Sunday, September 18, 2005

Reality Makes Our Point For Us

The groups that have been attacking the school district get in a special uproar over the idea that the new curriculum would "normalize" homosexuality. I always found the word distracting, as normalize seems to me to be something you should do to vectors, or databases, not somebody's sexuality. But I suppose they get their point across. To them, homosexuality jes plain ain't normal, it ain't natcherl, and if the schools teach about it, students might think there's nothing wrong with it.

Oh, they argue against it from all sides. The President of CRC has been quoted as saying, "I think if we allow the liberal sex education program to happen, we will see the end of families and it will serve a tremendous blow to society." The speakers at the CRC March Hate-Fest had reasons, one after the other, for despising gay people, they went on for four hours listing all the disgusting things they could possibly attribute to gay people. They've got this bigotry down to an art-form.

So it's interesting to see this editorial in the New York Times yesterday, looking over what's going on in Massachusetts. It seems that opinions there have swung around the other way. And why? Here's what the NYT thinks:
There's nothing like a touch of real-world experience to inject some reason into the inflammatory national debate over gay marriages. Take Massachusetts, where the state's highest court held in late 2003 that under the State Constitution, same-sex couples have a right to marry. The State Legislature moved to undo that decision last year by approving a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages and create civil unions as an alternative. But this year, when precisely the same measure came up for a required second vote, it was defeated by a thumping margin of 157 to 39.

The main reason for the flip-flop is that some 6,600 same-sex couples have married over the past year with nary a sign of adverse effects. The sanctity of heterosexual marriages has not been destroyed. Public morals have not gone into a tailspin. Legislators who supported gay marriage in last year's vote have been re-elected. Gay couples, many of whom had been living together monogamously for years, have rejoiced at official recognition of their commitment.

As a Republican leader explained in justifying his vote switch: "Gay marriage has begun, and life has not changed for the citizens of the commonwealth, with the exception of those who can now marry who could not before." A Democrat attributed his change of heart to the beneficial effects he saw "when I looked in the eyes of the children living with these couples." Gay marriage, it turned out, is good for family values. The Normality of Gay Marriages

Wow -- this is what we've been saying. Nothing happened, except that some people who were in love were allowed -- legally -- to marry and establish families, and enjoy the privileges that married people everywhere have.

Of course, not every single person in Massachusetts is real happy about the way this is going.
Some legislators who strongly oppose gay marriages also switched their votes this year for tactical reasons. They realized that the original measure was headed for defeat, and they had never really liked the part that created civil unions anyway. They are now pinning their hopes on an even harsher proposal, endorsed by Gov. Mitt Romney, that would ban gay marriages without allowing civil unions.

We can only hope that this new appeal to fear and bigotry will stumble over the reality, already apparent, that gay marriage is no threat to the larger community. States that rushed to ban same-sex marriages after the Massachusetts court ruling were succumbing to misplaced hysteria.

Romney is the governor who last year was heard joking that "I have to admit that as a Mormon, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman ... and a woman and a woman." Mmh hmm, there's your traditional family for ya.

The fact is, it is normal for a society to include some homosexuals. It happens everywhere, at all times. Because it is a statistical rarity, simple-minded people are afraid of it. Just as extremely intelligent kids are teased for being "brains" and nerds, gay people are labeled, stigmatized, and ostracized.

The Times is right to point out that Massachusetts society did not collapse into a moral trash-heap when gays were allowed to marry. In fact, nothing seemed different, really.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you noticed! The world did not spin off its axis and traditional marriages were not torn asunder. Some of us are not surprised by this turn of events, just as we were not surprised when interracial marriage failed to produce similar cataclysms.

In today's Washington Post we learn that some of DC's surburban gays' "'goals and needs and lifestyles are very similar' to straight people's,...'Most people move into the suburbs for the same reasons. We have families. We want similar things.'"

Yes, similar things like sending kids to good public schools, being able to afford a tank of gas for the family car, and even going to church on Sunday.

It's really too bad there are some whose religious views cause them to work to keep gays from being allowed all same rights and responsibilities as straight people. I actually feel sorry for the *nuts* who have such hatred and fear in their hearts.

Aunt Bea

September 18, 2005 1:14 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

How does someone else's love and commitment diminish your own? I don't know Michelle Turner's family so maybe she is in fear for it from gay marriage - since she made the statement -I don't know how but then I understand very little of the hate, fear and lack of sense I see and hear from CRC/PFOX. I mean, if people who love each other want to get married- how does that affect my family?

Renee and Kenny are getting a divorce- is that going to shake my family? How about Tori Spelling or Brad and Jen or Tom and Nicole? Maybe that would be a better thing for CRC to work on- no marriage among Hollywood types! Still makes no sense, Still doesn't affect my family- but at least that is a population that could really use some help(and then nutty Tom Cruise could go off on them)


September 19, 2005 8:23 AM  

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