Sunday, September 24, 2006

Colorado is Starting to Look Pretty Good

If/when John and I leave Indiana we still want to be near family and friends. Colorado has been on our radar screen for some time as a potential destination.

Here are some reasons:

1. My sister Christie is quietly determined to move there someday in the not so distant future. Living in Colorado has been a dream of hers for a long time and in my experience, quiet determination is all my sister needs to get most things done. I assume that Kevin, my brother-in-law, will have the good sense to go with her when the time comes.

2. John's brother Ben and his wife Lise also are looking at Colorado. They are athletic and politically progressive. Colorado's open-mindedness and lifestyle ops appeal to them, as they do to John and me, however unlike Ben, we won't be competing in any triathalons anytime soon. I did once dream of organizing an alternative to the Iron Man competition called the Tin Man. The Tin Man would include timed bike races to nearby donut shops, but that is as far as I've gotten with an event description.

It has been 18 years since my sister and I lived in the same town. John loves his brother as much as I love my sister. We think all of us living in the same state would be a blast.

Then there is this kind of shocking news from the The Baptist Press:

A proposed constitutional marriage amendment in Colorado is supported by 52 percent of registered voters, according to a Rocky Mountain News/CBS 4 poll of 500 voters Sept. 10-12. Forty-two percent of voters oppose the amendment, which would protect the natural definition of marriage by preventing state courts from legalizing "gay marriage." It is known as Referendum 43.

Meanwhile, Referendum I, which would grant same-sex couples many of the legal benefits of marriage, is supported by voters by a margin of 58-38 percent, according to the same poll.

Nearly one in five voters plan to vote for both initiatives, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

So what would this mean for a family like ours?

Well, once you steer around loaded terms like "*natural definition of marriage" you'll notice that many of the same benefits of marriage are likely to be awarded to same-sex couples who request them. The term marriage would not be applied and it is unclear to me which protections would still be denied.

It turns out that while many straight people in Colorado are squeamish at the thought of calling what John and I have a marriage, they don't really want to leave us hanging when times get tough either. By the way, some gay people (not us) also squirm at the use of the term "marriage" to describe their long-term commitments, but not for the same reasons as the Focus on the Family crowd. Some same-sex couples balk at the word because of its association with what they perceive as shallow, unbalanced, and sometimes opportunistic heterosexual commitments, about half of which don't last. Still, I suspect that even these gay couples would appreciate having the same chance to protect their unions.

So while Colorado is not likely to offer full equality any time soon, their solution is a sight better than we are likely to see here, and, of course, you also have the Rockies, which while not quite as wonderful as the Ozarks, would offer some really nice scenery. People probably think I'm kidding about my bias toward the Arkansas hills, but what the Ozarks lack in stature they make up for in magical character. Anyway, November will prove whether or not the West will be won.

*Marriage doesn't exist outside our species and is not a biologically determined state. Besides, if marriage was truly "natural" like say the law of gravity, protecting it would be unnecessary since it could not be changed-- sorry for getting off topic, but BP's use of the term "natural" here bugs me.


Blogger closetliberalintx said...

We still have it on our radar as well. I think I could work a tin man race into my training without any problems! It would be great to be closet to you guys.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Mike Mather said...

Troy, Thanks for this meditation on justice in our country, in our particular state here in Indiana, and in the relationships between people. I was thinking about Jesus taking the child and putting him in front of the disciples in Mark 9.30-37 and telling them that when they welcome that child they welcome him -- it makes me think that perhaps children should be put into the middle of these meetings where people are deciding about the lives of their parents. And that especially for Christian people, right before they vote they should say -- remember Jesus said -- when you welcome this child you welcome me. This child's parents are a gay or lesbian couple -- if you aren't going to welcome her/him, then you are going to miss out on welcoming Jesus (and wouldn't that be embarrassing).

6:09 AM  

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