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Despite proclamations of "yes we did," a lot has not been done in this country, including recognizing the rights of gay people to marry and adopt children.
The Human Rights Campaign has released a questionnaire on GLBT issues to the 2008 democratic presidential candidates. You can download it here: http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=36930&TEMPLATE=/ContentManagement/Con
For the most part the candidates agree on everything from supporting federal hate crimes legislation to comprehensive sex education and repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The only thing I found disappointing about the candidates' responses were how few of them support same-sex marriage.
Just a quick shout out to all the couples that married in Massachusetts three years ago today. What a giant leap forward.
We should take a minute to thank our friends at MassEqualityfor their continued fight to defend equal marriage rights.
This Valentine's Day couples in California are planning in participating in the Freedom to Marry Day protest. Gay and lesbian couples all across the state will be heading to their local county clerk's office to demand marriage certificates, which they will be denied. However, one county clerk's office is taking it a step further.
As a result of going undercover to the CPAC Convention last year in Washington, D.C., I was put on the mailing list for the Family Research Council (FRC). In case you aren't familiar, FRC is an extreme radical right wing group that claims to stand up for "family values."
Appropriately, their propaganda is sent to my junk-mail box, but I must admit that I occasionally read the stuff they send because it is so outlandish and actually quite entertaining. It's often so funny that I sometimes forget how scary it should be.
Let's examine the e-mail they sent out to their supporters today:
FRC Headline : ABC's 'Gay' Anatomy
In addition to using seventh-grade playground insults for a title, the article defends recent comments by Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington who recently used a derogatory slur to insult an openly gay colleague. "Washington has been forced to choose between his opinion about homosexuality and his career," FRC claims.
No, Washington wasn't forced to choose between his opinions and his career; he was forced to choose between his career and not demeaning his colleagues by using bigoted slurs in a work environment.
"Those who do not know their opponent's arguments do not completely understand their own."
~ Sexual Values: Opposing Viewpoints
Before I actually read any material on the subject, I never did understand fully why people would be opposed to gay marriages, besides the fact that they are prejudiced, of course. But as I researched more of the subject, I found that the reason goes far beyond phobias of gays. The reason that these seemingly hateful people have against gay marriage is "the word of God."
I believe in God and Jesus Christ, however, I am not one of those types of people who take the Bible literally word for word. Nearly all of the material I read regarding the reason why gays should not be allowed to be legally married is because "it is against God's will," and most quoted some scripture from the bible, followed by a statement similar to "So you can see, God sees this act as an abomination. To even have a desire or thought of gay acts will make you lose your spot in heaven" etc. They like to use the word "abomination" quite a bit. If we were to take everything to heart that's in the bible, then any menstruating woman would be an "abomination" as well.
Continuing on the theme of discriminating against loving couples:
The town of Black Jack (whose sole claim to fame until now has been it's award winning public access channel) has denied a living permit to a family of five because the parents are not married. According the Black Jack law, cohabitants have to be related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
I wouldn't be so contemptuous of Black Jack's city leaders if they were enforcing laws they didn't agree with. But apparently the city council recently reaffirmed their support for the law. I guess the Black Jack city council believes it can enforce its morality through zoning restrictions.
I don't like to make idle speculations, but I do want to ask this: would this couple's housing permit have been denied if they were white?
As Shawn mentioned last week, a recent poll shows that if the election was now, 49% of South Dakotans would vote NO on the state's marriage amendment, while only 41% would vote "yes".
South Dakota isn't known for being terribly progressive. In 2004, SD voted Tom Daschle out of office, and around 70% of South Dakotans voted for Bush. Then there's the fact that our legislature passed a total ban on abortions. Peachy.
This state is known for being about as red as they come. So why did last week's poll show that 49% of us are going to vote "no" on the ban on marriage, and 47% of people will vote "no" on the abortion ban?