Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's official: I'm a second class citizen

It all started on May 1, 1991 with the case of Baehr v. Lewin. The state of Hawaii was sued by same-sex couples to be allowed to get married. Fast forward to 1996, and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law. I'm not sure what it defended, but it did allow states to not recognize marriages that were legal in other states, for the first time in our country's history.

Yesterday South Carolina Amendment 1 passed by a landslide. A previous law introduced in 1996 already established the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. This goes a step further by preventing civil unions of any type. It is an obvious attempt to forestall legislation that would allow same sex civil unions.

I'm reminded of Martin Niemoeller's poem First they Came...
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

* This version is from the New England Holocaust Museum.
I wonder what they'll brand me with when they put me in a camp?


  1. This makes my blood boil.

    Some people get hung up on the word marriage, but I couldn’t care less about the word. If people want to define 'Marriage' as some form of religious ceremony and want to define what is and is not acceptable for the performance of that ceremony then fine, I don't care. I especially don't care since if you don't follow that religion then you don't have to follow its definitions. If I want to call the ceremony where I convert beer into urine, 'transubstantiation', then that's a matter between me and this case of Anchor Steam.

    What I do care about is when religious definitions influence law. The word marriage does not have to be used when framing laws. If the legislature wants agree with some religious group's definition of marriage, then I don't care. What they should not do is make discriminatory laws based on discriminatory definitions. If a heterosexual couple gain *any* rights, benefits, protections or status, through a legal contract, then those rights, benefits, protections and status should be available to *any* two people wishing to enter into that legal contract. (Assuming they are legally able to enter into any legal contract.) I can think of no reason why that should not be the case.

  2. Thanks for the support, Kerr. Obviously I agree with you and I'm considering my options. The blind hatred that is gripping our nation is troubling.

  3. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - have we solved all of our issues so that we now have time to work on what consitutes marriage? And to think that people would rather worry about this than, say education, Iraq, health care, etc., is mind numbing.

    I can't believe that we allow our politicians the ability to focus on (and make an issue of) something like this. If this is what two consenting adults want to do, so be it. But if you want to make an issue of it, make sure that issues that effect ALL OF US are taken care of first. Is that too much to ask?

    I may not be very eloquent, but I have had it with the government, and the population that allows them to make an issue of this. This is a priority? Puh-leese.

  4. gregg, what makes you think government is interested in serving your needs?

    Charles, I wish I had something meaningful to say. :-(

  5. @Nathan: Well said. That may be my very problem.

  6. I just saw this tonight. Kerr is absolutely right. There's no excuse for this wildly rampant bigotry, and there's a special Hell reserved for those who are cynically inciting hatred.

    Charles, ever think of moving to Massachusetts? We don't hold with that sort of BS up here. And in the least surprising news of recent times, 3 years and hundreds of gay marriages have had no negative effects whatsoever on any heterosexual marriages...