The 11th Century South

11 03 2010

In Virginia, public universities may no longer have antidiscrimination policies that protect gays because the general assembly has not specifically told them to protect gays.

In Mississippi, a school’s prom was cancelled because two people of matching anatomy wanted to attend together.

DC prevents discrimination by those who hold city contracts, so Catholic Charities cuts spousal benefits to all of its employees rather than help people who happen to love in a way that the world’s oldest parasite doesn’t approve of.

A parochial school ejects a student because she has the nerve to be raised by two women rather than A Man and A Woman.

This is not just difference of opinion, nor is it a matter of religious beliefs that we have to accommodate because of pluralistic bullshit. This is evil. I have always known that, but it took a long time for it to hit me on an emotional level. It’s easy to explain intellectually (imagine if you were kicked out of school because one of your parents was white and one was black, imagine if your prom were cancelled because you wanted to go with your Jewish boyfriend rather than a Good Christian, etc etc). Let’s try to hit a little closer to home.

If you’re a parent, imagine that this is your child. Imagine that your daughter is not only barred from prom, but told that she is the reason that it has been cancelled for the entire school. Imagine that your child is told that she is no longer welcome in her school because your family is not in line with their religion.

If you’re not, then imagine this happening not to yourself (I think it’s actually sometimes harder to understand things that way) but to one of your close friends. Imagine watching this happen to someone you care about. Imagine your best friend being told that she can’t come back to school for as stupid a reason as this.

Imagine being told that you cannot get health care from your spouse’s employer because they don’t approve of the fact that you exist. Imagine being subject to rejection from a job simply because of who you go home to each night.

Imagine that your child, your little brother or sister, your best friend, you yourself lived in a world where there are still places even in the United States where they cannot be open about who they are without the risk of physical attacks and even murder. Welcome to life as it is for gays.

So I ask you…can you hear the gunshot in the next office over? That thud, outside your window? Do you hear the glass breaking a few houses over? Do you hear the lynch mob running down the street? The massacre in the church at the end of the street? Can you hear the sound of burning torches? Do you smell that scent hanging in the air? It is blood and burning flesh. Welcome to the dark ages, America. Enjoy your stay.


Florida returns to sanity (maybe?)

27 11 2008

For 30 years, Florida has had a law bringing discrimation against gays far beyond the issue of marriage. It’s been struck down, for now. Whether it will stay dead is another question entirely, unfortunately.

This sort of law is far worse even than the discrimation with regard to marriage, in some ways. For one thing, this sort of law asserts that not only are gays not equal, but that they can and will damage any children they can lay their hands on. For another, it denies a safe home to countless children. And even beyond that, this is not a fight over a word (whatever the word’s importance). This is an attack on gays, not just on their rights.

This sort of law says to gays, “you are dangerous. You cannot be trusted with children, because you will damage them. They are not safe with you.” The rationalization is that kids “need a mom and a dad” but that’s bullshit. Would the people who support this law also rip children away from single mothers/fathers? After all, they aren’t providing both “mommy” and “daddy.” No, of course not, because that would be beyond even the stupidity so rampant in this nation’s politics and policies. Well, why is it any different unless gays are dangerous? Oh, that’s right, it isn’t. It’s pure bigotry and hatred at work in these sorts of laws. Gays are not going to hurt these children any more than anyone else is. They’re ordinary people who just happen to be different in a way that isn’t allowed rather than one that is.

Even leaving aside the hatred behind such laws, what is this actually doing to children is depriving them of homes. These are people willing to take in children who need a home, and those children are denied that home. Gays aren’t dangerous, so all that this law achieves is to hurt the children that those behind it claim to seek to help. They need somewhere to live, and that is taken from them. Why? Because the people making laws in America are all too often elected by a constituency driven by ignorance and fearmongering.

These laws do not just attack gays’ rights. Even that is appalling enough, but this says to them that they are not even a person. If we allow laws like these to stand uncontested, we are telling them that in our eyes, they are not fit to care for a child. This says that not only are they not equal to us, but there is no way that they ever could be. That is not simply an attack on basic freedoms, nor even an attack on fairness and justice. That is an attack on their very humanity.

I understand that many Christians agree with me, but for goodness’ sake, why do you not speak out more? People claim that their religion tells them that homosexuality is evil. Surely this is a different religion entirely from yours, whatever name it claims to bear, and whatever text it claims to read? Surely this is some other religion trying to take its name from yours? Why do you not denounce this as having no place in your religion? Or if you do, why do not others? Why, when we think of Christianity, do we not think of the moderate and liberal wings? And what will you do to change that?