The Great Marriage “Debate”

10 12 2008

There is probably no debate in the public realm that gets me riled up more than the one over gay marriage. And with the recent headlines surrounding California’s Proposition 8, and the ensuing discussion on the blogs and discussion forums, I’ve damn near had to go on blood pressure medicine.

What riles me up so much is that the arguments against granting same-sex couples the same civil rights as heterosexual ones are just so damned flimsy. Many of them are recycled from a lifetime ago when the debate involved interracial marriages. None of them hold any water legally (which is why those against the idea rush to put the matter to public vote, in my opinion.)

Let’s take a look, if I’ve forgotten one, please feel free to add it.

1. “It’s against God, the Bible, or whatever deity or holy text I hold dear.”  I’ve read some convincing positions that argue that the Bible’s oft-quoted “no gay” scriptures are not so clearcut as many would have us believe, but I am  no theologian. I can no more stay awake through a book of the Bible than I can through a few pages of Shakespeare–so I leave that argument to those more well versed than myself. But at any rate, the blessing of a religious institution is not required for a marriage to be legal now. The institution can be entered into at a drive through, presided over by an Elvis impersonator, with nary a priest, preacher, or vicar in site.

2. “If a woman can marry a woman, what’s next her Saint Bernard? ” This “argument” is so ridiculous it hardly merits discussion, but since it gets used so often, I must. The idea that if same-sex marriages were recognized we would suddenly have to place our seal of approval on marriages between species, between adults and children, or between people and their dining room sets ignores one thing–that marriage is a contract that must be entered into by two people who can legally enter into such a contract. To compare the perfectly legal actions of two consenting adults to criminal actions that victimize children, animals, or household goods is beyond absurd.

3. “It’s just disgusting!” The anti-gay marriage folks just can’t seem to get beyond the sex. Marriage has long been known to put the brakes on the ole sex life, so there ya go. If the “ick” factor is the measure by which our society will sanction a marriage, then it will become a very rare institution indeed. Seriously. Think of every married couple you know. Now picture them having sex. If it makes you cringe, their marriage is invalid. Stupid, huh?

4. “The purpose of a marriage is for having children, and, well, the gays can’t do that!” Or any variant of the same–“they don’t make good parents, their kids would get picked on, a kid needs a mom and a dad, etc.” Last I checked, the government did not grant marriage licenses based on desire to start a family. Nor did they come back years later to dissolve marriages that hadn’t produced offspring. So from a legal standpoint, that hound won’t hunt. As to whether gay and lesbian couples make good parents…I imagine they are just as good or bad as their heterosexual counterparts. But since a gay or lesbian couple can’t very well have an “oops baby” it stands to reason that any children they do add are more likely to be wanted and cherished. And kids need both a mom and a dad? Dare to dream. I don’t know the statistics, but kids who only have one parent in the house are probably more the norm than the exception.

5. “Marriage is sacred! It must be protected!” From what? Are there millions of men and women out there, faking their way through a “traditional marriage” just waiting for gay unions to be legalized so they can leave their wives or husbands for a partner of the same sex? I doubt it. There’s nothing sacred about a union that can be entered into on a whim, and exited from almost as easily. Half of marriages end in divorce, half of married people will cheat on their spouses, and I can almost guarantee that everyone reading this knows someone who has entered into a “sacred” union with three or four different people. If you really feel marriage is something sacred that must be protected, there are a lot better places to start than by telling an entire group they can’t do it.

It’s because there are no sound arguments that the foes of gay marriage have gone to the polls to ban them. Placing civil rights on the ballot box is, to my knowledge, unprecedented. Can you imagine if desegregation had been left to the popular vote? Or women’s rights? We would be years behind where we are now on those issues.





R.I.P. Paul Kelly Tripplehorn Jr.

2 12 2008

RSSO15

You’re probably asking, “Who?” Kelly Tripplehorn was an intern for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and got his fifteen minutes of internet fame by sending a very nasty email (from his tripplehorny@aol.com email addy, natch) to a fellow intern with whom he had a brief relationship.

“Michele, I am sorry, I don’t care how big of a sadistic fucked up crush you have on me but people like me simply don’t date people like you.”  Is a typical line from the infamous email that got Tripplehorn dismissed from his internship.

In the years since, Tripplehorn founded a ministry, and, we can hope and assume, outgrew his uppity asshole stage. But given the air of self-importance he once had, it’s a bit surprising to me that Mr. Tripplehorn took his own life over the weekend. (I stumbled upon this while surfing the internet this morning–I can’t recall now where)

Two things strike me here…first: that many of the funny stories, pictures, etc. that we all pass from inbox to inbox often have REAL people behind them. And second, it’s remarkable how one instance or act in a person’s life can define, haunt, or follow them.

Thanks to a commenter, we have Tripplehorn’s response to the media hype around the email:I regret that I sent the email, and I did send an apology less than a week after my hate letter. However, since it was from one of the highest-ranking Senator’s office in Washington, and it was during the summer doldrums, the letter ended up taking a life of its own. So much so that I found my name and picture in the media including such outlets as CNN, The Washington Post, and even various publications overseas.

This seminal event humbled me in ways that I did not think were possible. Christ needed to break me down before he was able to build me up again, and he certainly did a glorious job of reducing me to nothing. Here, I learned the lesson of the destructive power of pride and I will never forget it as long as I live.

The second great lesson Christ gave me was that if the media could use me to spread my message of hate throughout the world, then there is no reason why I could not use same media to spread a message of Christ’s love throughout the world.”





Gettin’ Old Ain’t What it Used to Be

26 11 2008

I’ve heard it said that 60 is the new 40, and maybe it is. I was looking through some old family pictures recently, and remarked to myself that my grandparents were about the same age when I was born as my parents are now. But my grandparents LOOKED like grandparents, white hair, wrinkles, sensible shoes, the whole bit. And my parents certainly don’t.

I don’t know if previous generations hadn’t heard of hair dye and moisturizer, or if our society has become one that refuses to age gracefully (I suspect a bit of both), but there’s no denying that you’ve got to be a lot older to look “old” now.

No better example of this exists than to look at the First Ladies Bush. (wait…that sounds all kinds of wrong, but I’m leaving it, so there). Barbara Bush was in her early sixties when her husband moved into the Oval Office. And Laura Bush is almost the same age as she packs her family up to leave it. The difference in what a woman in her early sixties looks like is striking:

Here’s Laura Bush at age 62:

laura-bush

and Barbara Bush (back in 1989) at 63:

barbara-bush-19891





Three Hours In Line…

4 11 2008

But…

ivotedsticker

If you haven’t, wear comfortable shoes, and take along your iPod unless you enjoy hearing the political views of those in line with you. (Or want to hear how “This is worst than the line over ta the wal marts on the day after thanksgivin”)

And if deciding the fate of our nation isn’t enough to get you to the polls, Starbucks is giving voters free coffee, Krispy Kreme is offering a free patriotic doughnut, Ben and Jerry’s is giving voters a free scoop, and Toys in Babeland is giving away free “marital aids” to voters who visit their Seattle or New York stores. Which makes sense in a way, because whoever wins, we’re screwed.





Who’s Best For the Economy?

30 10 2008

Like the lil elephant says, “I always thought Democrats were the big spenders!” The rhetoric just doesn’t match the record.

But let’s talk taxes. The Tax Policy Institute has a pretty good explanation of what each candidate proposes HERE. Take from it what you will…some say the economy is best served when the highest earners get a bigger break, some think it’s best to “spread the wealth.”





Which Candidate Will Sock Ya in the Pocketbook?

30 09 2008

There’s much talk of what candidate will raise taxes, and who will cut them. Check this site and find out which one will affect you…let me know what you think of the results.

http://www.electiontaxes.com/

All in the name of making an informed vote!





Monday Morning Mish-Mash

29 09 2008

1. Well, I broke down and joined the iPod revolution. I resisted for years, annoyed as I was by the constant barrage of little white headphones at the gym, the mall, in traffic, and virtually anywhere else. My car has the ability to play an iPod through the navigation screen, and after trying one out at the gym, I decided it would make a great birthday gift. So, I collected Best Buy cards and ordered my new iPod touch this morning.

2. I found the funniest site. www.yearbookyourself.com You upload a pic of yourself and it transforms it into a yearbook photo from the past…you can choose from dozens from the 1950s all the way to 2000. Here’s what I might look like if it were 1978:

 

I swear I look just like my 10th grade biology teacher.

3. Politics. I can not wait for this election to be over. As I’ve said before, I don’t care who anyone votes for, but I wish everyone would educate themselves on the issues before heading to the polls. Also, if you’re going to point fingers at one candidate, you better make sure the other one isn’t just as guilty. Much has been made on the interwebs (and on the editorial page of my local paper) about Barack Obama’s $28,000 a plate fundraiser with some folks from Hollywood. A letter to the editor I read today used this fundraiser as an example of how out of touch Obama is, how unlike the common person, and how crazy such a fundraiser was in these economic times. Good points all, but the author (and the bloggers and forum commenters before him) failed to mention that McCain hosted a fundraising dinner the week prior with an entry price of $50,000 per plate. Does that make him almost twice as out of touch? Twice as unlike the common man? And twice as crazy? You decide.

4. I started up an old hobby this weekend. As a kid, I built several dollhouses. Then, a few years ago, I built another one that ended up going to a coworker’s two young daughters. I’ve had another kit sitting in the garage for over three years, and finally have found the time and desire to make it happen–though I still haven’t found the know-how to make it happen smoothly. It’s been a weekend of cursing and throwing things.

5. No real point to this morning’s inspirational poster. It is wrong on so many levels. Thanks to Dawtch for sending it to me! Seems like an awfully busy intersection for someone in a wheelchair to be traversing. Over the weekend, someone referred to someone in a wheelchair as “HANDICAPABLE“. Have we become so PC?? Handicapable seems a little condescending to me…sort of like when Willard Scott refers to his birthday club members as being “101 years YOUNG”. Folks, you know you are older than dirt when people start referring to you as “so many years young.”








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