Wednesday, November 19, 2003


Civil Rights.

Equal Rights.

Women's Rights.

Gay Rights.

Basic Rights.

Human Rights.

Yesterday the Massachusetts SJC handed down a decision that said to the State Legislature that there are no good reasons to deny gays the same rights, privileges and obligations as straights when it comes to civil recognition of marriage. No sooner had the ink dried on the decision than the wingnuts were on the airwaves. They renounced judicial activism, they demanded amendments to the state constitution. And the reverberations were felt in Washington just as quickly with all the usual morons calling for an amendment to the national constitution.

I wrote a couple of months ago about all the hoopla around the confirmation of Rev. Gene Robinson as the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop. And I stand behind what I wrote then.

But I have to say that the backlash to the Massachusetts ruling still stuns me in some ways. If you were to substitute the word "Black" or "Hispanic" or "Women" or "Jews" into the ruling, nobody would blink an eye (well... there are a few white-hooded rednecks who might, but ...). Why is it that gays remain the last group that can be so openly hated and repressed?

On the way to work this morning all I could think was that the wingnuts who are so worked up over the issue of civil unions/marriages for gays are the same ones (or their children - the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, and all that) who wanted African-Americans to stay in the back of the bus or wanted women to stay home and out of the workplace. How, in this more enlightened age, these ideas can continue to thrive in some places and in some segments of society escapes me.

Maybe I'm too idealistic. Maybe I think too much of humanity's capacity for reason, for understanding, for love of fellow man. I hope not.

But there seems to be reason to despair.

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