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This Day in My History

George Washington's
Rules of Civility
and Decent Behaviour

52nd:   In your apparel be modest and endeavour to accomodate nature; rather than to procure admiration, keep to the fashion of your equals, such as are civil and orderly with respect to time and places.

Yesterday's Entries

2000: My World
 Sarah, We Hardly Knew Ye
2002:  Taxicab Wars
2003:  I Don't Know Why I Swallowed a Fly


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Today's Search Engine queries:
(how people find this journal)...

  • Rose Lewis first surgeon
  • same sex marriage discrimination
  • 50th birthday party plan
  • fizzbin
  • funny accident
  • points 100g flour
  • stories urethral sounding*
  • Osama bin Laden latex Halloween mask
  • funny refrigerator magnets
  • 7 old ladies locked in a lavatory

*this turns up just about every day and probably comes in, (it or in some other variation, like "urethral play") as the #1 search topic.  I'm going to start listing it each day it shows up to see just exactly how often it, and "7 old ladies" (perhaps #2 on the search engine hit parade) actually do show up.




15 October 2004

It turns out that CSPAN covered the marriage rally in D.C. after all--but it was shown on CSPAN3, not CSPAN2.  I don't get CSPAN3, but I was able to find the live coverage on the internet (here).   I watched most of the 3 hour rally sitting here at my desk last night.

As I sat here, my anger level kept rising.

I had just listened to the final presidential debate, where both Bush and Kerry discussed whether homosexuality is something you are born or something you choose. 

How can they possibly know?  These two straight men who have never questioned their heterosexuality?  How can they know what it feels like to be homosexual?  Where do they get the right to decide whether this is something that "is" or not?  Do they even realize that there are celibate gay people who are nonetheless still gay?  That a sexual act does not determine "sexuality"?

I realize that gay marriage is not the cornerstone of any political party.  On the list of the things that most need fixing in this country, it's not near the top, but as I listened to the stories of these people--many of which I'd known before, many of which I've detailed in this journal before, it made a difference watching them. My blood boiled.

How dare straight people debate whether gay relationships are good or bad, whether they should be or shouldn't be, or to define the sorts of relationships anyone "should" have.

Read my fingers:  you cannot possibly know how another person feels until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

I dare anyone watching the CSPAN coverage, watching an emotional Dan Greening reading his marriage vows to his husband, Ron Lussier, to watch unmoved. 

17 years ago today, Ron and I met here in Washington D.C. at the 1987 gay and lesbian march on washington.  Two weeks ago, we were legally married in Massachusetts. We’ve been together a long time. It’s not quite like a regular marriage, so we thought I would read our vows to you and you would understand how different this is. "My love, Ron Lussier, you are my favorite person in the world. Together we have been richer and poorer. We have been sick and healthy. We have been shunned and acclaimed. We have been better and worse and we have stuck by each other through it all. I am so glad to have you. For 17 years. I, Daniel Rex Greening committed myself to you as my one and only life partner. It was a private commitment. Only a few knew how serious we were. Today I publicly affirm my love for you before friends and family here today. [he begins to cry here]  I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live. I will help you when you need help . I will comfort you when times are difficult, and I will celebrate with you when times are good. You are my friend, my lover, my partner, my everything and today I marry you. I love you so much."

When Dan broke down, Ron took the microphone and said,

When we were married, 50 members of our family were there and it was such an incredible event. We’ve been together for 17 years so I figured it would be just a formality.   But every person in the Unitarian Church of Provincetown, MA was crying and laughing because I think they all reailzed, then, when we said our vows together how much we’d been denied all this time by not being able to get married, and how much it meant to us. When we said our vows to each other our love went out and filled that church. My 83 year old Roman Catholic very traditional grandmother came to us and said that the fact that we hadn’t been able to get married was a joke. She always insisted that Dan and I sleep in separate rooms when we came to visit her--now she was saying ‘I can’t believe I said that.’

Same sex marriage advocates talk about the 1,138 federal rights which are denied gay couples, but that's only a talking point, a concrete reason why this must happen to grant equal rights for all.  The need...the burning desire...to be legally married goes much deeper than rights and responsibilities.  It goes to the very core of our being, the need to be legally bonded to this person to whom they have committed their lives.   To be recognized by the society in which we live as "normal," as "just another married couple."  As something more than "other."

Binational couples are especially hurt by the country's discriminatory practices.   Anthony White, who rode on the marriage caravan said:

While many rode our caravan as couples, I am forced to not only ride alone, but to live the majority of my life alone.  Twelve years ago I fell in love with a foreign national and our immigration laws will not let me sponsor him to come to this supposed land of the free.  Our country legalizes marriages between 2 people that met on a reality TV show, but they will not recognize my loving relationship of over a decade. Our discriminatory laws are breaking up couples and families all over America. Many are afraid to speak out.

Martha McDevitt-Pugh, who traveled 5,000 miles to join the marriage express, sadly said that because her wife (to whom she is legally married in the Netherlands) cannot be sponsored to come to this country, Martha is forced to choose between her family in the Netherlands and her ailing mother in the United States.  "I can bring my dog into this country, but not my wife and stepson," she said.  "It breaks my heart that I cannot help my mother," she added, tearfully.  "She deserves the support of all four of her children."  Martha has been legally married for 3 years.  "The sky didn't fall when they opened up full marriage rights to everyone in the Netherlands and it won't fall when we get full marriage equality in the United States."

"All I’m asking of my country is that I not be forced to choose between my partner and my country," said Jeffrey Richter, whose partner of many years lives in Germany.  Richter pointed to 16 countries where he and his partner would be legally recognized, including Great Britain, South Africa, Canada and the Netherlands.

The rally was sparsely attended, an audience of the "choir."  Will anyone in the government--or in the country at large--even notice?  Probably not.   But as I watched these loving, dedicated couples fighting for the rights I've never questioned, it made me angry--how dare some government entity pass judgement on the legitimacy of their partnerships.

How dare anyone straight debate the question of homosexuality.  How dare they question people's feeings.  How dare they say "you can't love this kind of person and you must love that kind of person."  How dare they trivialize the love that any one person feels for another.

How dare they?

Website of the Day

Joan Chittester has a wonderful column on flip flipping and political manipulation.

"Trout Fishing" has a great election sum-up.  Read it!

And this page is good for a laugh.


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Fall is coming--the pyracantha is ripe

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