Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Some more thoughts and reactions--UPDATED

President Obama has declared June "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month." Pretty cool, eh? I can't imagine any other president doing this--even Bill Clinton wimped out all the time when it came to teh gay, so I'm glad Obama has recognized that he won't burst into flames if he says "gay" or "lesbian." That moment during his inaugural address when he said those words--that still gives me chills when I think about it.

You can read the full text of his proclamation here. I like this line: "I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists."

Are Americans ready "to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists" yet? Are we even ABLE to do this? Every time I think we're making progress, a Prop 8 or a "Sotomayor's a racist!" or something like that will happen, and I realize we're sooooooo far from embodying the vision of Dr. King when he talked about people being judged by the content of their character. And that makes me sad.

I think that maybe if more of us started turning this whole racial discussion around--talking about it whenever ANYONE is nominated for something, the way I did in this post from the other day--then MAYBE people will see how stupid the whole idea is. Imagine reading something like this:

Roberts nomination: Is it about ethnicity?
John Roberts could be the latest white man to serve on the Supreme Court. And as we learn more about him, the more questions centered on his ethnic background abound. Was he chosen partly because of his white origins? Does he consider race in his rulings? Are we focusing too much on his ethnicity and not enough on his judicial history?

Check out the original post for an explanation. I'd like your take on it. I think it kinda got buried by Iron Chef talk, though, so if you haven't read it, please do and comment either here or there.

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If you don't listen to NPR (I listen for as long as I can stand it, then I always hear something that makes me hit another station's button), you haven't been listening to the amazingly stupid discussion about the Sotomayor nomination to the SCOTUS, and that one quote wherein she actually TOOK PRIDE in being a "wise Latina." God forbid! The nerve!

I read a great guest-post on Echidne's blog; the only way I can figure out how to link to it is to link to all the posts from that day (May 31, my mommy's birthday!). It's the second post down. A great great post, that one--all about the idiocy of isolating one sentence and pinning everything on it -- then turning that tactic around on the idiots who are doing it to try to derail Sotomayor's nomination.

Speaking of NPR, my GOD -- it gets worse every day. Be sure to check out NPR Check, linked in my sidebar, if you want to read about how bad it's gotten.

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Just saw a link to a completely amazing story that is not getting adequate coverage in the MSM: actual clergy--baptists, even!--saying that they support equal marriage rights! h/t to Sue J for the link and for bringing the story to my attention. And no thanks to the many stupid media outlets that are ignoring/underreporting the story.

Gay marriage, as I've said before, isn't really my issue, but I abhor the idea of denying people the right to marry whomever they please. Discrimination is just wrong. So anyway, I was having a deep discussion this morning with my girlfriend, and the subject of living together came up -- as in, sometime in the future. We began to talk about my fears, based on past relationships, about how things just always seem to END, no matter how great things start out. It's disheartening, and it's enough to make me have said on many occasions that I'll never live with anyone again.

That said, I began to wonder whether marriage really would make a difference. Maybe the legally binding aspect of it would help when things get tough. Of course, straights are topping the 50% mark on divorces, but still--does marriage make a difference to two people who've vowed to stay together? You married folks out there--does it?

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On a brighter note, we have baby ducks in our courtyard, and I don't mean the ducks that PoP regularly invokes. They're so cute and fuzzy, and their little markings are so striking. I'll try to get a photo, to cleanse our mental palates from all the shite that regularly flows in the political realm. We also have baby robins. I love spring!


Randal Graves said...

THIS is why we need The Year Of The Bible, to counter this! I suppose you all want equal rights, too, damn gays and lesb - oh, shit, I just burst into flames.

Sue J said...

My favorite NPR story on Sotomayor (so far) was the one where they went back to her high school and found a "rival" who was pissed that Sotomayor was selected as valedictorian.

'Cause digging up the facts in this kind of a relevant story takes some real good deep reporting skills. (!)

Dean Wormer said...

So much great in this post.

As for gay rights- I think we're making progress, indeed that progress is inevitable. If you look at the polls the tide is slowly turning as public opinion changes.

Part of the why it seems we aren't making progress is that there are the occasional high profile setbacks such as prop 8 and that the fundies are getting more shrill and thus getting more air time. That's not a sign of their power, but rather that they're losing the debate.

Regarding the Sotomayor thing- it's not an original observation to point out there's something surreal about hearing charges of "reverse racism" from guys that support a party that utilized the Southern Strategy and forty years ago was supporting Jim Crow. What galls me is that at every point in our national history cons have been the ones screaming that racism doesn't exist even though it's clearly been part of our society, often institutionalized.

I stopped listening to NPR because they suck. Too much "balance" and not enough truth.

dguzman said...

Randal--my god, I love you so much for these comments of yours. You rock.

Sue J--NOOOOOOOO!!!!! Are you serious??? Holy shit, I'm glad I missed that.

Dean--thank you very much, and I hope you're right that they're losing, hence their louder shriller crying. They may be in the minority (the 23-percenters that they are), but my god, they're loud and annoying. Can't we just put them on an iceberg along with most of our government officials, and then just start over?

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

The only things I can stomach on my local NPR station anymore are Democracy Now!, Car Talk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and parts of Prarie Home Companion (I hate all the hymns he sings on that show).

And yes, the Supreme Court would be well served with having an out loud and proud Latina on it's bench. Same goes for an Asian and a non Uncle Tom black person.

Liberality said...

Sure being married stopped me from walking out the door when I got bent about something. Kids did that too. Thinking about how divorce would effect them. But I have to say that relationships go up and down just naturally. Some months we are just tolerating each other and then a few more months down the road and we are more deeply in love than ever before--but not the honeymoon type of love, deeper than that because there is experience and respect and tolerance mixed in as well.

Thanks for stopping by my place--it cheered me up!

Anonymous said...

Racism might someday become unfashionable, but I doubt that it will ever truly disappear. Sadly, it seems to be part of the human condition.

pissed in NYC said...

New Hampshire just enacted gay marriage today. Things are changing. About fucking time.

Lisa said...

I guess from the legal aspect, it's just wrong to allow some citizens a certain right, but to ban others from it. So, okay if churches don't want to allow gays to marry in their facilities. Other churches will happily do so and be rewarded with larger congregations who prefer a church of inclusion rather than exclusion. But for laws to be written that say that a gay person can't have the same legal rights as me? That's flat out wrong.

dguzman said...

Monkey--Me too. The "news" programs are just crap now, except MAYBE BBC World Service. Oh, and I like "This American Life."

Liberality--thanks for the insight. It's just scary, you know?

Kirby--I think you're right. It's like people NEED someone to look down on, no matter who they are or whom they're looking down on.

PiNY--I wonder if the governor will veto it. That'll suck.

Lisa--exactly--writing discrimination into the Constitution does not make it right. You'd think people would've learned by now that gays are just people, no better and no worse than straights.

Sue J said...

Thanks for the linky luv!

vikkitikkitavi said...

I wonder how much NH will change the debate on gay marriage, since they undercut many of the right's arguments by allowing a legal opt out for religious types.

Freida Bee, MD said...

Wonderful post. Firstly, I love the Judge Roberts- White Man or Just Peachish? write up. Funny. (I just made up another headline, there.)

I left a comment in this same vain earlier today. I have been shacking up for ten years and have been afforded every comfort of a legal marriage, joint income tax filings, insurance coverage, no problems with having kids, and people's response...? "Oh, if you've lived together that long, you're married." We've been given privileges even without pursuing legal avenues, based on our genders (Can I hear a discrimination case, amen?)

I personally think that straight folks should conscientiously decide to abstain from marriage until it's not a biased institution, putting the onus of "saving marriage" back on the homophobes.

dguzman said...

Sue J--You're welcome!

Vik--True. Somehow, though, I don't see that mollifying the bigots.

Freida--Thanks for stopping by! I agree with you on the straights' abstaining from marriage. Some do it, but too many just take for granted their ability to marry, push out babies, etc.--oblivious to the costs and the privilege, just because they're straight.

Anonymous said...

Hey Deanie Wienie! Hey Randy!

Dont forget that the Obama Black vote of 70% pro Prop Hate was the critical vote that made this otherwise lost proposition pass. [Link:]

In support of Gay Marriage, I have dyed my robe pink.


Pink Hood


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