Friday, June 13, 2008

Organized Bigotry Ready for the Next Round (part 3)

This is the 3rd part of an ongoing series of posts. For prior entries in the series, please see the original post and the first update.

American soldiers are dying every day in Iraq. Millions of Americans face the prospect of losing their home to foreclosure. Gas prices and food prices are forcing average American families to make hard and painful choices and sacrifices. Millions of Americans can't afford decent health care and others have to choose between food and medication. Global warming threatens the future of our planet.

Never fear: Congressman Dan Burton has the answer to the problems facing America! He has signed on as a co-sponsor to the "Marriage Protection Amendment": a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States to ban gay marriage! Way to go, Rep. Burton, way to go (I hope that the sarcasm is literally dripping off of your screen as your read that...). That is certainly the most important issue facing our country today; after all, if we stop same sex couples from marrying, the war will end, gas prices and food prices will come down, banks will forgive mortgage debt, health care costs will come down, more employers will offer quality heath care to their employees, illegal immigrants will go home, green house gas emissions will be reduced, and baseball players will stop using steroids, right?

I'm so proud that my Congressman could come in off of the golf course long enough to add his name to a Constitutional amendment that would, for the first time since prohibition, restrict rights granted by the Constitution (did we really think that it was a good idea to let blacks, women, and 18-20 year old kids vote?). Maybe he can go after that pesky 1st Amendment next or that annoying guaranty of equal protection under the law. I mean, hey, who needs protection from the government or from the majority; after all, we have Congressman Burton and President Bush looking out for us, don't we? Maybe the good Congressman and his golfing buddies can even come up with a Constitutional Amendment to make this fine land the G-d-fearing Christian nation that they all believe it should be.

And, while I plan to continue discussing this whole issue in future posts, in the meantime, ask yourself two simple questions: First, what is it about same-sex marriage that creates such strong emotional opposition in so many people (and am I the only one to whom that opposition often looks more like a manifestation of paranoid fear)? Second, is that objection so strong and so important, that it should be enshrined in a document widely hailed as the foundation of one of the best political systems ever created and, more importantly, perhaps the single most important document enumerating, granting, and protecting human rights? Or, to be more crass, the question could be asked this way: Do we really want to fuck with the Constitution just to stop homosexuals from being treated as equal citizens?

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