Saturday, July 19, 2003
Hmmm. I was wrong. When my best friend's family bought a big old victorian house just one block from Selby and Dale in high school, I thought it was the stupidest thing they could have done. They wanted her younger brother to be able to go to Central. I foresaw crime and bad things. Apparently they recognized an opportunity. Good for them.
Of course only in a town as small as St Paul could 2 blocks be the difference between 2 million dollar houses and crack houses. Literally. One block south of Selby were these huge genteel victorian mansions. One block north were empty lots full of hoodlums, used condoms, and needles.
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A nice article, in the Christian Science Monitor of all places, on gay marriage. She says what I have been attempting to point out for the last few months.
"In the US, only Vermont recognizes "civil unions" between same-sex couples, giving them many of the same rights and responsibilities as married couples, but calling this rose by another name. Opponents of gay marriage may ask, what's in a name, after all? Large corporations increasingly are offering benefits to gay partners, and more and more communities are seeing firsthand that the gay couple next door with the 2.3 kids and the Lab and the minivan is not unlike their own family.As someone attempting to plan a simple non-religious wedding myself I can't help but agree. If someone were to tell me that because we don't view it as a sacrament ours will not really be a marriage... well I don't know that I could be held accountable for my actions. I also see the point that civil unions are unfair. I suppose that I got fixed on the results and didn't pay attention to the attitude behind the term.
Surely relative acceptance and "commitment ceremonies" and shared health insurance ought to be enough, no?
Well, no. If someone decided blue-eyed people couldn't have "marriage," but would be marginalized with only a "civil union," I'd be mighty angry. Because there is growing evidence suggesting that gay people no more choose to be gay than I chose to have blue eyes.
But our governments are here - in theory, anyway - to represent all of us, to give all constituents equal importance, to give us equal rights. Which makes Senate majority leader Bill Frist's comments supporting an amendment to the Constitution banning same-sex marriages puzzling. "I very much feel that marriage is a sacrament," said the Tennessee Republican.
As far as I know, marriage is a sacrament only in the Roman Catholic, High Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches. Protestants generally don't regard it as such. And what of the many US citizens who are Sikh, Jewish, or Muslim? What about atheists? Will their marriages not be recognized?
Western nations are supposed to be secularly run societies, living by a separation of church and state. For a church to refuse to recognize gay marriage is its own business, and ought to be respected. But if you don't like it, don't join that church. Or join another. I see no contradiction in a society where both gay marriage and freedom to voice opposition to gay marriage coexist.
I often feel the natural place for a gay person is on the right. Conservatives should be all about an individual's right to his or her own life, his or her own business, without the interference of hypersensitive, offended others. And it follows that true conservatives ought to support gay marriage, particularly those partial to family values. It's difficult to argue that society doesn't benefit from stable relationships. And what better way to encourage stable relationships than to support gay marriage? It is hard not to snicker at the idea that same-sex marriages would threaten straight ones. We straight people in Canada and the US have done a good job of bringing the divorce rate close to 50 percent all on our own.
Rather than weaken straight marriages, gay marriages may strengthen them.
Being gay is not, I imagine, simply about sex. When a gay man mentions his boyfriend, he's not flaunting his sexuality, as the accusation often goes, any more than I am when I mention mine. Being a homosexual is, I would guess, about most of the things being a heterosexual is about, including the pain and joy of being in love.
And why, oh why, should only straight people suffer through the family fights, expense, pettiness, grudges, and stress of planning a wedding?"
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Gah. Call your senator. Do not let this woman be confirmed.
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I love the weekend.
I love having clean sheets.
I love finding 250 thread-count 100% cotton sheets on clearance for $19.
I love having a fridge full of tasty healthy food.
I love having a freezer full of ready to go tasty healthy meals.
I love package tracking on Amazon.
I love wish lists and wedding registries on Amazon.
I love being able to sit on my porch with a cool evening breeze, a cat on my lap, and surf the net.
I love MP3s.
I love getting the house clean.
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More on the ills of the democratic hopefuls.
"Third, the final fundamental problem faced by the Democrats is their most persistent and perplexing; namely, the pervasive nationalism gap. The most stunning result of July's survey is that almost half of the respondents were willing to answer that the President (at 46 percent) was "more patriotic" than Kerry (8 percent), Lieberman (6 percent), or Gephardt (7 percent). Leaving aside the question of what values were contained inside the idea of "more patriotic," it was amazing that so many people actually answered the question — only a third either said they didn't know or refused. Answering the question suggests that its construct is legitimate, that a candidate's patriotism is subject to qualification, gradation, and comparison.
This has significant implications for the election. Nationalism (patriotism) has been one of the most powerful political forces in America for more than 200 years. But the current crop of Democrats clearly has some way to go before it is at parity with Mr. Bush on this important fundamental. At a time when Americans everywhere are literally in the crosshairs, second place in the patriotism contest is a bad place to be. Moreover, it suggests the Democrats are going to have a tough time finding competitive parity in national security, likely to be the signature issue of the campaign."
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Well guys, now you have an excuse (as if you needed one.) You must whack off. It's for your health!
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