Dana Rudolph

Does Mitt Romney Know He's Quoting a Lesbian?

Filed By Dana Rudolph | January 06, 2012 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Politics
Tags: America the Beautiful, katherine lee bates, lynn sherr, Mitt Romney

katharineleebates-7.jpgMitt Romney has been frequently quoting "America the Beautiful" in his speeches. What he may not know is that the song was written in 1893 by Wellesley College professor, poet, and social activist Katherine Lee Bates - who lived with and shared her life with another woman, fellow Wellesley professor Katherine Coman.

Lynn Sherr wrote about Bates in the January 4 New York Times, where she also explains why many of Bates' beliefs stand opposed to those of Romney. It's a good read.

Despite the flippant title of this post, it may be ahistorical to call Bates and Coman lesbians in a modern sense, but at the very least, they seem to be spiritual lesbian foremothers. (Read my earlier post on Bates for a snippet of poetry she wrote upon Coman's death. Theirs was no ordinary friendship.)

(For more on Bates, see also Judd Proctor and Brian Burns' post from last Gay History Month.)

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