W is for "Weddings"

by Greg Method

I support gay marriage.

Now, I am not gay, nor have I ever been "tempted" to swing in that direction. But I do have a number of gay friends, and it seems as if there has been virtually nobody this year willing to flat out say, "Yes, gay people should be allowed to marry!"

So, I said it, and I'll say it again. I support gay marriage.

Because evidently Bush hasn't made enough enemies in the last four years, he now wants to ban gay marriage by adding an amendment to the Constitution...and all this coming from the guy who believes in a smaller government!

I think it's quite clear that Bush has issues with civil rights. In 2000 Al Gore bluntly asked him if he knew what "affirmative action" meant, and Bush tap-danced out of that with a smirk and a head-bob. One of Bush's first campaign stops that year was at Bob Jones University in South Carolina, one of the most racist schools in the country (unless forbidding interracial dating can be described any other way). He recently appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals a judge who wanted to reduce the penalties to Ku Klux Klan-style harassment and violence. And throughout his term Bush has been trying to do his gosh-darnedest to put women in their "place" (a topic I will definitely tackle in a future column). And now this whole gay marriage issue. Let's face it, the guy isn't in favor of anything that benefits anyone but rich, old, white Christian guys...you know, like Hitler.

I just can't believe this is even an issue. This is the year 2004, last time I checked, and we're still debating equal rights for Americans?? Why is this even in question?

Oh, that's right, because of Bush. The only reason gay marriage has become such a hot topic is because Bush had to open his big, drooling, ignorant mouth during the State of the Union. You don't think...maybe that...this could be...oh, I dunno...a big stinkin' distraction, do you??

I mean, why on earth would a president with a plummeting approval rating, a horrendous economy, a record-breaking deficit, and who is publicly questioned and criticized every day for a very costly unjust war want to change the subject?? Gosh, that's a mystery!

But since it has become a topic of debate, then let's address it and be done with it already.

For the last year or so, Bush has parroted the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Remember Marriage Protection Week last fall? That's okay if you don't, it was a jerk-off proclamation. But anyway, since then Bush has continued to subtly say that homosexuals have no business getting married.

My question is, what's it to him?

Seriously, what business does he have telling other people how to live their lives? He's the president (sort of), not King Bush or Emperor Bush. Does he believe being a man of sheeplike faith gives him the okay to control how people live? Considering he is a former cokehead with a history of reckless drunk-driving, I'd hardly say he's in any position to moralize.

But he's not only judging homosexuals, he's also flip-flopping, something he's accused Senator Kerry of doing in recent months (most Bush ads go like this: "Senator Kerry has voted for things President Bush supported...do you want someone like Senator Kerry in the White House?"). Bush is doing exactly what he's said he was against.

In February 2000 on Larry King Live, Bush was asked if he would appoint homosexuals in the Cabinet. He answered, "Well, I'm not going to ask what their sexual orientation is. I'm going to put conservative people in the cabinet. It's none of my business what somebody's [orientation is]."

Bush then added, "Now, when somebody makes it my business, like on gay marriage, I'm going to stand up and say I don't support gay marriage. I support marriage between men and women." Before I go on, I still want to know, how does gay marriage suddenly make it his business? Do you see my point? Why does the idea of gay marriage affect him so personally? What deep dark secret is he keeping from us?

But anyway, the conversation on Larry King continued. Bush was specifically asked, "So therefore if a state were voting on gay marriage, you would suggest to that state not to approve it?"

Bush's answer?

"The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue."

I want to repeat the part that I think is the most important.

"The state can do what they want to do."

Once more?

"The state can do what they want to do."

Now, if we momentarily forgive the poor grammar, the fact remains that in 2000 Bush was willing to let individual states decide on whether to allow homosexuals to marry. Not once did he utter the words "constitutional" or "amendment" (then again, he may have, but they just sounded like different words).

That April, he met with one group of gay Republicans (yet refused to meet with another that had criticized him). During that meeting, he seemed disturbingly clueless about the issues that matter to homosexuals, yet was surprised to learn that people saw him as intolerant of gays (he repeatedly asked, "What have I said that sent that signal?"). He went on to say that he would only favor homosexuals who shared his political beliefs (yeah, you read that right), and then followed that by stating that homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt children.

"What have I said that sent that signal?"

He continues to flip-flop. He is offended when he's said to be intolerant, yet he has publicly said that the Boy Scouts of America should not admit gays into the organization (and for the record, I will never support the Boy Scouts because of that). You can't be both compassionate and a hardass at the same time.

And since 1999, Mister Tough-on-W-Crime has opposed the idea to protect gays under hate-crime laws, also stating that refusing to allow a homosexual to adopt should not be considered discrimination.

Well then, what the hell does he call it? Reverse favoritism?

Finally in October 2000, during one of the presidential debates, Bush had this to say about homosexuality: "I will be a tolerant person. I've been a tolerant person all my life...I don't really think it's any of my concern how you conduct your sex life. That's a private matter. I support equal rights but not special rights for people."

Hmm, here's the part I like...

"I don't really think it's any of my concern how you conduct your sex life. That's a private matter. I support equal rights."

And just for emphasis...

"I support equal rights."

Did he honestly think people weren't going to remember him saying this or wouldn't want to hold him accountable to this?

The fact remains that four years ago, he bragged that he was a tolerant person who supported equal rights, yet now he wants to prevent homosexuals from marrying. He's gone from supporting equal rights to threatening to constitutionally ban gay rights.

So, is he flip-flopping? Is he being a hypocrite? Or maybe, just maybe, he's a lying son of a sexually repressed bitch.

So anyway, where is all this coming from? Recently Bush has been pointing to the Defense of Marriage Act that President Clinton signed in 1996...because, remember the Bush mantra: "If we've said or done something unpopular, blame Clinton." However, the flaw in this defense is that the Act itself may soon be deemed unconstitutional, and that is scaring the shit out of Bush.

Bush has repeatedly said, and this is a direct quote, "I just happen to believe strongly that marriage is between a man and a woman." He has said this exact same thing, almost entirely word-for-word, hundreds of times in the last year. But why choose that specific phrase of words? It's a very cold, very robotic, very bland way to describe two people wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. It's about as emotionless of a definition as it would be in...a dictionary?

No, he wouldn't. There is no way he would base the administration's civil rights policies on dictionary definitions...or would he?

Just to be sure, I hopped on Dictionary.com and searched for "marriage." Sure enough, here was the entry:

mar-riage (mrj) n.

1. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.

So, Bush's ideas on the institution of marriage are based solely on how it's defined in the bloody dictionary?? After all his posturing and grandstanding about its sanctity and importance, all he did was look it up in a freakin' Webster's?!?

I was so busy swearing and throwing things that it took me a while to notice the other definitions of the word...

2. The state of being married; wedlock.
3. A common-law marriage.
4. A union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage: a same-sex marriage.
5. A wedding.
6. A close union: "the most successful marriage of beauty and blood in mainstream comics" (Lloyd Rose).
7. Games. The combination of the king and queen of the same suit, as in pinochle.

Interesting, isn't it? None of the other, non-pinochle-based definitions of "marriage" even mention specific genders, and in fact one even addresses the concept of same-sex marriages.

So, Bush doesn't seem all that interested in the "sanctity of marriage" as much as he is just the "sanctity of the first definition of marriage."

A little while ago, someone on NPR wondered aloud that if the "legal" definition of marriage involved a man and a woman, then what were the legal definitions of "man" and "woman?" ("God" bless NPR!) Since Bush's "legal" definitions are direct from the dictionary, I decided to look up the word "man" at Dictionary.com.

Here is a small part of that entry:

man (mn) n. pl. men (mn)

1. An adult male human.
2. A human regardless of sex or age; a person.

"A human regardless of sex or age."

So, by this rationale, a woman can be considered a "man." And if a "man" was to marry a woman, then therefore same-sex marriage does fall under Bush's preferred definition of "marriage."

Yeah, I know, he'll never go for it. Logic and rationality are like Kryptonite to Republicans.

For the last month, Bush has really been on the warpath on gay marriage, cramming such partisan phrases as "activist judges" into our temporary lexicon. I guess the idea is if he keeps repeating the same meaningless phrases and concerns over and over again, people will unquestionably believe him. After all, we all saw how that worked with the Iraq invasion...um, right?

On at least one occasion, Bush has said that gay marriage "threatens" the sanctity of marriage...or, as he puts it, "the most fundamental institution of civilization." Yyyeah, because the concept of marriage wasn't created just so two families could combine their wealth. Bush even once had the gall to say that gay marriage threatens the welfare of children!

But the fact that the word "threatens" is used intrigues me. "Threatens" in what way? Maybe I don't understand what the word means, so how about we go back to Dictionary.com...

threat-en (thrtn) v. threat-ened, threat-en-ing, threat-ens

1. To express a threat against.
2. To be a source of danger to; menace.
3. To give signs or warning of; portend.
4. To announce the possibility of in a threat.

And since that wasn't a lot of help...

threat (thrt) n.

1. An expression of an intention to inflict pain, injury, evil, or punishment.
2. An indication of impending danger or harm.
3. One that is regarded as a possible danger; a menace.

Okay, so can someone please explain to me how two gay men wanting to get married somehow expresses "an intention to inflict pain, injury, evil, or punishment" onto a heterosexual married couple? Or furthermore, how it expresses "an intention to inflict pain, injury, evil, or punishment" onto children?? If Bush is going to use the word "threaten," then shouldn't he use it correctly?

Bush has had a very big problem backing up any of his little Texas-twanged soundbytes with actual facts and figures. He has never backed up any of his paranoid claims that homosexual marriages affect straight marriages in any way. It is so very obvious this his "concerns" are all based on whatever stereotypes were ingrained into him from his parents and religion.

After all, isn't adultery a bigger threat to the institution of marriage? What about bigamy? Hell, how about a husband keeping a secret stash of porn! And I think we can all agree that spousal abuse threatens not only the sanctity of marriage, but also the welfare of children. I'm not here to moralize or anything, but I don't think homosexuality even ranks in the top-ten list of things that threaten marriages. If we really want to protect marriages, then let's start with the things that often become grounds for divorce!

But unfortunately, Bush is not the only one with such prejudice against homosexuals. Last week Reuters reported that a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey found that 63 percent of Americans were against gay marriage...but that 51 percent were also against a constitutional amendment banning it! That second part, I think, is more important. People can hate whatever they want, but they apparently don't want to deprive a person of a basic human right.

This past week I was watching the local news, and one reporter was reading viewer e-mail. One redneck actually said, "The majority of people are against gay marriage, and the law of the land is majority rules!"

Well, no, sorry Tex, but that's really not what the law is about. Forty years ago, the majority of people were against interracial marriage, while ninety years ago the majority of people were against women voting! Yet, laws were made to allow those things to happen.

As you can see, this country has had a long history of protecting minorities. And, like it or not, homosexuals are considered a minority:

mi-nor-i-ty (m-nôr-t) n. pl. mi-nor-i-ties

1. The smaller in number of two groups forming a whole.
2. A group or party having fewer than a controlling number of votes.
3. An ethnic, racial, religious, or other group having a distinctive presence within a society.
4. A group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society.
5. A member of one of these groups.
6. Law. The state or period of being under legal age: still in her minority.

Laws aren't just for things that everyone likes. That's why even rapists and murderers have rights. The law is about fairness, not pleasantness.

And if Bush insists on using the government and the Constitution to take away civil rights from citizens just because he doesn't like homosexuals, then I have a few more choice definitions for him...

dis-crim-i-na-tion (d-skrm-nshn) n.

1. The act of discriminating.
2. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.
3. Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice: racial discrimination; discrimination against foreigners.

prej-u-dice (prj-ds) n.

1. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
2. A preconceived preference or idea.
3. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions.
4. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
5. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.

And, the definition I think best describes Bush...

big-ot-ry (bg-tr) n.

1. The attitude, state of mind, or behavior characteristic of a bigot; intolerance.
2. The state of mind of a bigot; obstinate and unreasoning attachment of one's own belief and opinions, with narrow-minded intolerance of beliefs opposed to them.
3. The practice or tenets of a bigot.
4. The intolerance and prejudice of a bigot.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

--Greg


Link of the Month
Bush's Human Rights (Fake!) Turkey Tour
by BushWhacked USA
"No president has ever done more for human rights than I have."
-Guess who...groan