention women.

  8. 16

    No one knows. This wasn’t even publicly known before now. Ride was intensely private and didn’t share much about her personal life – probably in part because she was in the closet.

    Also about the marriage. She started her relationship to O’Shaughnessy in 1985, but wasn’t divorced until 1987. Make of that what you will.

  9. 17

    I was filled with such happiness reading Greta’s earlier post about the support and respect given to her marriage during her recent emergency; not happy about the knee of course, but happy because I’m a sucker for a love story and I know what it means to have someone who loves you in your corner.

    But this: “Ride’s partner of 27 years will be denied any federal benefits she might have gotten if they’d been an opposite-sex married couple.” just makes me want to weep. I hope the American people will reach out to Sally’s partner even if her government won’t.

  10. 19

    Fuck Mitt Romney with a broomstick wrapped in rusty barbed wire!

    kennypo65 @ #14: No. Nobody deserves that. Not Mitt Romney; nobody. Please don’t use that kind of violent sexual language on my blog. Thanks.

  11. 20

    As a military wife, I’m angry that Sally’s spouse and others like her will not have the benefits that I enjoy. They have made the same sacrifices in supporting their spouses that the rest of us have, and deserve all of the same respect and benefits.
    This is an issue that I would like to see resolved.

  12. 22

    I’m sad to see that Sally Ride died much too young. I’m outraged that her partner won’t get the benefits to which she would be entitled had they been in a same-sex marriage. I am convinced the tide is turning on this issue, but it’s too late Ride’s partner and so many others.

    Does anyone know of a charity that supports the same-sex partners of people who would be entitled to federal benefits had they been married? I’m particularly thinking of people who have lost partners far too young in service to the country– NASA, the military, etc. It seems that making a donation to such a group would be a fitting memorial to Dr. Ride.

  13. 23

    I suspect that Mittens doesn’t even realize what he is doing. But I hope someone tells him soon so that he stumbles around like the idiot he is. I remember Sally Ride from when I was a little girl, and she definitely was a role model. I’m glad she came out, even if it was in her obituary. Young LGBT scientists need role models, and she is a badass.

  14. 26

    Greta, two appropriate 2nd memo’s to Romney would be either “Hasa Diga” (from Book of Mormon), or, since he was a missionary in France, maybe he would understand “va te faire foutre” better.

    (no, I don’t know squat of french, but this site knows how to say this phrase in any language )

    P.S. since I’m on the subject, sort-of – to all the blow hards that think that the Colorado massacre, or the Zimmerman debacle were “god’s plan”, even if I were a believer, I’d have to say Hasa Diga Eebowai!

  15. 27

    Not to put words in Tam O’Shaughnessy’s mo

    Damn!! Twice in the last ten minutes a nearby bolt of lightning has crashed my system! If I were of a superstitious bent and so forth and, well, you know. To continue:

    Not to put words in Tam O’Shaughnessy’s mouth, but the reference to a well known Edgar Allan Poe story simply came to mind. The picture of walling someone up, of separating them from the world of the free and the happy, is simply inescapable. I hope for the day when the wall is torn down and the light of day shines everywhere.

    Fly, Sally. Fly.

    And comfort to Tam.

  16. 28

    As one of the pingbacks notes, Sally and her partner might have married in California (that is, if they had wanted to), except for the fact that Romney’s fucking church bankrolled Prop 8.

    Fuck him and the Olympic show horse he rode in on.

  17. 30

    Just to clarify, as an ex-Navy paper pusher… Any spouse in any marriage performed after the end of active duty is not entitled to military benefits. The only exception would be survivor benefit plan- a overpriced form of life insurance. Anyone, even a gay partner can be the beneficiary. It is not a very good deal and civilian life insurance plans are much better. Perhaps her desire for privacy should be respected in death. Just my opinion.

  18. 34

    Please don’t use that kind of violent sexual language

    Interesting. “Fuck him” is OK, but “Fuck him with broomstick wrapped in rusty barbed wire” is not? The specificity of the implement to be used for the metaphorical rape is the problem, not the metaphorical rape itself?

    Or, if “fuck him” is not meant to be taken literally, why is it that the hyperbolised metaphor suddenly is? If “fuck him” is not strong enough, how do you emphasise it without turning it into a rape metaphor? Is “fuck him sideways” a rape comment?

    Or, is it that “fuck him” is a rape comment that we’ve not noticed because it’s in a cultural blind spot? Should we actually stop using it, and find some other preferred form of insult?

  19. 37

    Vale Sally Ride, the heroic woman who broke the glass sky and who we know now has broken more ground (sky?) than we thought at the time.

    To her friends and family and Tam O’Shaughnessy, my condolences and sympathies. Know that she will be remembered for a long time to come and, hopefully, there will one day be spacecraft bearing her name heading to new found and maybe new forged worlds.

    There is a good item here which folks may enjoy and may not have seen yet :

    ‘Sally Ride: One (Former) Little Girl’s Memories’ by Veronica Arreola, director of the University of Illinois, Chicago Women in Science & Engineering Program and self described professional feminist.

    Mittens RMoney is beneath contempt and unworthy of mentioning in the same breath as Sally Ride.

    Mittens, if you honour and respect her memory then you need to honour and respect her partner as well. It’s that simple.

  20. 38

    I wanted to be an astronaut growing up. Even joined the Air Force. For a month, until they booted me for being a Lesbian. (This was 1980, after all.) All of the astronauts were my heroes. Now Sally Ride has a special place in my Hall of Heroes.

  21. 40

    To her friends and family and Tam O’Shaughnessy… [my emphasis]

    @StevoR: I’m sure your slip was unintentional… but Tam is her family. Drawing a distinction is unnecessary.

    Just sayin’.

  22. 42

    So let me get this straight: the most important thing about Sally Ride was that she is someone like you, and therefore that’s all that anyone gets to mention when she dies? Anyone who disagrees with you is not allowed to say anything good about her? Her memory is completely the property of whomever deems her to be most similar to him or herself?

    Congratulations! You’re a politician!

  23. 43

    @Joel J. Adamson

    Umm, no, you did not get it straight at all. You completely missed the point. Congratulations on that.

    Now, to get you straight…
    Mitt Romney is a hypocrite. This should be obvious by now.
    The point that was being made is, if you are doing everything you can to deny the rights and equality of a group of people, you do not get to use their death as a way to promote your own patriotism.

    Now that you are straight, get over yourself.

  24. 44

    Mitt Romney is an over-privileged shit who has, his entire life, been neatly insulated from the difficulties faced by ordinary people, and he shows no interest or curiosity in investigating what life is like for the lowly masses but seems to present himself as a man who has all the answers.

    Romney praising her is him pretending to care. If you cared about someone, you would pass legislation that would help them and the people they love. Otherwise, you’re just a bunch of hot air. He’s basically saying “we appreciate you, but the one thing that would be a great help to you I’m totally against.”

  25. 45

    @Karellen #34 – My guess would be “fuck” is so varied in meaning. A simple “fuck you” or “fuck him” is a usage that shows contempt and isn’t being used in a sexual manor as it was by kennypo65 in #14.

  26. 46

    @Karellen #34 – My guess would be “fuck” is so varied in meaning. A simple “fuck you” or “fuck him” is a usage that shows contempt and isn’t being used in a sexual manor as it was by kennypo65 in #14.

    Err, you seem to have mistaken the objection for one being made in good faith.

  27. 48

    Any spouse in any marriage performed after the end of active duty is not entitled to military benefits.

    Thanks for the info. I changed by meme to be more general to avoid making a statement that might not be the case.

  28. 49

    A few notes worth noting:

    Sally Ride was not in the closet, she just wasn’t public on a media level about her partner or orientation because it was private and she wanted to focus on encouraging kids, especially girls, to pursue science. She was out on a local level, going out with her partner to public places and even working together on her company as well as authoring books together. It wasn’t a secret, it just wasn’t talked about beyond her family and perhaps her friends (we don’t know that many details, only what her family has chosen to say). There were even members of the media who knew and respected her privacy (as crazy as that seems given the climate of most media today…).

    We’ll likely never know the truth about her marriage to Steve Hawley unless he chooses to divulge such information.

    So, let’s just celebrate the awesome power couple we didn’t realize existed, the women who worked so hard to empower girls, and the fact that the US finally let a woman go to space about 20 years after they should have. Better late than never, and right now a female US astronaut is getting ready to take command of the International Space Station! Barriers have fallen, indeed.

    As for Romney, well, that was all a given. Hypocrisy is the norm with that one.

  29. 50

    @Joel J. Adamson Thank you for your point, I agree with you. I am not gay, but I really wouldn’t want to be defined solely by who I sleep with and I doubt that Ms. Ride did either. The fact that most people didn’t know about her sexual preferences speaks volumes. The idea that those who don’t support gay marriage are ‘not allowed’ to admire her is absurd.

  30. 51

    Congratulations! You’re a politician!

    Well congratulations to you Joel, you’re an ass.

    The hypocrisy of Rmoney calling Sally Ride a hero, when in fact he would more likely consider her a deviate is clear.

  31. 52

    Preferring brunettes over blondes is a sexual preference. Preferring one position over another is a sexual preference. Being gay or bisexual isn’t. And, being gay is about more than who you sleep with.

    Also, the mainstream media are treating this a minor thing for the most part. Most just quote her obituary. Just like she intended. But it’s a different thing for a gay website or blog, or even one that only deals with LGBT teams part of the time, such as this one. In this context, putting a bit more focus on her sexual orientation is appropriate. No one is saying that it’s the most important thing about her.

  32. 54

    …and if her committed relationships were treated the same as opposite-sex committed relationships we wouldn’t be talking about this right now.

    Sorry, but Mitt and others upholding and re-enforcing laws and social norms that treat people’s relationships as lacking value – you know the types of laws and norms that could have stopped Tam from making medical decisions and visiting Sally, could make inheritance difficult, etc – they are sort of being awful.

    Talking about how great she was – WHICH SHE WAS – while using her oppression to garner votes is obnoxious.

    I doubt anyone is saying that Mitt et al. can’t admire her without accepting everything about her – however, if he really respected her as a full human being, than he wouldn’t be supporting disallowing her and her partner, and her sister the same rights as others.

  33. 55

    @Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven – no, that comment was certainly intended to be in good faith. I really do think it’s an interesting twist of language, and worth exploring.

    (Disclaimer – I am firmly of the opinion that rape is not a joking matter, even when discussing situations like the prison rape of paedophiles, except when it is.)

    Is “fuck him” really non-sexual? I know we don’t normally think of it in a sexual manner, but does that make it not the case? People didn’t consider the use of male pronouns and the like to be sexist for a long time, until they actually thought about it.

    “fuck” is a sexual word. Although it can be used in many contexts, whenever “fuck” has a meaning (e.g. isn’t just an intensifier) that meaning is sexual. What can the “fuck” in “fuck him” possibly mean if it is not sexual? It can’t be an intensifier, as in “that’s a fucking disgrace” or “that’s fucking awful”, because “Terrible him!” or “Very him!” don’t make any sense at all.

    If “fuck him” has become a phrase by itself that is divorced from the act of fucking, why does the emphatic version “…with a barbed wire broom” become sexual, instead of simply being a more extreme “fuck him”? How else could one hyperbolise “fuck him”, without making it sexual? “fuck him sideways”? “fuck him, and twice on Sundays”? “fuck him sideways”? “fuck him in his fucking ass” (where else were you going to fuck him)?

    How about “Go fuck yourself”? Does telling someone to perform a sexual act upon themselves, rather than implying you’d use physical force to do it yourself, make it acceptable? In that case, what about “go fuck yourself with a barbed wire broom”?

    Or, and I am being serious, is “fuck him” sexual language that we’d simply not noticed, because we’d not taken time to think about it? Is it like the male pronoun blind spot that no-one had thought about before someone actually brought the subject up? Is it like the racist/ableist/sexist/neurodeviant/etc… insults you learned in the playground, before you understood what it was you were actually saying and realised it wasn’t acceptable.

    Have we been saying something unacceptable all these years? Yes, it’s an uncomfortable thought, especially as we consider ourselves the type of people who take care about the words we use and the things we say. If we’ve been using such language for so long, and we’re all so bloody conscientious, it can’t be a bad thing, can it? Can it?

    Can it?

    How can we know? What standard can we use that we can be sure isn’t just making an excuse for ourselves? (Do not fool yourself. Also, you are the easiest person to fool.)

    Do we have an opportunity here to learn that we were wrong, and to become better people for it?

    Or am I overthinking things, again…?

  34. 58

    Perhaps I can shed a little light on whether or not Sally was gay or bi. I knew her when we were both grad students at Stanford. Her office was just a few doors down the hall from mine. At that time, she was dating another guy who was a physics grad student and/or post-do c (I can’t quite remember). When Sally left he went with her to Houston. He was working on what is known as a free-electron laser. I know he got a position at some academic institution down there (Rice perhaps?). We thought they were going to get married but then the relationship seemed to end quietly. Later, of course, she married a fellow astronaut.

    I think it was definitely true that having a boy friend was necessary for Sally to get selected as America’s first woman in space. Stupid, but that’s the way it was then. I also suspect that marrying Hawley a result of pressure from NASA rather than her own preference, and I further suspect that one reason she left NASA was that she no longer wanted to have to pretend to be something she wasn’t.

    But I want to also say that I can’t believe Sally was ever dishonest with her boyfriend or her husband. I think she must have been fond of them and sort of felt that if she had to play the role of being straight she’d at least pick someone she liked and respected.

    Finally, I’m pretty sure that even now, NASA would have a great deal of trouble selecting someone as an astronaut who was openly a member of the GLBTQ community.

  35. 59

    To anyone who that suspects that Mittens doesn’t even realize what he is doing, he does. I always thought that if the Mormon church knew what they were doing they wouldn’t mistreat LGBT people so badly. Well guess what, they know, and they don’t care. They believe they are better than LGBT, and many other groups (ie: any non-mormon religion) they believe they are closer to GOD, it even says so in the full name of the Mormon church. The Church of Jesus Christ of “LATTER-DAY SAINTS”. Do not let them off that easy, they may act oblivious to the pain they cause, but they are NOT! And Mittens is worse than most mormons. A little FYI from an ex-mormon, queer in Utah!

  36. 66

    @ Karellen #55 – Now I understand what JAQing off is and see why folks on FtB get so frustrated with them. Try answering some of those questions you are asking, otherwise, go away because you obviously don’t care enough yourself to try and answer them. I will say again as well, “fuck” is not always a sexual word.

  37. 67

    Greta, Mitt Romney is not…nor has he ever been…in any position to influence who gets federal benefits. If we want to criticize someone for failure to act on that, we should criticize President Obama. He could issue an executive order immediately which would provide federal benefits to the surviving spouse of anyone in a gay marriage. And if he didn’t have the gumption to do that, then back when the Democrats had complete control of congress, he could have at least gotten one of his fellow Democrats to introduce a bill providing federal benefits to a surviving gay spouse. But he did nothing.
    It’s rather unfair and downright hypocritical to criticize someone for something he’s had no control over, while saying absolutely nothing to the person who DOES control it. I blame President Obama more than I do Mitt Romney for the fact that those of us in committed gay relationships do not qualify for any kind of federal or state benefits for a life partner we may leave behind.

  38. 68

    @Forrest: Sorry I can’t figure out how to convince you I wasn’t meaning to troll. *shrug*

    But, I don’t quite see how I’m JAQing off – I’m not entirely sure who I’m meant to be accusing of what as my subtext here? Yes, I rambled on with questions far longer than is polite (sorry, Greta) but that’s not JAQing off. Can you elaborate a bit, so I can spot the JAQ pattern and avoid repeating it in the future?

    I didn’t even think I was asking that many questions. Yes, there are a lot of question marks in my post, but they’re mostly the same question – where does the line between sexual and non-sexual uses of the word “fuck” get crossed? And I was only asking it because I honestly can’t figure it out for myself. The closer I look, the fuzzier the line gets.

    (Occupational hazard of the software developer – trying to figure out precise rules for everything. Stop over-analyzing so much, use personal judgement instead.)

    Still, will take your advice and go away. Having (apparently?) dug myself into a hole, best course of action is to just stop digging. Sorry again for the noise.

  39. 69

    Pierce, it will be a testament to Ride if the WBC shows up. “Live your Life in such a way that the Westboro Baptist Church will want to picket your funeral.”

    They showed up at my children’s high school last year (they were in town to picket the Steve Jobs memorial service at Apple). What a sad group of pathetic people. They failed miserably at the high school, as the administration wisely advised the students that the best response was no response. Students entered the school through a side gate. The WBS, completely ignored, left after a few minutes.

    Funny thing about Romney is that he really was never a far-right social conservative. He was pro-choice and was not anti-gay. He had to do what he’s done to appeal to the Tea Party people and the religious right. He’ll say whatever it takes to win. He has no morals.

  40. 70

    @ 40. crystalsinger says:

    To her friends and family and Tam O’Shaughnessy… [my emphasis]
    @StevoR: I’m sure your slip was unintentional… but Tam is her family. Drawing a distinction is unnecessary.

    Yes, good point, that’s right indeed.

    In retrospect I should have changed that “and” to especially.

  41. 71

    Lakeisha Jackson | July 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm :

    Greta, Mitt Romney is not…nor has he ever been…in any position to influence who gets federal benefits.

    Not true; Romney has long been a substantial donor to the Mormon church, and they seek to prevent LGBT people from having any set of benefits equivalent to marriage. He’s also a prominent Republican. With his money, and his position, he has a lot more influence than most people has. (And no, I do not believe the lip service he paid to LGBT rights when he sought political power in MA offsets the ill he’s done by supporting the LDS church and the Republican party.)

    He doesn’t have Obama’s direct ability to issue executive orders about the topic, but that’s not at what Greta said.

    Romney does seek precisely the power Obama has failed to exercise, but he does so at the head of a party that would hold him to using such power for ill.

    (Obama’s failure to issue such executive orders is serious problem, and shows he’s not willing to take great risks on the issue, but not the topic of the post.)

  42. 72

    I don’t like Mitt and I have no plan on voting for him but what does one thing have to do with another?

    Sally was indeed an American Hero and her sexuality will never change that. Is it so wrong to be against gay marriage but still recognize those who benefited Americans, paved the way for women, and served as inspiration to young girls and just so happened to be gay?

    I find it disgusting that people can’t mourn this woman who has done so much for women’s history without pushing a Gay Agenda and using Sally’s memory to do.

    Also, you lost me with “fundamental relationships”. What the hell does that mean?

    Either way, Fail on the authors part. She is using Sally as a weapon to attack Mitt about her frustrations on Gay Marriage. This is not the time or place to do it.

  43. 74

    If people are interested in female astronauts and what they’ve been through and accomplished and their stories -not just Sally Ride but many of the 42 (so far) others – I’d like to recommend Bettyann Holtzmann kevles’ book ‘Almost heaven -the story of women in space’ (MIT Press,2006.) if you can find a copy.

    Co-incidentally today – 25th July 2012 – marks the 28th anniversary of the first ever spacewalk by a woman, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in 1984. (Source : Page 20, The Advertiser newspaper’s “Remember When” column.

  44. 75

    @72. Bookworm :

    Is it so wrong to be against gay marriage ..

    YES! Yes it is.

    Oh & its better to refer to it as equal marriage too.

    Yes, it is horribly wrong to deny people equal treatment and discriminate agianst them because of their sexual orientation.

    I find it disgusting that people can’t mourn this woman who has done so much for women’s history without pushing a Gay Agenda and using Sally’s memory to do.

    How about Sally Rides living, breathing mourning partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, being discriminated against and neglected and denied the same rights and benefits of others because of Sally their sexuality? Doesn’t that strike you as far more disgusting?
    It sure does to me.

    Also using the right-wing talking point of a “gay agenda” = instant fail on your part.

    Either way, Fail on the authors part. She is using Sally as a weapon to attack Mitt about her frustrations on Gay Marriage. This is not the time or place to do it.

    When *would* be the time in your not-so-humble and, of course, all-powerful judgement then?

    When everyone’s forgotten her? A month’s time? A year later? A decade later?

    When is it time to speak it against an injustice that is happening now in front of everyone?

    Well, how about right now when you see it!?

  45. 76

    @ #55 Karallen

    Second memo to Mr. Romney: Fuck you.

    I don’t think you were JAQing & I’m also very sensitive to violence. Notice, however, that Greta said “fuck you” and not “fuck him”. On a plain text basis, you’re right they are the same. “Fuck You” however, has a rather specific non-active meaning. Think something along the lines of “the specific meaning of your words and the context you’re using in are so awful and painfully stupid that dealing with them substantively is pointless and I am disgusted by them.” Greta has been very consistent over time on where and when she says “fuck you.”

    @#66 Mr. Forrest – let’s have a one-bite rule please before letting the accusations fly.

  46. 77

    Sally was indeed an American Hero and her sexuality will never change that.

    True — which is just more proof that bigotry against gays and lesbians has no basis in reason or reality.

    Is it so wrong to be against gay marriage but still recognize those who benefited Americans, paved the way for women, and served as inspiration to young girls and just so happened to be gay?

    Yes, it IS wrong, just as it is wrong to be against interracial marriage while recognizing that nonwhites are capable of doing good.

    I find it disgusting that people can’t mourn this woman who has done so much for women’s history without pushing a Gay Agenda and using Sally’s memory to do.

    You find it disgusting that we can’t mourn someone without remembering she had suffered unfair treatment while she was alive? Excuse the shit out of us.

    She is using Sally as a weapon to attack Mitt about her frustrations on Gay Marriage. This is not the time or place to do it.

    This isn’t about “frustrations,” you self-important prick, this is about real injustices that violated some widely-understood standards of justice — injustices that Romney has actively supported, and for which he’s therefore a legitimate target of criticism. Brushing this off as “frustrations,” while pretending your own feelings of “dusgust” are more important, is just plain infantile. Go back to bed.

  47. 79

    Why is it wrong? I’m against gay marriage, bigamy and adult-child relationships; I’m unashamed to say so. However, my respect and admiration for Sally will never be override by my personal feeling towards her life style. She is an American Hero and always will be. Thomas Jefferson had a relationship with an underage girls and that doesn’t change his contributions to American History one bit. Nor does it change those of the past who owned slaved and etc.

    Denying people equal treatment under what? We all have the right to get married–to someone of the opposite sex. The same way we all have to right to marry–one other person. And we all have the right to engage in a sexual relationship with someone who is above or below the consenting age (depending on our age). Do you change the foot because the shoe doesn’t fit?

    Being discriminated against what? Is this woman unemployed? Is she without health insurance? Is she banned from getting Sally’s assets? Is she being denied the right to vote? No to all of those so please tell me how she is denied “rights”. You can’t be deny something that you never had and her right to get those things are never denied. She just doesn’t comply with the standards to get them.

    I find it disgusting that Sally herself had kept her personal life…PERSONAL and people are now using her death to push an agenda that Sally herself never tagged onto. I’m sure her and her partner were in love and what not but Sally was much less a gay woman as she was a bi-sexual and she decided to spend half of her life with a woman she has known since she was 12. However, she had a husband who she was married too for 5 years.

    The time or place is on the political stage; not during the mourning period of an American Hero. Sally Ride died from a horrible cancer that has taken the lives quickly of many people we know publically; Steve Jobs being one of them. Instead of pushing an agenda on Gay marriage, people should be looking to educated other on this form of deadly cancer that does not care what your sexuality is.

  48. 80

    I find it disgusting that Sally herself had kept her personal life…PERSONAL…

    I find it disgusting that so many ignorant bigots make such a public issue out of other people’s personal lives. They’re the ones who made Ride’s personal life a public issue, by poisoning our public discourse with their stupid hatred over things that were none of their business to start with. You should be directing your disgust at the bigots, not the people who talk about the bigotry.

    Instead of pushing an agenda on Gay marriage, people should be looking to educated other on this form of deadly cancer that does not care what your sexuality is.

    So it’s wrong to “use her death” to talk about the evils of anti-gay bigotry, but it’s perfectly okay to use her death to talk about a certain form of cancer? On what authority do you lecture us on how we get to talk about Ride’s death?

    If you don’t want to hear about Ride’s personal life, then why are you here at all? The answer is obvious: to push YOUR agenda while pretending it’s wrong to push an agenda.

  49. 81

    I’m against gay marriage, bigamy and adult-child relationships…

    Well, that explains why you’re so upset that we talk about your bigotry: it’s not that we’re pushing an agenda, it’s that we’re pushing an agenda that you don’t agree with.

    I’m unashamed to say so.

    Really? I think you ARE ashamed, and that’s why you’re trying to deter us from talking about your bigotry.

    However, my respect and admiration for Sally will never be override by my personal feeling towards her life style.

    That’s nice. Will you, instead, allow your stupid bigotry to be overriden by the real-life example that clearly proves how wrong it is?

    PS: Do you really mean to equate Sally Ride’s relatinship to “bigamy and adult-child relationships?” Because that’s exactly what you did in the first sentence of your last comment, you moronic sack of shit.

  50. 82

    Imagine how unhappy Romney would be if he were demonized for his religion. Oh, wait. I guess it’s OK to demonize people for their sexuality – because, god.

  51. 83


    “Denying people equal treatment under what? We all have the right to get married–to someone of the opposite sex. The same way we all have to right to marry–one other person. And we all have the right to engage in a sexual relationship with someone who is above or below the consenting age (depending on our age). Do you change the foot because the shoe doesn’t fit?”

    Interesting concept of rights. We all have the right to practice religion, so long as it’s Islam. See what I did there? See how quickly your concept of rights falls apart when we force a choice when there are equally valid alternatives that should be options to choose?

    I don’t want to necessarily practice your religion, nor do I want to practice your heterosexual marriage. I want to marry and have legal recognition of my consenting, adult relationship like my straight peers can. I want to to have my partner recognized in court of law as my partner, I want my partner to be able to visit my hospital bed, and I want to have it assumed I place important life decisions in my partner’s hands because we are married. I want this while having the ease of signing one legal document to accomplish this; a legal document that doesn’t ask if you love the person you are co-signing with, a document that doesn’t care how long you’ve known each other, a document that doesn’t ask you to have the capability of producing offspring (or if you will raise children, though we plan to), and a document that doesn’t even care if you plan on living or sharing your life in any capacity with the person you co-sign with. All that document cares is that you are of legal age to enter a legal contract, of opposite sex (in most states), and that you have money to pay for the document.

    What exactly are you opposed to here? Removing the opposite sex part does not change this system in any meaningful way, and to be opposed to it just because it’s two men/women entering into the contract seems like you just want to treat us differently for no good reason/animus (i.e., you’re being a bigot).

  52. 84

    Hey, Bookworm, you still need to answer my question: do you or do you not consider Sally Ride’s long-term intimate relationship comparable to an adult-child relationship?

    Way to recognize an American Hero, you hypocritical asshole.

  53. 85

    Of Sally Ride’s sexual orientation, Bear Ride said, “Sally didn’t use labels..”

    The above, from the interview article, was good for me.
    I don’t like being labeled bisexual myself – it feels so dumb when you are in a committed relationship. I’m not well read on that subject, but suspect bi folks feel this way rather often.
    (PS: I am not saying Ride is bi. I will not label her.)

  54. 86

    Actually, no because the constitution states we have freedom of religion and that religion is not specified. However, current laws have prohibited many people form infringing their religion onto other ala school prayers and etc. Hell some people want to remove the word God from our currency , constitution, and a few other national documents because it represents a Christian god.

    The same says we have the right to bear arms but it is against the law to murder someone. In other words, every law has an end point.

    I have no religion; I’m an agnostic. But Yes, I am a heterosexual and your choice to not practice marriage is indeed your choice but we should not change a thing to accommodate that said choice. I am all for civil unions but I feel the term marriage is not something it should be called. You can be in a committed relationship with someone without being married to them. Sally Ride herself has proved that to us and her nor her partner were married or attempted to get married in the very few states that recognize “gay marriage”.

    Your cute little “I want my partner this..” speech was nice but it doesn’t change a thing. Again, I believe civil unions will solve your little problem.

    If it doesn’t, I’m not sure if I feel too bad about it. There are plenty of other forms of couples/relationships that have to conform to today’s standards; Gay are no different.

    Next comment….

  55. 88

    @Raging Bee
    I apologize if my response do not come quick enough for you. Some of us actually do have lives outside of the internet.Someone must be very uptight and taking all of this way too personally.

    Sally was a grown woman. You nor I knew her personally enough to state if she felt shamed or not but she kept her cancer a secret; do you believe she was ashamed of that? The same stands for a lot of other celebrities and public figures who do not allow the media to pry into their personal lives by revealing things that will bring attention.

    To use her death from a cancer to push an agenda on her sexuality is disrespectful. Sally was a bisexual but she kept that part of her life personal and I highly doubt she died wanting to be a martyr for Gay marriage in comparison to the deadly disease she died from.

    I’m not upset as much as I am disappointed with people. Everyone took something from her story and accomplishments; no matter our personal feelings. You were upset at Mitt about something that was known up until a few days ago.

    If I was ashamed; I wouldn’t have openly disclosed my displeasures of certain relationships. I am proud to say that and I believe the moral standards of America has been slipping away slowly but surely. Our “progressive” nature will be the death of this nation.

    Cancer is something I wish on no one and we’ve been seeing public figures drop dead from this form of Cancer that many know nothing about. So if there is anything I take from Sally, Steve and Patrick’s death, it is not their personal lives and choices but rather the fact that they all died from a disease that has a low survival rate and is usually caught in the deadlier stages.

    I can appreciate Sally for what she has done and my admiration of her has not changed with this news nor will it ever. That stands for any American Hero who has paved the way and served as inspiration for upcoming generations; that however is strictly for their professional lives; I won’t change my view on the personal lives/choices but I do recognize they are just that, personal, and make no difference in what they accomplished.

    Bigamy and Adult-Child relationships are two other forms of relationships that very much fall into the same boat with homosexual relationships. I don’t put Sally in that boat as I can admire her professional life without including my views of her personal life. To me, She is Sally Ride, the First Female US Astronaut in Space. She is not, Sally Ride, the Lesbian/Bisexual.

    Her sexuality does not define her nor does it add onto her accomplishments.

  56. 89

    I believe civil unions will solve your little problem.

    Bookworm @ #86: They don’t. Here is a list of 1,138 federal rights related to civil marriage, which are not accorded to people in civil unions or domestic partnerships.

    As for the idea that the definition of marriage shouldn’t be changed: It has changed many times over the decades and centuries. It used to be defined as a property transfer from a woman’s father to her husband. It used to be limited to people of the same race. The law used to say that rape within marriage was impossible, and that husbands always had a right to have sex with their wives.

    You have not made a single actual argument for why the definition of marriage should not be changed again to include same-sex couples. All you’ve done is state your bigoted opinion that you personally don’t like it.

  57. 90

    Bigamy and Adult-Child relationships are two other forms of relationships that very much fall into the same boat with homosexual relationships. I don’t put Sally in that boat…

    So first you equate homosexual relationships with bigamy and adult exploitation of minors; but then you don’t apply that bigoted opinion to a particular person’s homosexual relationship, because you know it’s wrong and demeaning to someone you call a hero. But you don’t take that as proof that your bigoted opinion of homosexuality is wrong.

    You’re no better than a racist who respects the black people he knows, but still clings to his notion that blacks are inferior or evil. You’re a hypocrite, and your pretending to stick up for Sally Ride is bogus and insulting.

  58. 91

    Then expand the rights. Either way, I don’t feel too bad when there are more than enough other forms of “relationships” that are “denied” the same rights and they have learned to accept it. Call it what you want but I don’t believe in changing a system that is not broken and a change that will open the gate for a flood of other problems/ “advocacy”. The moral standard in America is already at a new low; why continue to drop it.

    That is not a change of the definition; that is the intent. I believe the intent to marry does indeed change with the population but as a whole, we can all safely say the idea of one male and one woman joining in “holy” matrimony is basically the fundamental idea of marriage. I don’t agree with its religious aspects but I don’t deny they do exist and are pretty tied into it.

    Spare me the “feminist” run down of the evils of marriage and heterosexual men; I can see where you are going with this. Sometime ago, the law said men couldn’t be raped. How often do men suffer abuse at the hands of a woman and it is under reported or seen as cowardly on their part? Gender equalities go both way, honey. Interracial Marriage is an irrelevant argument as I always stated that race alone is a slippery slope when you have those who can “pass” for one or the other. The forming of their union will always be one man and one woman so the race, height, weight or any other physical attribution will be irrelevant.

    I have made no argument?; says the woman who told Mitt Romney “fuck you”. I will respect you because it is your blog (not exactly but your name is on the post) but let’s not go into who has arguments and who does not because other than overly emotional radicals; I can’t name a single valid argument for gay marriage outside of the typical emotional and selfish response.

    The point of my post are not gay marriage as much as it is Sally’s legacy as a American Woman who made history. We disgressed into that.

    You may call my opinion bigot all you want; doesn’t change it all.

    Either way, Good Radiance. I do hope most logical Americans will remember Sally for heroic journey on becoming the first American Woman in Space and I hope the young girls and boys learn from her courage, belief in self and her dreams. More so for young girls who look to break into a male dominated field of Science.

    Her professional resume is more than admirable but her personal life was her own and she intended for it to be that.

    @Raging Bee
    Reading comprehension is key. Did I not say I admire and will forever remember Sally for her professional career and the contributions she made to history. I do not agree with Gay marriage but I will not exploit a life she kept very personal.

    Her personal life and choice is something I can separate from her professional and on paper, she was an absolute star and I will remember her for that. What she did behind closed doors is none of my concerns and I do not support it but that is irrelevant to what she accomplished. As I said, her accomplishments stand alone and her sexuality does not add to them nor does it make her.

    You can feel as you like; it honestly doesn’t matter either way. I’m not more insulting than the people exploiting a personal life she worked very hard to keep private. Where is the respect for that?

  59. 92

    @Bookworm: So nice of you to trivialise the “little problem” of a lack of equality that millions of people around the world have. Thanks for that. And your use of “life style” to refer to Sally’s sexuality? Nice work.

    You seem eager to pigeonhole Sally as bisexual rather than lesbian, because she was married to a man for 5 years. Interesting. The truth seems to be (as conveyed by her self-identifying lesbian sister) that Sally pretty-much eschewed labeling herself all together. She wasn’t closeted, as some have claimed, simply a private person who was open about her sexuality among her close friends and family, but wasn’t interested in stepping into the public spotlight. She definitely fits in the broad ‘queer’ demographic. So why do you want to label her as bisexual? Is it so “the lesbians can’t have her”? I’m genuinely curious. If you have a different reason, please share.

    Many women who later identify as lesbian have had relationships with men previously. Does that mean they’re all lying about their identity when they self-identify as lesbian? To put it in terms that may have more personal meaning for you: you are a self-identified agnostic. We’re you raised in a religious household? If so, should I now label you a “quasi-theist” in spite of your current worldview?

    Of course, I’m sure you’re aware that “separate but equal” has never actually worked out to mean “equal”. Just “separate”. Didn’t segregation in the US demonstrate that pretty clearly?

    And can you explain to me why your cute little US Constitution (see what I did there?) is somehow meant to be an arbiter on what rights different groups of people should have access to in the modern day? Why, that seems as arbitrary an argument from authority as, say, declaring that a 2,000 year old religious book should be what we use to guide us today…

  60. 93

    The moral standard in America is already at a new low; why continue to drop it.

    Re: Bookworm @ #91. As regular readers of my blog know, I accept and even encourage a wide range of opinions here in these blog comments, including comments I strongly disagree with, and even some I find reprehensible.

    But I do not see any reason to let people comment in my space — repeat, in my space — who consider same-sex relationships to be “a new low” in “moral standards.” Bookworm has been banned.

  61. 94

    Yeah, questioning longstanding hatreds and prejudices, and taking legal action against sexual abuses of children that had previously gone on unquestioned, represents a DECLINE in American moral standards. Good riddance to that stupid prick — he’s already proven himself unable to acknowledge the failings in his arguments.

    I was about to suggest he consult a victim of child sexual abuse to help him understand the difference between that and same-sex marriage — but he probably wouldn’t have understood that either.

  62. 95

    Aw durn. It seems unfair to beat up on a banned commenter, but I wanted to at least note that my genitals and other correlated secondary characteristics, however configured, are physical attributes (like weight, skin color). I’ll not get to hear why my government has a compelling reason to be so interested in them. It is common to never get that far.

  63. 96

    It’s unfortunate that he was banned, though understandable given the less than appropriate level of respect given to interlocutors. He just trivialized the later part of my response as “little problems”, but that really is the crux of state recognition of marriage and can’t be swept under the rug. It’s a legal document that doesn’t require any holy house of worship. Running away from that just shows how little bigots have to offer in response to the facts surrounding the institution of marriage in America and many countries throughout the world. It doesn’t involve religion, it doesn’t involve vows, it doesn’t involve people in love. It involves signing a document proclaiming you are married. I can get married right now to my partner in any number of religious institutions or secular ones. However, it doesn’t mean anything to the state until I sign that document.

  64. 97

    Damn, I looking forward to hearing Bookworm defend just that claim. …guilty pleasre, I suppose. He was monopolozing the thread with some pretty sophomoric junk. …Oh well.

  65. 98

    Calling that bigoted trash “sophomoric” is an insult to sophomores. I was a stupid jerk in my sophomoric years, but I wasn’t THAT stupid, or that hateful. When you’re that age, stupid sexual desires should matter more (and feel better) than stupid hatred.

  66. 99


    (Comment from banned commenter deleted – GC)

  67. 100

    Your gender is irrelevant — you’re still a stupid bigot.

    Funny how you dodged the ban to tell us your gender, but not to address anything we said about your nonsensical attitude toward gay marriage.

  68. 101

    Apologies for the gender assumption. Now, how about addressing some of that nonsense you were spouting about state recognition of marriage requiring “holy matrimony”, when it is as simple as signing a document in front of a city/town clerk? An action two legal and competent adult strangers with no intention of living together or loving each together can perform. What reason do you have to deny same-sex couples from entering a state recognized marriage? What reason do you have to deny a subset of religious/secular officiants the ability to have the marriages they perform from being recognized?

  69. 102

    Comment # 99 has been deleted, as it came from a banned commenter trying to comment from a different IP address.

    In the future, if I’ve banned a commenter, can you please not reply? Thanks.

  70. 103

    I have no intention of voting for Mitt Romney. To be quite honest, at this point, I have no intention of voting for any of the candidates.

    I was 11 years old and it was the last day of school when Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. She was a quiet role model for me. She taught me the best lesson of my life that my family still reinforce today; just do your thing. I’ve done that all my life. I’ve taken risks and have had successes as well as failures. I never quit.

    When I learned of Dr. Ride’s death, I was heartbroken. When I read her obituary and saw she had a partner, I didn’t care. He sexuality had nothing to do with the lesson she taught me. Just her as a person, her drive and her intellect did. Over the next several days and even up to today, her accomplishments in her field have been diminished and many have practically condemned her because she didn’t make a public proclamation about her sexuality. That made me most sad.

    My belief is Dr. Ride just did her thing in every aspect of her life. She chose not to make a public confirmation about her sexuality or use her sexuality to push a political agenda. From what I can tell, she spent the last three decades with someone she loved and who loved her back. No one should be looked down on for that.

    Now back to Mitt Romney and the point I came here to make. He expressed his feelings simply and appropriately. He showed respect. I know his beliefs are not aligned with yours and probably not Dr. Ride’s either. Progress will not happen when we respond to “fuck you.” Whether his statement was sincere or not, it did not diminish her accomplishments like so many other statement have.

    You can block me, delete the comment or respond in the same manner as you did to Mitt. Personally, I think Dr. Ride would be pretty pissed off if she knew the privacy she so valued was being exploited. And it is being exploited.

    May she rest in peace and may her partner find strength, love and peace of mind from what was seemingly a very happy life full of memories.

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