Saturday, June 28, 2008

They Want to Tell Us What Marriage Is

Journalists in the "real" media like to joke about blogs, as if they were somehow inferior to corporate publications. Yes, blogs are amateurish, by definition. The Internet has created a situation where anybody in the world can post a news story and comment on it, and lead a discussion if they want. There are literally millions of blogs, most of them posted by teenagers documenting their daily lives, whatever, the way it works is that end-users decide what they want to read. Blogs don't advertise, they just exist, and if enough people keep coming back then they are a success. There are a few hugely successful ones, and a lot like this one that have a limited but consistent, specific readership interested in a certain kind of issue. We get a fair number of readers, but really the fascination with Montgomery County, Maryland's internal controversies is going to be less widespread than, say, Boing-Boing's "Directory of Wonderful Things."

But here is a perfect example of how the blogs can out-do the corporate media.

Some Senators have proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Here's the whole thing (after some "resolved" - type boilerplate):
`Section 1. This article may be cited as the `Marriage Protection Amendment'.

`Section 2. Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.'.

I don't really know why there are two periods at the end of it.

We recognize this familiar kind of ugliness. Some "conservatives" want to force their personal views on everybody. It's typical and hardly worth commenting on.

Now, the blogs have tuned in to the list of co-sponsors. Here they are:
Sen Wicker, Roger F. [MS] (main sponsor)

Sen Allard, Wayne [CO]
Sen Brownback, Sam [KS]
Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID]
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY]
Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK]
Sen Roberts, Pat [KS]
Sen Shelby, Richard C. [AL]
Sen Thune, John [SD]
Sen Vitter, David [LA]

In particular, in case this didn't jump out at you, the blogs have noted the presence of Senators Vitter and Craig on the list of sponsors of the bill telling the rest of us what marriage is.

About a year ago, Vitter's name came up when the late "DC Madam" published a list of phone numbers that her escort service had done business with. Vitter immediately asked for forgiveness from God and his wife. Now, here's the thing that gets me with these guys. Wouldn't he be asking for forgiveness from God immediately, while he's zipping up his pants? Why did he only realize he'd done something wrong before God when he got caught? Okay, his wife, I see that, you go to see a hooker, you lie to your wife. But did he lie to God, too? Man, getting caught will give you a conscience real quick.

Another woman, the "Canal Street Madam," also said Vitter had been a customer. In his defense, she was quoted as saying that Vitter "was not a freak. He was not into anything unusual or kinky or weird." I don't know about you, but that's almost disappointing to me. And let me say, I don't really care if a guy goes to see a prostitute. My personal view is that it's a dumb thing to try to make illegal, but whatever I don't expect everybody to agree with me. I just tend not to be too judgmental when a person, male or female, lets their emotions get the best of them in that way. But it does bother me a bit when the same guy goes to work at the Capitol Building and tries to get everybody else to sign up for his view of what marriage should be. Senator, this will seem weird to you but some people actually believe in having sex exclusively with their spouses.

I notice that sexual fidelity was not mentioned in the Amendment.

And then Larry Craig, what can you say there? Trying to play footsies with an undercover cop in an airport bathroom: bad idea. And it's the same thing, I really don't care if a guy wants to hook up with a stranger someplace. I think it's creepy to do it in an airport restroom, mainly because I fly pretty often and I don't want to have to wonder about the guy in the next stall, or what those sounds are. But for a married guy to be doing that while he's telling other people they can't get married because they don't meet the overly-simple definition in the "Marriage Protection Amendment" -- uh, can I get through this without using the word "hypocrisy?" I guess not.

See, both of these guys want the world to live and let them live. They screwed up and they want to be forgiven, or in Craig's case, they want the world to accept their obviously false denials. But they don't want anybody else to have the right to screw up. So Adam and Steve want to settle down and establish a home, how is that possibly worse than joining some stranger in a stall in a public restroom for oral sex? How is the love between two men or two women morally more repugnant than partying with hookers behind your wife's back?

I have said before, part of the issue here might be the quality of the gay people that conservatives and liberals know. Being involved in this blog and these controversies, I have gotten to know a lot of gay people. They're regular folks, they have their personality traits like the rest of us, they look you in the eye and speak plainly and they are out-front about who they are. It appears that conservatives only meet the kinds of gay people who lie about their orientation and then hook up in bathroom stalls. Look how many preachers and politicians have fallen out of the closet, still denying everything, in the past few years! What if somebody like Larry Craig or Ted Haggard just said, "I'm gay, and I'm glad to get it out in the open." If they're a liberal, they do that, everybody absorbs the new information, and it's no big deal. If they're a conservative, they have to lie, they have to do these creepy things in inappropriate situations, and -- here's the problem: in the end, conservatives think that all gay people are like that.

My original point: if you search the news, you will find that no major news source says anything at all about this obvious irony. What are they afraid of? C'mon, this is funny! It's like the corporate news people are embarrassed, they're covering up for these hypocrites. David Vitter and Larry Craig want to amend the freakin' Constitution so people can only have the kind of marriage they have! I don't think so.

You'll only know about this if you read the blogs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

jim, do you know if the other sponsors of the anti-marriage amendment have disowned Craig and Vitter?

I know the republican establishment has essentially disowned Craig, probably because he wanted queer sex; were they as unhappy with Vitter?


June 28, 2008 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what you don't recognize, Jimbo, is that the reason the Constitution has to be amended is because loco judges in various parts of the country keep finding the right to gay "marriage" written in invisible ink in state constitutions across America

only 30% of Americas currently favor changing the definition of marriage to include deviant pairings of same gender individuals

when judges find they can read invisible ink, the only thing left to do is amend it

June 28, 2008 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And 58% think same-sex unions deserve some form of legal recognition, either marriage or civil unions. You are on the losing end of this one, Anono.

June 29, 2008 2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Deserve" is a little strong. Let's just say 58% will go along with it some kind of legally recognized union if it will shut the miscreants up.

As we've seen in California, however, they'll never be happy until the institution of marriage is destroyed. Since they legalized gay marriage, applications have removed the terms "bride" and "groom". Many jurisdictions have announced they will no longer perform ceremonies, just issue licenses. This, in a state that long ago gave gays every other form of legal recognition. They weren't happy with that though- not while heterosexuals had a seperate revered institution.

Meanwhile, the state is burning down. A historic movie studio had a fire that destroyed much of its history. Large swaths of Big Sur, the state's formerly most beautiful area, have been reduced to embers. People in Sacramento are being told to stay indoors because of dangerous particles in the air from wildfires in every direction.

I think Californian voters in November will do the right thing.

That will save the state.

June 29, 2008 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, it's a classic sunny morning. The sun is shining again and the boblinks have begun to sing. The hills have untied their bonnets. The wind is blowing about five miles an hour although the weatherman says it will probably drop to four miles an hour later today.

A racoon has appeared on the windowsill. The sun, clear and good, glistens off the white foam forming at the corners of his smile. Lovely.

I've got some polka music playing softly on one of cable channels on the TV. The beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad so I had two more for dessert. A couple of cockroaches climb the window in front of Mr. Racoon. His smile gets bigger as he tries to nip at them and the foam bubbles down his fur.

I've just gotta be part of this. I'm gonna go get some Cheez-its and pick up our roach pets and go share with our little visitor from the forest. Maybe snacking together, the roaches and raccoon will see even though we're different we're all part of the circle of life!

The whole thing reminds me of how everyone in Montgomery County, except for five people, want to make a law forcing business owners to let guys in the girls' room. Maybe if we shared some Cheez-its with those five people, they would realize the wonders of science and see that gender is just an excuse for bigotry and hatred.

Montgomery County- what a place!

June 29, 2008 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop whining, AnonBigot. Most of the people who write on this blog are either parents or teachers and we hear it alllllll day long. Your adult whining is getting quite old.

June 29, 2008 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed Derrick - "Anonymous"s rants and raves are stale, ludicrous, absurdly redundant, mean-spirited, insulting. pseudo-intellectual...meant only to enhance his own ego. They add nothing, nada, zero to intelligent discourse. I think he actually thinks that he is taken seriously and that he makes a difference. What a delusion~ ~ ~
Room With a View

June 29, 2008 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous needs a new hobby.

June 29, 2008 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely story Anon. Rabid racoons and cockroaches sounds about right for your worldview. Everybody's vermin to you.

BTW, the bill the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed and the County Executive signed had all the language about bathrooms removed. But by all means, don't let that little fact get in your lying Rovian way.

June 29, 2008 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rabid racoons and cockroaches sounds about right for your worldview. Everybody's vermin to you."

This is a perfect example of what TTF has been trying to say.

Science has proved that raccoon and roaches are no different than other living things.

You're a BIGOT!!

"BTW, the bill the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed and the County Executive signed had all the language about bathrooms removed. But by all means, don't let that little fact get in your lying Rovian way."

You idiot! Bathrooms are public facilities! No one's fooled by your little truth-dodge.

June 29, 2008 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Deserve" is a little strong. Let's just say 58% will go along with it some kind of legally recognized union if it will shut the miscreants up.

You've got that exactly wrong. Most people think LGB people deserve the right to settle down with a partner and raise a family with the same legal protections as every other family because as Americans we know that "all men are created equal" and all have "certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." The miscreants are the people with such weak family bonds that they believe their family will somehow be impacted by any other couple's marriage.

June 29, 2008 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon is the one who is dodging the truth. Peter Sprigg got it right in his letter to the County Council that was posted by Michelle Turner to the Montgomery County Parents Coaltion listserve:

When Bill 23-07 was presented to the County Attorney's office for an interpretation of this issue, their response in an October 1
memorandum was that the bill "would be interpreted by this office to permit restriction of bathroom/locker room use based on physical gender." This strikes me as a dose of common sense, similar to ruling that laws against sex discrimination are not violated by the existence of gender segregation in restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities.

I was astonished, therefore, to learn that the Council's Health and Human Services Committee, in its October 15 Worksession, took active steps to amend the legislation in order to insure that the bill would, in fact, guarantee the right of a biological male who identifies as female to"
use the ladies room.

It is that "amendment" that was removed from the bill before the unanimous County Council vote to approve it. Sprigg and the shower nuts wanted the amendment gone and it is gone. The language about bathrooms has been removed from the bill. Try sticking to the facts for once.

As the Gazette reported:
Montgomery County Council acts to quell protests over transgender bill

Protests prompt committee to remove public accommodations section of the antidiscrimination bill; a vote is set for Tuesday

After a vigorous e-mail campaign attacking the public accommodations section of a bill designed to protect transgender people from discrimination, a Montgomery County Council committee has decided to remove that portion of the bill.

Critics have inundated the council and local news media for weeks over their concerns that women and girls would have be confronted by male nakedness in locker rooms and bathrooms if the bill is passed. They argue that the bill would put girls and women at risk.

The committee’s decision came late Thursday evening and was not announced publicly. The Gazette learned of the change on Friday.

The bill as amended would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, cable television service and taxi service.

June 29, 2008 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes no difference if a business owner can segregate bathroom use based on "gender" if you then turn around and redefine the term "gender." It's like saying...."you have the right to put newspapers in this bin and tin cans in this bin. But, by the way...newspapers can now be defined as tin cans and tin cans can now be defined as newspapers. BUT REMEMBER; you are still free to put newspapers in this bin and tin cans in this bin."

June 29, 2008 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, you moron, if the business owner decides to make everybody use the same bathroom he can do that, nobody is telling him what door anybody should go in. If he tells everybody to use one bathroom, but won't let transgender people use it, he's violating the law. There is nothing difficult about this.

Listen, it's one thing to stand on street corners with petitions and tell perfectly naive people a bunch of crap, but it's stupid to try to do it here.

June 29, 2008 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're wrong, Merle. The judge ruled that CRG did not mislead to get signatures.

Distinguishing between real females and males who are "expressing females" is forbidden by this PROPOSED legislation.

June 30, 2008 10:06 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"The judge ruled that CRG did not mislead to get signatures"
I believe that the judge ruled that the petition signature paper did not mislead - not that CRG signature gatherers did not mislead.

Or were you actually suggesting that the judge was taking into consideration every interaction between CRG members and thirty-some thousand voters that they signed up?

June 30, 2008 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm suggesting that distinguishing between real females and males who are "expressing females" in granting access to public facilities is forbidden by this PROPOSED legislation.

You guys can drool and slober about this all you want. The voters will sort it out. And there is no sign they will fall for your rhetorical games.

June 30, 2008 12:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"I'm suggesting that distinguishing between real females and males who are "expressing females" in granting access to public facilities is forbidden by this PROPOSED legislation."

So you’re saying (without saying so) that you were indeed wrong in stating that “The judge ruled that CRG did not mislead to get signatures?”

And regarding the rest, which restroom/locker/shower do you propose that (FTM) Diego Sanchez use?

Clearly you cannot, or are unwilling to answer that, because your deeply held “moral” and “religious” beliefs are little more than glorified penis worship in the name of Jesus. All ye female to male transgendered persons can be summarily dismissed as irrelevant.

Isn’t that right anon and Theresa?

It’s not just about bathrooms for you, it’s also ONLY about males who transition to females who use those bathrooms.

So Theresa, when did you first discover that you were a misogynist?

June 30, 2008 2:03 PM  

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