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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gay Rights & Obama's Endorsement

Hallelujah, he finally said it!  We all knew that Barack Obama felt this way for years, but that the political environment  was sadly not going to be receptive to such an announcement.  Thankfully, things are changing, bit by bit, and gay marriage is becoming more palatable in the eyes of the average American.

I think it's important to note that President Obama has not necessarily done himself any favors by announcing this in an election year.  Yes, he's going to have a fuller swing of the LGTBQ community behind him, but overall the black community, which he's always been able to count on for support, is generally against it.  As a dear, politically savvy friend put it, "He took a real gamble."

And here we are.  Now that North Carolina has overwhelmingly shown the country that they are bigoted and homophobic with the passing of Amendment 1, we now have a president and a vice president who are supporters of gay marriage.  Okay, maybe that's a bit too harsh.  Everyone who showed up for a Sunday Republican primary in North Carolina (i.e. only the most fervent of liberals, and the entirety of the conservative vote) decided that it was important to alienate gays, single parents and their children, endangering their health insurance and their security.  Apparently there were a lot of churches in the state preaching about how important it was to pass this.  Gee, I wonder why their congregations then left and went straight to the voting booths to spread this hate.  It was truly a masterful manipulation on the part of the GOP to have this amendment voted on on a Sunday during a primary vote when there was no Democratic primary candidate to vote on.  Perfect.  The churches and the Republicans only.

This fight, at times, seems like an endless one.  Sure, there are states where gay marriage is legal.  So, a lesbian couple can go there and get married, but then when one of them has a baby that they planned and conceived in love with the aid of artificial insemination, the other still has to legally adopt their child after the birth despite the fact that there is a spot on the birth certificate for the other parent, regardless of gender.  More than that, they are married, but that is no guarantee that the medical insurance that the one partner has will cover the other.  This is what happened to a couple in New Hampshire.  They are actually considering getting a divorce so that the young mother can get a life-saving surgery to remove the brain tumor that was discovered just after she became pregnant.  Her partner's workplace-provided insurance does not cover same-sex partners, and they are ineligible for state aid because they are married.

What was the point of telling you this story (besides depressing everyone who hears it?)   It's to point out that there's so much more to this issue, the issue of gay rights and equality.  If we just worry about voting to "allow" our gay brothers and sisters to marry on an individual state level with no other protections, this is the kind of thing that can happen.  It's unacceptable.  Any rights available to a married couple should be available to a gay married couple, period!

I am tired the language surrounding gay rights, as well.  They are not waiting to be "given" their rights, they are waiting to realize them.  They are human beings, just like the heterosexual population, and they deserve human rights.  Why are we arguing about "redefining marriage," something that has been "redefined" throughout history.  Between polygamy, anti-miscegination, arranged marriage, child brides and laws regarding possession and slavery, I do believe this term has been "redefined" an awful lot.  Why are we concerned about allowing consenting adults to make a life together, regardless of their genders?

And yes, you can most certainly read into that statement that I am for legalized polygamy between consenting adults.  The key words here are consenting and adults.  I think two women who want to share a husband are crazy.  I also think people who marry someone within a month or two of knowing them are crazy, as well.  But that's legal, and polygamy between consenting adults should be, too.

Back to the subject at hand: gay marriage.  Recently, on NPR, the President of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM,) Brian Brown, stated outright that it's all about "framing the question."  He explained that when you ask people if gay marriage should be illegal, the majority of them say no.  But then if you ask those same people if we should "redefine marriage," they will say no, that marriage should remain a legal contract between one man and one woman.  He further stated that the idea of "making gay marriage illegal" conjures up images of monogamous, innocent gay couples being arrested in their homes.  Then he had the gall to inform the listeners that it is wrong to categorize anyone opposed to gay marriage as "bigoted," since then the majority of many states would be bigots.

This is crap!  Unacceptable!  I just can't believe that people are so easily swayed by language, but it's true.  Perhaps we need to take the initiative and write our own legislation "protecting the rights of gay people from persecution based on religion and bigotry."  And guess what?  Sometimes the majority of the population is composed of bigots!  Back when the Jim Crow laws were being enforced, the majority of people in the South supported them and THEY WERE BIGOTS.  It does not matter that an idea is popular if it is an idea that treats human beings as though they are worth less than the ruling class.  Period.


  1. "Then he had the gall to inform the listeners that it is wrong to categorize anyone opposed to gay marriage as "bigoted," since then the majority of many states would be bigots."

    Yes, what a shock. The majority of many states ARE bigots. Just because the majority of people in many states would've voted to keep slavery, women from voting, or segregation doesn't mean they weren't bigoted.

  2. Amen, Max. That's exactly the point I was trying to get across. Sometimes a popular idea is bigoted, and we should not allow its popularity to keep people from being treated fairly.