Maybe I'm just getting soft, but I find that my former contempt for the anti-gay crowd in this country is turning more and more into something akin to pity. Well, maybe it's more of a sense that these folks are just simply pathetic.
From the newspaper today:
1. Detroit, Michigan. A lawsuit challenging the Michigan ban on same-sex marriage is being heard in a federal court. The defenders of the ban are bringing experts who will testify that it is bad for children to have same-sex parents. The other side will bring different experts who will try to debunk this claim. To everyone who knows families with same-sex parents, this is a non-starter; these kids are simply the same as any other kid, and the sex of the parents is not an issue (in fact, it might be an advantage in some ways).
2. Meanwhile, the wonderful legislature of the State of Arizona has passed legislation that would allow businesses to refuse to serve gays, based on religious beliefs of the business owner. The bill is on Governor Jan Brewer's desk for her signature - or veto - and she seems to be caught between her inherent far-right religiosity and pressure from the business community that the law would be bad for business. Damn right it would! I already refuse to spend money in Arizona or Florida because of their discriminatory and gun-toting laws, and many national organizations and businesses are shying away from Arizona for this reason. And besides, discrimination is not right, and should not be legalized; period!
3. Shall we move on to the State of Kansas? The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow discrimination against gay people by businesses, based on religious belief. Maybe this is a case of Arizona Envy.
It is clear that the people behind these bills understand that the game is over. To date, 17 states now allow same-sex marriage. State attorneys general are deciding that they will not uphold same-sex marriage bans in their state. In Oregon, our Attorney General this week announced that her office will not uphold or defend the same-sex marriage ban added to our State Constitution a few years ago by popular vote because her office finds it to be discriminatory and therefore illegal. This is a decision prompted by a law suite brought by gay and lesbian couples challenging the constitutional ban.
The drum beat is loud and clear; the religious right is trying one more desperate last stand to stem the tide of freedom.
Why do these people have a problem with gay/lesbian marriage? They most often cite their bible as the reason. But really, what is it that bothers them? How does marriage by loving and committed couples threaten them? If they don't want to marry a person of the same sex, they have the choice not to. I actually think that a lot of it is based on the fact that there are organizations with paid staff that fight against same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general. Their incomes are based on this brand of hatred, and their job is to whip up "the base" to make as much noise as possible, and perpetuate their employment. Well, to these folks I would simply say, you'd better start looking for another job.