The House and Senate, in a rare moment of common sense, sacked President George W. Bush’s homophobic constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as a union only between men and women. That kills the issue for this year but we will be forced to visit it again as long as right-wing whack jobs dominate the Republican Party.

Of all the extreme positions that emanate from the rabid conservatives that control the GOP (and there are many), none are more despicable than their outright hatred of homosexuals.

They may scream loudly that gay-bashing actions like the proposed constitutional amendments are not homophobic but they are. Such hatred emerges easily from the same intolerance, bigotry and racism that still infect the roots of the Grand Old Party.

Yet they look the other way and practice a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when one of their own is gay. Back in the early 1980s, Terry Dolan’s National Conservative Political Action Committee was the toast of the right-wing while Dolan’s homosexuality dominated Washington’s whispers and people snickered at the anti-gay stances of the organization. When Dolan died of AIDS, many Republicans publicly professed shock and privately sighed with relief that he was gone.

Nowadays, the rabid right-wing idolizes openly-conservative and pro-Republican Internet gossip monger Matt Drudge who bashes gays on his web site but who was outed as gay by Jeanette Walls of MSNBC in 2000 in her book, Dish. Walls interviewed a number of Drudge’s gay friends, including ex-lover David Cohen. Drudge’s response? “My youth to me is a blur.”

Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter is gay and he has split with the administration over the marriage amendment, saying such a decision should be left up to states – a position more consistent with claimed GOP policies on states’ rights. Cheney’s stand brought vicious attacks from the party’s right wing.

Such hypocrisy is typical of the GOP: They preach less government while increasing the size, power and breadth of the federal bureaucracy. They espouse fiscal restraint while spending the federal budget into the largest deficits in history. They claim love of country while trampling on the Constitution – the foundation of the nation – with rights-robbing laws like the USA Patriot Act.

And they talk of compassion while practicing homophobia and bigotry. They claim gays are “out to destroy the American way of life,” a charge that conservatives like to toss at anyone who does not agree with their narrow view of the world. In a Republican’s eyes, if you question the actions of their President, you are anti-American. If you question his war in Iraq, you are unpatriotic. And if you dare suggest that people of the same sex should be able to love one another and live together as a married couple, you are guilty of crimes against God, country and humanity.

Like most bigotry, homophobia is driven by hate and fear. Bigots fear what they don’t understand and they don’t understand a lot of things. Fear and hate appeal to the lowest parts of humanity, to simple minds that – in their own ignorance – cling to outdated concepts that a belief, point of view, lifestyle or philosophy must be superior to another.

These hate mongers accuse others of hate while spreading their own vileness in the name of God, country and party.

Yet all they accomplish with their blather and bluster is prove their own hate, bigotry and homophobia. In the end, they are sad, pathetic people who should be pitied, ignored and treated with the same disrespect the U.S. Congress showed in rejecting George W. Bush’s homophobic Constitutional amendment on marriage.