Opponents of marriage equality are pushing a divisive measure that would amend the U.S. Constitution to state that marriage shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. The Constitution has been used throughout American history to ensure, protect and expand the individual liberties of Americans. It has never been amended to single out a class of people for unequal treatment, but it has been amended to grant freedom of speech, religious liberty and voting rights for women. The Constitution should secure equality, not restrict it.
~ Human Rights Campaign
**now that's funny that I saw "Vagina Monologues" a year ago, when I'm seeing "It Takes Ovaries" tonight! I wonder if there will be a play about uteruses by next year!
BOOKS READ THIS YEAR
(does coughing count? again?
Nothing on TV--I'm reviewing a play called
Getting to know me....
What goddess am I?
13 February 2004
Who would have thought that in a country where we are killing off our young people on a daily basis in a war that should not have been started (a country which is cutting combat pay for soldiers benefits for veterans), and in a country where old people cant afford the price of their medicines and everyone is held hostage to an impossible medical system, in a country where guys whose profession it is to go out onto a playing field and beat each other to a bloody pulp over a ball or a puck or some other trophy would be more valued than the teachers whose job it is to help our children prepare for adulthood, in a country where the rate of homelessness is on the rise, where AIDS cases are on the rise, especially among young straight black women, in a country where there are so many social ills that we can hardly begin to list them all....that the top stories in the news would be Janet Jacksons boob and whether or not two people of the same gender who love each other and have made a lifelong commitment to each other should be permitted equal rights under the law to their straight counterparts.
Once we finally admitted that people of color were equal citizens under the law to their whiter brothers, and that women should be allowed a say in the running of the country, who would ever have imagined that legislatures across the land and the Congress itself would be working hard to find a way to set aside another segment of the population for less than equal status and to limit their rights as American citizens?
The rhetoric is that we must "safeguard the sanctity of marriage." Sounds good in theory.
But if marriage is so damn "sacred," why has it become a spectator sport on television? Starting with "Who Wants to Marry a Millionnaire," where the lucky winner gets to marry the stranger of her dreams on national television marry first, get to know the guy afterwards down to all of the mating and dating shows and the hype that pushes the participants to boost the networks ratings by ending the season with a wedding for all America to watch. (And then, presumably, head the following season to "Divorce Court.")
Anybody remember the sanctity of the 15 minute marriage of Brittney Spears? Anybody check the divorce rate of United States Congressmen (or the adultery scorecard for such married Christian stalwarts as Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, Dan Burton, Neil Bush).
Is this the "sanctity" that we are trying to legislate?
Are these examples of sanctity better than the relationship of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons, the first-ever gay couple to be legally married in the United States (today in San Francisco), after fifty years of commitment to each other?
Or are these better examples of "sanctity" than my friends Ellen and Shelly, who have been in a committed relationship for 30 years, raised two families together, own a home together, and have several times been nominated for civic awards here in Davis as shining examples of caring people who work together to make a better life for the citizens of this town.
Because they are not permitted to marry, if one of them was rushed to the emergency room, the other one could legally be barred entrance to her hospital room, since she would have no legal rights. If there one were in a coma, the other woman would not be permitted to make decisions for her lifelong partner. If she died, the hospital would have to wait until the womans children arrived before releasing the body because a lifelong partner has no legal rights to claim the body or make funeral decisions.
After her death, the house would not transfer automatically to the surviving partner. Even if all the possible legal papers had been filed, the state still considers this to be the sale of a house. In California, where long-time homeowners are under Prop 13 tax protection, this would mean that the house would be reassessed at a vastly higher tax rate and, living on a fixed income, the survivor would not be able to afford to keep the house the two of them had made for 30 years.
The deceased womans children could come in and remove anything that belonged to their mother and the survivor would have no legal right to prevent them.
If they had young children together, the deceased womans family (if she happened to be the biological mother) have the legal right to remove the children from the non-biological parent and prevent her from ever seeing them again.
None of this would be possible if it were possible for gay couples to legally marry.
There are those who say that "marriage is for a man and a woman." I ask why?
Procreation? Then we need to stop giving marriage licenses to women past menopause or couples who are infertile, or even couples who have made the decision not to have children.
If you dont approve of gay marriage, than dont marry your same gender friend. But to deny some 1,000 rights and privileges afforded straight couples to equally (and sometimes moreso) committed same-gender who want to make that commitment a legally binding contract is wrong.
Nobody is asking that churches be forced to sanctify a gay marriage if that goes against their beliefs. We're talking about a civil right to make a civil commitment.
I continue to shake my head over those who wave bibles and proclaim that God says homosexuality is wrong, who steadfastly ignore all the other things God is supposed to have ordered in the Bible like killing your children for being disrespectful, stoning adulterers (why is Newt Gingrich still alive?) or wearing mixed fibers or any one of a host of rules that we now think of as frivolous, and not applicable to todays world.
Somehow when God dictated the bible on his celestial dictation machine, he instructed his transcriptionist to type anything having to do with relations between men (nowhere does he mention relations between women, by the way, so we have no proof that God disapproved of lesbians) in bold, flashing letters.
I want my country to care about equal rights, not special rights .... and any constitutional amendments specifying that marriage can only be between a man and a woman will be granting special rights to heterosexuals, the very thing that heterosexuals have been yelling gays want.
(Lets not even get into the issue of "gender ambiguous" people or hermaphrodites. If marriage is going to be legally permitted only between a man and a woman, who is going to do the genital check before issuing a license?)
For more information on gay marriage, go here.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Weight Lost to date: 42.8 lbs