October 18th, 2004


yet another depressed rant about the state of the world

This article is a very depressing look at the likely possibility of a ban on gay marriages and civil partnerships in Ohio.

If passed, Issue 1 will force Ohio's cities and universities to stop offering domestic partner benefits, including health insurance. Right now, such benefits are offered by the city of Columbus, Ohio's Miami University, Ohio University and Ohio State University, the largest university in America. Cleveland Heights has a domestic partnership registry, and some Ohio public schools give gay employees family leave to care for ailing partners. Issue 1 would probably mean they could no longer do so.

You know this already, but it bears repeating - this is an amendment that will actually take away people's rights. It's obscene.

"This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."

How dare these people say that my relationship doesn't have the "significance" it would have if we ambled in to a registry office and signed a piece of paper? How dare they? We love each other, we're kind to each other, and we make each other laugh. We're in this for the long haul. If there's anything more significant and of higher quality in a marriage, I don't know what it is. I'm not anti-marriage per se - I think it's something we can reinvent ourselves. But I don't think it automatically makes a relationship more important or meaningful.

Of course, if we wanted to get the rights granted to married couples (which seem bizarrely specific in Ohio), at least we could do something about it. Non-straight couples will be screwed. Not that they have great rights already, but at least there's no actual amendent taking those feeble rights away.

If these fundamentalists think that straight marriage will somehow be "threatened" by allowing a gay man to visit his dying partner's bedside, or allowing a woman to legally look after her partner's biological child, then their marriages must be pretty fucking shaky. As the always wise daegaer has pointed out, the meaning of "traditional" marriage has certainly changed over the years, so to claim it's some sort of moral absolute is absurd. Let's not forget how many rural marriages in this country up to this century were arranged around land and housekeeping. Is there something holy and sacred about a 20 year old girl being married off to her father's 50 year old friend in order to look after his farm? Because I don't see it.

But apparently, even the crappiest straight marriage is superior to a gay partnership, because, even though Jesus preached a message of tolerance and kindness (and anti-capitalism) and never mentioned homosexuality once, somehow it's been decided that he just hates fags.

Preaching like a street-corner revivalist, Johnston musters quotes from both the Bible and Dostoevski to make the tautological argument that those who reject his vision of Christianity lack the foundation to make any moral arguments. "The proof for the Christian ethic which condemns homosexual marriage is the impossibility of the contrary," he says. "Reject the Christian ethic and you have no basis for making moral judgments."

The audience stares at him in open-mouthed amazement. Looking like she's been slapped, McClellan walks out of the room and starts crying. "My father was a D-Day lander and a World War II hero," she says later. "He freed two concentration camps. All I could think of was here are all of these people who have fought and given their lives to keep our country free of maniacal people like that guy. This guy reminded me of a Hitler youth. At this stage of our evolution, why is there such a maniacal hatred of people?"

Who knows? I sure as hell don't.
  • Current Mood
    depressed depressed
sigh, emily

(no subject)

Even I, a Bush-hatin' leftie and long-time Guardian reader, thought the recent Guardian "campaign" to encourage swing voters was extremely misguided and patronising. So I am not surprised at the response.

I am, alas, also not surprised by the moronic tone of many of the correspondents. While many of them made perfectly valid, reasonable points, many of them....didn't. Oh, British teeth jokes. So hilarious. Because you know, every American has access to top notch dental care. And when I had to get a wisdom tooth urgently extracted there, it didn't cost my weekly wage. Oh wait, it did! And then there are jokes about tea! Oh, the hilarity.

Which is why I loved this one:

Harlan, Kentucky

Yeah, Ms/Mr Kentucky, unlike the good old U S of A, where I was charged $500 for a five minute consultation at a Boston hospital when I was working in the city for the summer. And that was back in 1997, I can only imagine what it would cost now. Luckily my insurance from home covered it, or I'd have had to sell a kidney or something. Access to health care is not something America can boast about.

I used to visit the UK every year. I love the history and culture of your country. But after I heard about your campaign to influence our elections, I've decided that neither myself, nor my family will ever visit again. I'm offended by your campaign and because of it, I'm remembering more of the negative aspects I've seen in the UK than the positive ones. Though I still love the castles!

Good for you, castle lover! You sad sack. You know, if I was going to base my visits to countries on what their newspapers said about my own native land, I would never have set foot in the US, ever. However, as I am not a moron, I do not base my opinion of America as a whole on its newspapers, let alone on one newspaper, which is why I will continue to visit America, the country in which I have spent more time than any other outside my own.
  • Current Music
    The Softies: Sleep Away Your Troubles
sigh, emily

plus ca change and all that...

"... It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." 

~ The testimony of Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Still seems to be working on some people sixty years later. Unfortunately.