Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That

I hate it when this happens. I’ve been working on a blog entry about the whole gay rights/same-sex marriage issue for a while now. Then I discover that someone on CraigsList pretty much sums everything up in a nice tidy response to some gay-basher’s post. It provides a nice shot-from-hip response that resonates well.

But there are some interesting and unexpected repercussions to the various same-sex marriage amendments some states have added to their constitutions. ‘Turns out that Ohio has domestic abuse laws that define marriage in some pretty liberal ways to allow for prosecution of abusive partners. But with the restrictions imposed by their recent same-sex marriage amendment some loopholes may have opened up.NPR audio piece here. It’d be funny if a bunch of wife-beaters weren’t being put back on the streets.

Another item I found particularly interesting comes in The Source magazine here in Oregon. They recently used the Freedom of Information act to get copies of (and subsequently publish) a day’s worth of emails sent to Oregon’s Sen. Ben Westlund criticizing his support of SB1000, a bill allowing gay couples to enter into civil unions.

I mostly find this interesting because it means your privacy may be forfeit whenever you communicate with a government official. But it’s also interesting because The Source says most of the emails echo the sentiments of (or simply stem from?) a flier put out by the Oregon Family Council, the group that spearheaded support for Oregon’s own marriage amendment, measure 36. Of course, when trying to get measure 36 passed, the Family Council’s argument was “Gays have civil unions, why do they need marriage?”. But now that the measure has passed they are trying to prevent civil unions as well. Go figure.

I’d be more enraged by this sort of hypocracy except it doesn’t come as a surprise. This is an emotional issue so expecting people to behave rationally (you know, like live by the golden rule) is just naive. Rhetoric about moral values, religious mandates, or rational thought has little value. Rather, the only way a person will change their mind is if they come to understand why other people feel the way they do… and that takes a level of communication and empathy that is nearly impossible to acheive between people with such different viewpoints.

Maybe we just need to lock Pat Robertson and RuPaul in a room for a while and see what happens.