This particular entry is aimed directly at my fellow Oregonians. You know who you are.
Measure 36 is that particularly nasty piece of legislation that wants to define all marriages in Oregon as those between one man and one woman. It's homophobia, right there on your November ballot.
I am not gay. I am not bisexual. I am not transgendered. I am middle America, folks: married, three kids. And I am firmly AGAINST Measure 36. And here's why (nope...no chance I'll keep it to myself, my fellow bloggies).
The people pushing this sort of nonsense are, naturally, the fundamentalist Christians. They keep insisting that God Himself cares what legal rights America gives to some couples and not to others. Now, I'm not anti-Christian here, folks...I AM a Christian, was raised Christian, no desire to be any other religion, thank you very much. But unlike some fundies out there, I've no desire to legislate my beliefs. I think the seperation of church and state idea was a nifty one...and we should pay attention to it. I'm also uncomfortable stating what God thinks with 100% certainty...I think we can't know the mind of God, and it's pretty silly to pretend we do. I'm not a fundie, and never will be, folks. I know you're bowled over in shock.
Now, their first argument is that God wants only men and women to be married to each other. Well, that argument holds no water with me...we're supposed to keep God OUT of the laws here, people (that pesky seperation-of-church-and-state thingy again). This is America. You can believe that a hamster prophet named Fred the Fearless is going to someday rise up and save the world from the Evil Cat of Doom if you want to. It's what makes America great, folks. What you can't do is expect everyone else to live by YOUR beliefs. No matter how "right" you think you are....someone else has (or should have) just as much right to believe in their own version of "right" (did that make sense? Who knows....)
Now, one of the side arguments on that one is that "well, only a man and a woman can naturally procreate, so that's the way God obviously intended for it to be." That's a shortsighted and ignorant bit of reasoning there. If we go by that, then infertile people, the elderly and those who have had vasectomies/tubal ligations shouldn't be permitted to marry, not to mention those who wish to remain childless by choice. Marriage is about so much more than whether or not one of the spouses drops a tiny, screaming human being from their loins. Also, maybe that IS how God intended it...originally. Before we became this overpopulated world in which kids languish in foster care, waiting for someone, anyone to take them home and care about them. The procreation argument is without merit, and I won't waste anymore bandwidth on it.
The next big argument is But It's A Sin! To which I say, to whom? To God, they say. Well, that's legislating religion again...a big Constitutional no-no.
Which brings me to the next argument: it would demoralize traditional marriage. How, you may ask? Beats me. No fundie I've ever asked (and I ask a lot, as you can just imagine) has ever been able to tell me. I wonder who these people are, who have such fragile marriages that allowing two gay men to walk down the aisle would somehow fracture their union beyond repair. I pity them and suggest marriage counseling...right away, lest a couple of swingers move in next door and shatter not only the existing marriage but any hope of success for number two.
Speaking of which, divorce rates are sky-high folks. 50% of marriages end in divorce. I think the institution is pretty demoralized on its own with only us darned hetereosexuals in the muck. I sincerely doubt gay marriages are going to make the situation any worse than we've managed to make it. Two women getting married is horrible and would destroy family values...but Britney Spears marrying her beloved Cletus in "pimp"-adorned velour sweatsuits is preserving it? Uh-huh. I gotta say, anyone who can say that with a straight face (no pun intended) is either too drunk to drive or seriously nuckin' futs.
What I find really ironic (and you know, I just love ironies) is that the same arguments these right-wing nutbags use to justify refusing to allow gays to marry is nearly exactly the same as the ones said nutbags used in the 60's and 70's to try to keep interracial marriages illegal. I can almost see ol' Strom Thurmond screaming his feeble head off about the sins of race mixing (before he sampled a bit of it himself, of course--gotta love hypocrites). How soon we forget.
I believe it's just a matter of time before gay marriages are legal. And ten years after that happens, no one will remember what the fuss was all about. It would be nice if the beforementioned nutbags wouldn't fight compassionate progress every step of the way...but that's way too much to ask, methinks. They fought the vote for women, fought the civil rights ammendment, fought interracial marriage, fought reproductive rights...and they'll fight this, too. Of that, I have no doubt. They are, after all, nutbags.
My fellow Oregonians...join me in voting NO on Measure 36. Send a message to nutbags everywhere that we here in Beaver Land (pun intended this time) believe in the Constitution, believe in seperation of church and state, and believe that discrimination is wrong, wrong, wrong. And if we're the lone voice in the woods...I think we've learned to live with that. It's one of the things I love about Oregon.
Til next time,