Friday, August 06, 2004
I am a politics junkie, even in boring times. But these days, there are so many things about which to froth at the mouth. Terrorism. The economy. Generalissimo el Fuckwit in the White House. Etc, etc.
However, the one issue that makes me the angriest, even when I dissociate my own personal interest in it, is the gay marriage bullshit. For starters, as my grandmother pointed out some time ago, this is not an issue that should even be legislated at all. Marriage is a religious institution, and that the government calls its civil unions marriage is a side note, and probably at least philosophically inappropriate. The government has no right to tell people how to live their lives, when they are not committing a crime.
The whole idea of our Constitution is that being different type of person than the majority cannot be, per se, a crime. But of course certain people like to ride around on perceived moral high horses and dictate Morality (which is very different and usually opposite from morality). And those people have a disproportionate amount of power in America The reasons are numerous and complex, but they come down to a combination of history - who ended up here - and geography - who ended up where and how they created segregated ideological groups, which, aided by the two-party, federalist electoral system, allows them to wield huge influence.
Yesterday, the state of Missouri passed, by an overwhelming majority, an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage and effectively relegating gays to second class citizenship. Other states are in the process of doing the same, all fueled by hate and ignorance, the flames fanned by politics which are (at best) cynical or (at worst) pure demagoguery.
Gay rights groups, who tend to be maddeningly short-sighted, have started focusing on the Kerry/Edwards teams' sort-of approval of this event, instead of working to correct all the societal factors which not only passed it, but make it impossible for K/E to say anything against it.
Anyone who pays even decent attention to things knows that Sen. Kerry, at the very least, would like to see gays granted all the rights they deserve as American citizens, which is no fewer and no more than any other American has or deserves. But, in an election year, when the Republican party has so masterfully crafted a debate around something that shouldn't be a debate at all, the Dems have no choice but to keep pretty quiet. Yeah, condemning this bullshit would be The Right Thing To Do, and would shore up the GLBT vote (except for the fucking evil that is the Log Cabin Republicans), but it would guarantee bigger losses in Missouri, Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, and other critical "swing" states. If the Johns said what they really thought about this issue, they might as well go home now.
But what makes me so mad about this issue/business is: it's so totally, blatantly, undeniably contrived. The opponents of gay marriage really don't have a leg to stand on. There is NO REASONABLE ARGUEMENT against it. The other 'culture war' issues, like abortion, at least are based in real philosophical/religious differences. The so-called "Religious Right" has essentially made up a great deal of theology to create an issue here...there is no consensus among religions that gays are bad or that they shouldn't get married. Not even among Christian denominations. Never has been. All the bits of the Bible that get tossed around as proving that homosexuality is a sin are more or less the same kinds of bits that got tossed around 50 years ago to prove that blacks were inferior, or sub-human. Things taken out of context, mis-translated, etc (the Sodom and Gomorrah story is big here, the subtleties of the original text are generally left out of discussion, for instance the multiple meanings of "to know" in Hebrew and Aramaic, and Midrash regarding both the importance of hospitality and Lot's wife).
I must stop now, and go back to work.