Tuesday, July 13, 2004

U.S. Senate- Where Dinosaurs go to die.
Observations on the Debates about Gay Marriage

I've been watching today's Senate proceedings today and found myself very mindful of how this episode will play out in the history of our country. I Know now, definitively, how the activists in the Abolitionist Movement must have felt as the proponents of slavery roared and blustered in trying to justify their crimes against humanity. Like a dinosaur flailing as it sinks finally into the bog, Rick Santorum and his cohorts have made monkeys of us all today.

Marriage is a loving commitment between people who choose to build a life together. Whether they raise children or not has no bearing on the definition. We do not prevent barren individuals from marrying. We do not penalize those who choose not to procreate. Marriage is a bond of love, period.

Santorum brought charts and graphs and wailed about how "children need a mother and a father". His examples and descriptions of male and female roles were so old, so outmoded as to take on the appearance of satire. If only I could find this funny. The caveman scenario of "Me hunter, you gatherer" is not even born out in sociology, psychology or archaeology, but somehow I suspect he isn't up on the current research. He cannot see beyond his narrow vision of the "proper" roles in society for men and women. I agree that marriage is important, and that children are better off in loving stable homes with a loving parental relationship. I just don't happen to agree that the parents must be a male and a female. Children with two happy parents thrive, without regard to gender. Parenting is a skill, not an innate gift enhanced or limited by the presence of ovaries or testicles. You don't need one set of each to form a commitment. Wake up Senator- times have changed. As Ann Richards recently told Larry King "We need more loving families, not less." If a homosexual couples' marital bliss threatens your own union, that union must not have been so strong to begin with. The love of one couple does not diminish another. Frank Lautenberg (D- NJ) said it best - this is just gay bashing, and political posturing.

I'm also tired of hearing about the "5,000 year tradition of marriage". What you call tradition, I call 5.000 years of an unnatural social order, imposed by violence and maintained with draconian laws that have "traditionally" relegated women and children to the status of chattels. The same patriarchal, Old Testament laws these Christian Supremacists are so fond of are the source of the world's misery, women's poverty, children's undoing. Our American Taliban wants to keep women in America barefoot and pregnant with no control of their sexual destiny. This same Senate was informed this week that the slave trade is alive and well in America. Tens of thousands of human beings, mostly women and children, all poor, all desperate, are being smuggled into this country and sold on the blackest market ever conceived. They'd like you to believe that these subjects are unrelated, and will wail and moan at the implication that their cannon is of less than divine origin. Don't you believe it.

The same Old Testament that advocated violent imposition of strict laws of chastity and marriage also advocated slavery, the selling of daughters, the stoning of sinners, all calculated to achieve one goal : a patrilineal system of inheritance that would give men exclusive control of land and wealth. Mission accomplished. Now this body of old white men are in a panic because the old order - the one we as women never agreed to, the one that has and is enslaving us, keeping us in poverty, preventing us from having a voice or an equal chance to thrive today, or even the most basic rights to control our own bodies.- that order is over. We aren't going to be bound by ancient and avaricious doctrine anymore.

We are blessed to be born in a country where we are all considered equal. We claim our right to love as we choose, to live as we choose, to raise our children, to love our partners with Liberty and Justice for ALL. The Constitution was designed to protect us all equally, with a specific eye toward protecting the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority. The courts have always been the vanguard of social change when the majority dragged its heels and clung desperately to the status quo. The LGBT community is a minority whose time has come. To those who would stand in the way of America's social evolution - shame on you. As we walk into the 21st century, let us do so together, with love and hope for every American family of every stripe.

Now where the hell is Osama Bin Laden?


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