Wednesday, March 02, 2005

In the Nation's Cradle

I flew into Boston today. I'm here for work and a conference. I'm staying with my friend Ray and his partner Hao. They are not home yet, so I let myself in. Brownie (their dog) and Bao Bao (their cat) greeted me. Bao Bao, Brownie, and I are now all curled up together on the couch. Bao Bao, who looks like Garfield if he were a Siamese, is trying to sit on my keyboard. There isn't enough room for him, but you can't really reason with cats when they are trying to sit on something.

I've been blessed to be in two great cities in the past three weeks where people would not go into convulsions as their eyes rolled back into their heads at the thought of John and I being married. Having spent time in Vancouver, it was really strange to come back to Indiana, where this is the kind of cultural conversation that is happening.

Some highlights from the Northwest Indiana Times article for those who don't like to click links:

INDIANAPOLIS | Senators from Northwest Indiana engaged passionately in the debate last week over gay marriage, one of the most controversial issues passed in the Legislature that closes its first half today.

Senate Joint Resolution 7 was approved 43-7 a week ago, but the battle that touches many aspects of life -- religious, sexual, historical and political, to name a few -- is just heating up.

Dueling rallies at the Statehouse next Tuesday promise to push emotions to a fever pitch as the second half gets under way....

And this from Senator Anita Bowser who is a voice crying in the wilderness:

Bowser compared gay rights to the civil rights movement, which at first made many politicians popular for championing discrimination but left a painful legacy. She said the last marriage amendments considered and rejected would have barred inter-racial marriage in 1912 and made divorce illegal in 1914.

U.S. soldiers are fighting in Iraq to protect freedoms, yet we won't grant equal freedom to our own citizens, she said. She told senators their conscience should not let them vote for something wrong simply to preserve their seats.

"I have yet to be shown one instance where your marriage is threatened by a gay person getting married," Bowser said.

And a most disturbing quote from the Joint Resolution 7's author, Senator Brandt Hershman:

Hershman said the Legislature has always reserved the right to define marriage, because the state has a compelling interest to promote marriage for the sake of rearing children, which the court recently reaffirmed. It preserves thousands of years of tradition, he said.

"This amendment does nothing to take away a right that has ever been given," Hershman said. "With malice toward none, we seek to preserve the way it has always been."

(Sigh) Does nothing to take away a right that has ever been given. Preserves the way it has always been. Preserves thousands of years of tradition. I'm glad Abraham Lincoln did not buy those arguments back when we were figuring out that slavery was a tradition that needed to be changed.

I will enjoy my stay in Boston. I may start looking at housing options for us.


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