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Rashi laptop

Gay rights judo, or who whupped the right wing with a foolish stick?

Posted on 2003.11.18 at 21:38
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: Muddy Waters - Rollin' Stone
So at least this time we have CNN in the hospital room. The big thing today has been discussion of the decision of the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that the Commonwealth has to allow for same sex marriage. Now, I haven't been able to achieve inter-sex marriage, and since my elected representatives have been lax in securing legislative remedy for this, I may have to take a cue and try to go through the courts. But I digress.
The cultural right, represented by groups that I haven't ever heard of, with names like 'Concerned Women of America' and the like, have been on CNN predictably squeaking and beeping about how awful this is. They can't quite make the argument that we shouldn't allow gay marriage because the Bible doesn't agree with this (which may or may not be the case, depending on certain points of interpretation, at least as far as Lev. 18 and 20 go, but that is a whole other discussion), so they put forth these odd arguments about the cornerstone of western civilization being the two-parent family (I am reminded of Gandhi's response when asked what he thought of western civilization, that he thought it would be a good idea) and things like this. They seem to have conveniently forgotten that lots of western civilizations, including Israelite civilization, sanctioned polygamy, and that in the New Testament, the two most influential figures, Jesus and Paul, weren't married at all, with Paul arguing that you really shouldn't be if you can at all help it.
What is really interesting is that several of these groups have been taken in by the whole term 'marriage.' Just like it is actually a good thing for the Howard Dean campaign that he is being called conservative by the likes of Gephardt and Kerry, the issue of gay civil unions, and the formalization of rights of gay partnerships is being sanctioned is being helped by the right wingers who are so eager to bash the idea of marriage that they forget the larger issue. Several of the opponents of this have ended up saying things like that they oppose gay marriage, although gay civil unions are fine. Since when did Gary Bauer support gay civil unions? Since they are a convenient way to explain how he can be against gay marriage. So whatever happens with the marriage issue, it looks like there is going to be real progress, and some kind of compromise will be reached.
I support some kind of real legal partnership, whatever you call it, and have come to really see how useful it could be through this whole experience of my Dad's illness. During his many hospitalizations, doctor visits, outpatient treatments, and the like, I am constantly being asked my relationship to him, and the fact that there is one is an important thing. That I have a legal relationship with him allows me to sign things for him, stay after visiting hours, pick up medications for him, go in with him for treatments, and all manner of things that are comforting to him, and allow me to feel like I am playing a real role in his care. If I didn't have that standing, I couldn't do a lot of this, and if an 'actual' family member decided, I could be totally excluded from the whole matter. For this reason alone, it seems incredibly valuable and important that some kind of legal basis be given for those relationships. There are others, but that is the one that I feel like I have some kind of personal experience with.
One other thought. When you have a family with a father, mother, and children, does W. Bush call that a 'nuculer' family?

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