Indiana Senator Evan Bayh Makes Problematic Quip on Same-Sex Kiss

By GLAAD |
June 7, 2010

Today on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Indiana Senator Evan Bayh made a problematic comment after he and several hosts were discussing Sandra Bullock's appearance last night on the MTV Movie Awards.  After accepting the MTV Generation Award, Bullock shared a kiss with actor Scarlett Johansson in the middle of her acceptance speech. This was Bullock's first public appearance since her highly publicized break-up from her husband Jesse James.

Senator Bayh shared some on air banter about the MTV appearance and the same-sex kiss between Bullock and Johansson.  And while Bayh did mention that Bullock showed class and grace under pressure, he made the unfortunate step of going on to say: "I'm glad it was past my kids' bed time."

The kiss was innocent and part of  Bullock's overall attempt to move on from the immense public discussion of her failed marriage to Jesse James. It was a kiss. What’s wrong with two people kissing? If this were Sandra Bullock and a male presenter, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

This is the second time in the last two months that the Indiana Democrat has made questionable remarks.  As Bilerico reported, last month Bayh made an AIDS joke during the Indiana Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner that led the Indiana Stonewall Democrats to walk out of the event. Here is a transcript of his remarks as provided by Bilerico:

Transcript: Evan Bayh's AIDS Joke

I want to say how good it is to be home. I got into that airport and I don't know about the rest of you but every time I fly into Indianapolis airport I look at that thing and I think to myself, "You know if it weren't for Bart Peterson, this thing wouldn't be here."

[applause]

He was a great Mayor and I'm so proud of him and everybody that helped make his accomplishment possible.

So I'm walking through the airport and people were kinda being nice and making eye contact and a couple come up and say hello. This one person runs up all excited and I'm prepared to say "Hello," and he says, "Senator Bayh! Senator Bayh!"

I said "Well, yes?" and he looked at me and said, "Do you have AIDS?"

[audible gasps]

I said, "Huh?"

He said, "Yeah. Do you have AIDS?"

I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say.

He said, "I've got a letter I want to give you, do you have someone I can hand this to? Do you have an aide with you?"

[laughter]

So you never know what people are going to say.

[more laughter]

Many of you have asked me... You've got to be prepared for about anything, you know?

GLAAD encourages the media to take a close look at Senator Bayh's recent remarks and question him about this alarming pattern. His comments lower the public discourse and do a great disservice to the LGBT community.

Issues: