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April 15, 2009

Fear of a gay planet

Hopefully you remember that 2009 is the year of the queer. Those of you who are frightened by this either need to get over it or move out of Kentucky, because if Iowa, a red state in the middle of the country, can legalize gay marriage, then Kentucky can, too. And it will.

However, in order for this to happen, something needs to be cleared up:

A vote in favor of same-sex marriage is not a vote of approval; legalizing gay marriage will not promote homosexuality.

When you vote in favor of a law that grants equal protection and equal rights, despite your religious beliefs, that tends to mean you value the ideal of our founding phrase, “We the people.”

There is no need to “defend” or “save” marriage because the legal right to marry doesn’t mean your church has to marry gay people, doesn’t mean your church is required to believe in homosexuality (whatever that means). Legislation that provides for the equal rights and protection of gay people doesn’t mean us queers aren’t going to hell. It just means there is a distinction between church and state, a concept specifically mandated in our Declaration of Independence.

I believe that any government official who votes against gay marriage is a crook of the highest order: Gay people have to pay the same taxes as straight people, yet they aren’t allowed to marry. What kind of business requires its clients to pay money for services that will never be rendered? 

I’m so tired of hearing about the constitutionality of gun control laws from those who voted against gay marriage. You can’t vote to amend the Constitution to provide for government regulation of marriage — one of the most private affairs — and then complain about losing the right to bear arms. I can’t believe I have to be the one to welcome the slippery slope of government regulation.

As long as it is illegal for gay people to marry, being gay will, on some level, be seen as a crime. And a punishment.

There is this presumed “agreement,” held by most, that the last thing anyone wants, even with gay people, is a gay kid. No one says this, but why else would we all run around gathering evidence from scientific studies that prove “homosexual couples don’t have increased odds of having homosexual children” (a logic that is literally impossible) if it weren’t true?

But maybe there needs to be more gay people; maybe queer is exactly what this country needs right now.

I’m not saying all straight parents churn out psychopaths, but to my knowledge, none of the students who have, in the past, walked into their high schools and opened fire on their classmates and teachers had gay parents. Most men who molest identify as straight. Of all the tragic stories in the news lately, none has been about gay parents killing their kids before killing themselves.

History is pretty clear when it comes to the issue of growing up in a diverse neighborhood or household: difference breeds empathy; empathy breeds compassion. A society that is rich in compassion wants for little else.

Vermont is actually more conservative than people think, and the fact that over one weekend a bill that was approved with a 95-52 vote can change to a bill that is approved by a 100-49 vote (and overcome a governor’s veto) is inspiring.

In a thick-headed statement, after his veto became irrelevant, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas was quoted as saying, “What really disappoints me is that we have spent some time on an issue during which another thousand Vermonters have lost their jobs … We need to turn our attention to balancing a budget without raising taxes, growing the economy, putting more people to work.”

Apparently the governor failed to realize or accept the economic advantage of legalizing gay marriage, a fact not lost on Vermont business owner Don Mayer, who had this to say: “Imagine if we could also tell them that in Vermont, the state recognizes their freedom to marry and enjoy all the rights and privileges associated with that commitment. That would give us an advantage that very few states have.”

Kentucky could make bank by being the only Southern state to legalize gay marriage. Consider that. 

Tagged: Yep, I’m Gay |