Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Olbermann on Proposition H8

Click image for video
This one is personal ... We were devastated to see that California's "Proposition 8" passed last week, thanks in large part to millions that the LDS (Mormon) Church funneled into advocating denying same sex couples the right to marry in California, even though it was decreed into law this past summer. This is just an expression of profound ignorance or downright hate, pure and simple. It's tantamount to supporting the hateful miscengenation laws on the books until the late 1960's, which forbade interracial marriages. According to these laws, our newly elected President Obama's parents had an invalid marriage (he was born in 1961). See Loving vs. Virginia.

For all the right wing blather about "protecting the sanctity of marriage," who are the true victims here? Not those heterosexual couples who have a 50/50 chance of their marriages surviving a potential divorce. This is about civil rights, pure and simple. Why should same sex couples be denied the rights (tax breaks, Social Security benefits, visitation or adoption rights, etc.) that heterosexual couples take for granted? There is no conceivable rationalization for this mindset, because there is no palpable effect on "traditional marriages" of legalizing and recognizing same sex marriages for such couples. Everybody would be a winner here if same sex marriages were recognized and afforded comparable benefits: gay people would most certainly want to divorce at times (hooray for the lawyers!), and just think about how much the churches and city halls would make in charging for marriages? This is hate. Pure and simple. First it was the Jews. Then it was Black folks, and now, since the 80's onward, we gay folk are the targets of hate. Once the extremist theocrats are done with us, who will be the next victims? This is bigotry and idiocy, pure and simple.

Here are the arguments I've used when discussing this issue with people over the years...

Fernymoss and I met and fell in love in 1997 and we've been together ever since. According to most statistics I've seen, the divorce rate among heterosexual couples outpaces the chances we should have had at staying together these past 11 years. Why can't we file our taxes as a married couple and get that benefit? Because we're not "legal" according to state and federal law. That's not Equal Rights, that's no rights.

If either of us decided to enter into a sham marriage with a woman, and then died three weeks later, that woman would be entitled to collect Social Security benefits that we have paid all our working lives. Where's the equality in that?

We can't share equally in health care benefits either. Neither of us is recognized legally by the other's insurance. We're considered "single" workers and cannot benefit from the other's coverage. And I won't even go into the legal complications about whether either of us could legally make life or death decisions about the other (e.g. "pulling the plug on extraordinary measures" even if that were perfectly clear between the two of us). The only option I see as us having is granting power of attorney for such rights to the other, and even that has been challenged in certain state courts. But it's the best we have in the current state of things legally.

And then there's the whole issue of general respect. As gay tax payers who have dutifully paid into funds all our lives that protect others over many years, why should we be denied the same benefits? I guess that, according to current laws, it's OK for us to subsidize benefits for divorced, married or common law marriages, but when it concerns responsible, tax paying gay "singles," we're out in the cold. And we should, I guess, just be happy about not being herded into prisons or concentration camps for the privilege of subsidizing those who are more "pure" than we are?

It's no wonder that spontaneous protests against Proposition H8 have sprung up over the country since last week. I suspect there will be many more before this all ends up in the courts. Good on them I say....

Please click on Keith Olbermann's Special Comment from Monday (above), because he makes a much better general case than I can against this idiocy. For us, its just too personal, and we're not going to get over it any time soon, no matter how the mainstream media covers this.

I'll back down from my soapbox now. But this is an important issue to us, and I hope readers will understand where I'm coming from on this issue. And thanks for reading, as always!


Family Man said...


You stay on your soapbox. Nothing ever gets done when people are quiet.

olivia said...

Hiya toots.

I saw that broadcast -- made me tear up.

I hear you, I so hear you. You know you and Fernymoss have my full support and I hope that someday soon this will be something they write about in history books as one of those awful moments in our history.

Like FM said above, we just have to keep climbing up on those soapboxes, to show people that we are all the same. That we all want the same things in life. That we should all have the same rights.

{{{{hugs to you both}}}}

troutbirder said...

I also saw the original broadcast on Countdown and was very moved. The hypocrosy of some of these "Christians" in regard to the basic message of the New Testament is pathetic.

boran2 said...

I was glad to see that just a few miles away from me, the state of Connecticut has started doing the right thing just a few hours ago. Here in NY, our new Governor has directed state agencies to recognize all marriages entered into legally in other states. It's not the same as making gay marriages legal (yet), but we're getting there. Some think it is only a matter of time for NY.

None of which addresses your post directly. I also support the right of all to marry. I hope that you and Fernymoss can do so someday very soon.

I missed that broadcast, I'll have to look for it online.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Good to see you, FM!
I've been a nice, quiet wheel for long enough, and honestly, seeing this result last week was the last slap in face for being nice.

You're right, you know which wheel gets the oil....

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey there Toots2,
We were both near tears when we saw it too. This is right up there with some of KO's very best, and so calm, reasoned, yet indignant. I loved that he quoted both scripture and the Rubiyat of Omar Khayam,, something that I haven't read since my early college days...

Of course I knew we could count on your support, and we are so grateful to know others such as you and other regular commenters here.

Now if I could just begin to understand the minds of hockey fans (I gave up on the Moms, lol).

{{{Hugs right backatcha!}}}

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Troutbirder, good to see you drop by...

I don't have such a problem accepting one's personal belief system, but when it is directed at me (blindly) as a person, I can't help but take it personally. Add on several heavy layers of hypocrisy and hatred, and I'm fed up and am not going to remain silent....

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey B2,
I just heard about that tonight on KO and Rachel ... I guess that's a nice bonus for a switch since they stuck us with LIEberman yet again. But I'm really happy for those folks!

What do you think of Paterson? My impressions are very positive so far (first time I ever noticed him was on Caucus Night here when he was here right by HRC). At one time, I had such great hopes for Spitzer, even on the national level (guess it must be latent Mario Cuomo syndrome?), but he's a goner now. He seems to have good intentions though....

Thanks for the kind words and support ... it would be nice to legalize/equalize our partnership sometime before we get much older, lol. But then, when I was 20 I would never have thought it even plausible, so tiny steps have been taken toward progress!

And that, as Martha would say, is a good thing.

BTW, the video is clickable above ... it's my sneaky way of getting around embedding code, which is something I have yet to learn!

Janet said...

(((((IVG))))))) as I told Jen aka IndyLib this is just a battle, the war isn't over.

I'll have my beaten up pink shoes in the streets and at city hall untill "FOR ALL" is achieved.

Not just state by state.... but the entire nation. Then we'll set our eyes on the entire globe.

Human rights, baby.

Janet said...

I don't have much from my childhood, in fact just recently I learned that all our photographs were taken and then lost by my estranged father.

I don't know why, but I had held on to the leather bible my grandparents gave me when I was 5. Tucked away in a closet, ironically.

After Haditha, my husband got rid of the last remnants of his military service souvenirs.

Today, I tossed out the last remaining souvenir to superstition, discrimination and hate.

Every day I try to stand on the side of love, peace and hope.

Well, almost every day. Some days I just sit around and drink rum.

:D xoxo

If you and Fernymoss are ever in Portland, you know you have members of your family to stay with. Us. :)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Janet,
That's the spirit! I don't think we've lost the war, and maybe this battle will have been a good thing in the future.... Seems like the rest of the world is ahead of us (at least Canada and parts of Europe) though.

That's a shame about the photos, but I have precious few myself ... but it's ok, because a lot of that I find painful to remember, so better lost to the memory hole in some respects.

Things that have and do count(ed) to me a lot I have around still ... and it's a weird lot of stuff! I should round up some of that stuff, take pics and do a post on what I put together...

Not a bad thing to wipe the slate at least partially clean from time to time either.

Hon, if we ever make it out that way you're first on the list to look up! (Only person I know there anyway, lol.)

Annie in Austin said...

I got links to this video from all directions, IVG, and have watched it a couple of times, finding it very moving. Philo and I have been married over 40 years and we don't feel threatened by giving you the same chance.

Austin is considered a gay-friendly city, but Texas has never been thought of as a gay-friendly state. I've never visited California but thought it was different. The prop 8 vote surprised me.

Many of the younger people I know seem less prejudiced than their parents - maybe that will lead to a future announcement that IVG & Fernymoss are legally united.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Annie!
I love Olbermann and at times he can seem a bit shrill and over the top (but I really dig that!), but this one is a classic. Classy, reasoned, calm and matter of factish, and it shows the depth of KO's humanity as well.

You and Philo (no relation to P. Vance?) are to be congratulated! And many thanks for not feeling any bit threatened by our so-called 'agenda!'

I've been to TX a lot(on business), but alas never Austin, just Dallas (which I kind of like) and that execrable Houston... speaking of which, I remember checking into a hotel once there and inquiring about directions to walk where I needed to go (it was about a block away). I was met with incredulous looks and told, "Sir, no one walks here. You could get killed that way. Let me call you a taxi...." Just an icky city from my perspective, and I won't even go into being questioned as to whether my Edge shaving gel was a bomb or not at security at the airport....

BTW, when the time comes for us, you'll be getting an invite, whether you can make the occasion or not!


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