Wednesday, November 09, 2005

double-secret probation

For several years running, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution at their annual convention telling the world how despicable and awful gay people are, and how they were foursquare against them ... us ... it ... the subject. Each year, they piled on the negative language to communicate this message.

In case, I suppose, we didn't know that they felt that way.

Yesterday, the people of Texas passed an amendment to their state constitution banning same sex marriage, this on top of a state law that already bans it. I would think that Texas will run out of options to continue to let its gay citizens and their families know how strongly Texans feel that the decency of equal protection of the law does not exist for them, but sadly, I am sure we will hear about new attempts by my home state's righteous legislature to emphasize that gay folk are second-class citizens.

I wonder how long it will take them to understand that resolutions, laws and constitutional amendments do not erase the source of their anger: Gay families exist, requiring the need for clear legal protections and responsibilities.

Pass amendments. Hold your breath. Go the double-secret probation route. We're still here.

Indiana will follow Texas in 2006 with its own constitutional amendment, by the way, in order to address what the Republican speaker of our state assembly has called the most important issue facing Indiana.

The people of Maine, on the other hand, voted yesterday to reject a ballot effort to overturn their state's equal protection employment law that forbid anti-gay discrimination. I am reminded of a comic once who said that it really feels as if God once said to all the gay people in America, Get thee to the east or west coasts.


lemming said...

Roe v. Wade is next, alas...

Anonymous said...

In 1976 the Episcopal church held its general convention in Minneapolis. Prior to the convention several diocese had submitted for consideration by the council resolutions condemning homosexuality. The most virulently worded of these came from a diocese in Texas. The night before the convention was to begin the author of that resolution was murdered in a hotel room by the young male prostitute he'd picked up earlier that evening. That was my first awareness that when you scratch a homophobe you often uncover a very unhappy closeted homosexual.

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

A couple of very thin silver linings...When the KKK demonstrated in Austin for the amendment, only 14 Klansmen came and over 3000 people showed up in opposition to them, the amendment, and tyranny of the majority. Travis County was the one county in Texas where a majority voted against the amendment. And voter turnout at UT was at a record high.

So despite the black cloud hanging over our state, there are people down here who believe in the American ideals of liberty and justice for all. Listening to the rhetoric, though, it's hard to believe that the majority has any idea what it means to be either an American or a Christian.

Don said...

M -- thanks for the reporting. I had heard that the Klan were gathering, but had not heard about the actual outcome. And I am glad to know that Travis County rejected the amendment.

I'd like to think that the vote was so skewed because the only people who really cared were either gay people or the religious right, and that the rest of the state could care less.

But I also am reminded that it is never a good day to have one's civil rights determined by the ballot box. Or at least, I am grateful that our founding folk put the bill of rights in the Constitution so that we operate under a framework that doesn't put our civil liberties up for vote.