HONESTY -- A LOST ART
30 September 2008
Does honesty count for anything any more? Is the name of the political game "say anything to win your point, no matter what the facts are" ?
The "Yes on 8" people rolled out their first television ad this morning. The whole thing is one huge lie from beginning to end. Taking a page from the Bush play book, they are playing on people's biggest fears and making stuff up.
The first thing it says is that if the proposition passes churches could be sued for refusing to marry gay couples, that churches could lose their tax exempt status.
Blatant falsehood. This isn't about religious ceremonies. It's about LEGAL rights. Nobody has ever said a single word about religion. That's the whole point -- that the two should be separate.
What the California Supreme court did was to uphold the Constitution's guarantee of equality for all.
Gay couples deserve the same legal rights as straight couples but everyone admits that whether marriages should have religious sanction is entirely up to the specific religions. Religion is, and should be, under the jurisdiction of the people who make the rules for that religion.
Then it says that passage of this bill will require teaching of same-sex marriage in schools.
Why in the world would anybody think that allowing gay couples to legally marry would stretch to demand that same sex marriage be taught in public schools? Where has that even been hinted? Good grief, they don't even have time for music and art classes in the rush to get kids ready to take exams. When are they going to set aside time to teach anything about same sex marriage? The notion is absurd.
I have a newsflash for those who are worried that their children might learn that there are homosexuals in the world. You see them every day. Everywhere. Some of them you recognize, some of them you don't. Your child's teacher may be a homosexual. There are gay characters on an awful lot of television programs. Kissing between gay couples is no longer a taboo thing on television. Children see it all the time, whether you know it or not. The world has not crumbled because of it.
It all goes back to that "icky" business. People can't stand the thought of two people of the same gender being in love with one another. In their minds they may see two people holding hands and immediately flash on the mental image of their sweaty bodies engaged in activities that they find disgusting.
(I hate to tell ya, but if you extend that same vision to STRAIGHT couples holding hands, the mental image can be not really a kid-friendly sight either!)
You know, it's funny how you can go to a function and see two women kiss each other in greeting, or two guys on the football field kissing each other after a good play, and think nothing of it. But if you know those people kissing are gay, even if the nature of the kiss doesn't change, suddenly it becomes something "disgusting."
But this doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with what people, gay or straight, do behind closed doors. It has to do with the legal rights that should extend to all citizens equally.
No matter how you feel about relations between people of the same gender, concentrate instead on the legal rights that straight couples enjoy and that, until only recently, gay couples did not enjoy.
Then imagine that someone is voting to take YOUR rights away. How would you feel?
Gay people have fought long and hard to win the rights to marry legally. They now have that right in California and hundreds of people have taken advantage of that right to finally make a legal commitment to their long-term partners.
I am so thrilled that Del Martin, who died at age 87, was able to marry her partner of 55 years, Phyllis Lyons, before her death.
Passsage of Proposition 8 will take away those rights and set up two classes of gay people in California -- those who are legally married, and those who will never be permitted to legally marry.
It doesn't take a law degree to realize that having separate classes of citizens is against everything we have stood for in this country.
If Proposition 8 fails, your church will not lose its tax exempt status and your schools will not be inviting drag queens into the classroom.
Do the right thing, Californians. Work to defeat Proposition 8--and don't listen to the lies promulgated by the "Yes" people.
I don't know about you, but I would much rather children learn that there are some people in the world who are gay, than that their straight parents feels it's OK to go on television and tell lies just to win your point.
If you wait long enough -- 55 years
in this case --
MILES TO NOWHERE: 74 miles