So, it’s official. Senator Ben Cardin’s office has told Politico that “Aidan Maese-Czeropski is no longer employed by the US Senate.” Goaded by demagogic republicans, the Capitol police has now also opened an investigation.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already seen the viral video making the rounds on every social media feed there is. Republicans just can’t stop watching the 8 second clip featuring two men embracing each other in love while you can briefly see an empty room in the background.
It turns out one of the lovemaking men was Aidan Maese-Czeropski, and the room was recognized by some as the senate hearing room.
We get it. It’s the most important room in America. It was in this very room that Sonia Sotomayor herself had her confirmation hearing, and won despite an entire oligarchy reorienting itself to wipe her out. This is also where James Comey exposed the Russian interference in the 2016 elections, to the chagrin of the treason party.
But in a world built on hate, displays of love are inherently rebellious. Every second that Aidan and his partner made love in the halls of power was pregnant with poignant meaning.
And in a time when the LGBTQ community is under existential threat by white fragility feeling threatened, open displays of LGBTQ culture are necessarily brave. In some ways, Aidan’s act mirrored that of Anne Frank, who dared to express her honest thoughts and feelings even as she hid from rabid insurrectionist-style death squads.
The dismissal has sparked a familiar conversation about the boundaries of personal expression and the repercussions faced by those who challenge the status quo. But because Aidan is from the LGBTQ community, he could stand to lose so much more than money, reputation, or career.
Let’s recognize the fallout from the incident for what it is: a stochastic far right attack on gay rights activists. As republicans fire up their hate machine in preparation for the 2024 elections, Aidan’s very life is now on the line. Let’s not fool ourselves. Right-wing attacks will scream with ever increasing pitch from darkweb radio stations and social media channels until some insurrectionist nutjob picks up a gun and the intended consequences have become fait accompli.
Now more than ever, we need to circle the wagons around Aidan Maese-Czeropski, and say with a unison voice:
Aidan’s termination by Senator Ben Cardin is an affront to individual freedoms, as it sends a chilling message about the consequences of expressing love in a public, political space.
Aidan’s prosecution by the Capitol police is blatant political corruption and weaponization of justice against a marginalized person.
Aidan’s persecution by right-wing nutbars writ large is a threat to his life and the life of every LGBTQ individual in this country.
This cannot stand. The fight has just begun.
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