Wednesday, March 23, 2005

wake me up (before you Go-Go)

In case you haven't noticed by now, I am a firm believer in the "live and let live" theory. What is right for me may not be right for you. What to me is a normal situation may be odd for you. My ideals are not your ideals. My faith is not your faith. To borrow a line from Douglas Adams, why can't people be nice to each other for a change?

For many years I woke up to NPR. I was news junkie. I watched all presidential debates. I read every page of the Starr report. I followed P.J. O'Rourke. I may be a die-hard liberal, but I was a gosh-darned informed liberal. I was prepared to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I knew and understood (and sometimes agreed) with the Right. I was a firm believer in everyone's good intentions.


It's harder now.

Let's take the Republican Party at its word. They believe in private property, private privacy and keeping government out of our lives. Great - unless it's the Patriot Act and a list of all the books I've purchased in the last five years. Unless it's getting my ob/gyn records and removing my trust in my doctor, just in case I've been raped and not reported it. Unless I happen to be in a relationship with another woman, we hold property in common and want to make sure that the other inherits.

The news today included the story that the Indiana legislature has approved a gay marriage ban. We already have such a law, but this would be an amendment to the state constitution. As I understand it (from chatting with my neighbors, who love it) the act not only bans marriage and health care benefits, but inheritance, custody, etc. Pendng approval from the governor (as if that's in doubt) and a statewide ballot initiative (hardly in doubt) this is law. Big time law.

Privacy? property? end to big government?

I'll say it one more time, so that the neighbors can hear: my body, my choice. My property, my choice. My family, my choice.

You can legislate morality, but the 1950s were followed by the 1960s. Is that really what you want?


tommyspoon said...

Hey, maybe the music'll get better...

Nicely said, Lemm. Be sure to let your gay and lesbian friends know that not everyone in Indiana is a bigot.

Editor B said...

This is sad news. But given the political inclinations of the Hoosier State, it's a little surprising it's taken them this long to get on board the hate train. The Louisiana constitution was amended last year, and how many other states now? It's beyond sad. It's enough to radicalize the liberal base. I hope it does!

TeacherRefPoet said...

I am so very sorry. Yuck. But it can't last. One thing I think is true in history is that freedom suppressed is not something that can last.

John B. said...

Your first problem was waking up to NPR every morning...LOL :)

Lemming: That was a great posting!

I frequently blog that the truth is usually somewhere in the middle of 'the right' and 'the left'. The problems always start when politicians and supporters try to politicize something and fit it into their party's agenda...what their party or the right or the left is 'supposed' to believe, rather than what is right or fair or free.

Both sides of the political spectrum have their share of morality and immorality. The immorality usually begins when a politician tries to form a belief that is in line with their party, rather than their feelings.

Don said...

lemming -- my latest political theory is that whether one's party is in power determines how much government it will support.

I'm repeating myself, but the Indiana Assembly's actions follows the spirit of laws passed by Southern legislatures in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Hugh said...

Here's a test for all the people who support changing the Indiana constitution (or, indeed any constitution). Go up to one of your gay friends, you know you have one whether you realize it or not. Say to their face, "I support taking away from you all of the rights of marriage that I enjoy as a straight person."

Anonymous said...

A very interesting entry. This kind of issue (or any other personal morality issue) would never get caught up in the left/right battle here in the UK.


Anonymous said...

The republican party has NOTHING to do with conservative ideals any more, it is merely a front for a few wealthy tyrants to close their stranglehold tighter on the american people.

Also, I am not a liberal really, but I can't respect anyone who voted for Bush.

Drewster said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lemming said...

Drew - the new Indiana would not prevent you from naming a male friend as an inheritor, but if even the slightest possibility existed that you had once been in a relationship with that man, no legal contract could be made.

Drewster said...

[BTW This post is out of order. You can't edit, on delete. Lemming responded to the below post]

This has always been a tough issue for me.

Correct me if I am wrong, but can't you make anyone legally in charge of you through contract? Sometimes I wonder if gay couples just kept mum about the word "marriage" no one would be all up in arms.

Is there anything to prevent me from making, say, my best buddy from when I was 6, my legal representative and inheritor of all my worldly goods should I get hit by a bus and stuck on life support?

Or can family always trump such legal guardianships, and there lies the rub?

On the other hand (and this issue has hands to rival Shiva), we should be able to live in a world where a gay couple can stand up and say they are joined together by love and dedication and the law. Should you disagree, you have the right to look away, but taking away their right to have rights that you have should you not be gay? Does this issue not fly in the face of seperation of church and state? Isn't the Bible legislating the state if the state uses the Bible (rightly or wrongly) as proof that gay marriage is against God's will? Isn't the whole idea of freedom of religion an attempt to keep God's will out of the state.

You, the royal you, say gay marriage is AGW, but what if my religion says it is NOT AGW? Am I not free to practice that religion in the country?

Besides, there are plenty of people I think should not marry and thus not reproduce. At least not reproduce. Can we get a sterilization law that takes care of possible scions from the likes of, say, I don't know, Pat Buchannan? He is really scary!

tommyspoon said...

Here's some graphic representation of your complaint: