Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gay Marriage Outlawed in Maine: Heterosexist Hate is Alive and Extremely Well in America

"God has given us this victory,” Emrich continued, “and it is very important for us to recognize that he is the one who put the energy into this campaign. So let’s not be so arrogant to forget this. It’s very appropriate to pause for a moment of prayer.” * *2

Okay, now I’m angry! First, God has nothing to do with heterosexist hatred! Second, Not only am I disappointed in my fellow Americans (once again), but also, I’m furious! Thirty-one times in Thirty-one states the citizens of this country have seen fit to vote their own brothers, sisters, sons and daughter into second-class citizenship.

How is it possible for so many to consider their progeny and family to be unworthy!

Not only did these voters VOTE NO on same sex marriage, but also, by doing so they voted against all of our lesbian and gay families.  Thus, there are a host of problems that will continue to exist for lesbian and gay families that their heterosexual counterparts do not bear. For instance, in every lesbian and gay partnership, be there children or not, the death of one partner will lead directly to the other being taxed on 50% of his/her holdings. The huge tax bill is based on the assumption that since LGBT people cannot be married, 50% of all assets, property and accounts belonged to the deceased. Thus, In my own case, should I be the survivor in a 42 year – and hopefully much longer – relationship, I will  not be allowed to inherit my own property, assets, and accounts tax free.  However, at least one third of my partner's and my joint assets are based in my family’s financial history, and another half of our joint wealth is based on my earnings as an adult. That single consequence of not being married alone has generated horrible consequences for two of our close friends as our generation ages. In both cases, the death of one partner caused the surviving partner the necessity of selling the home the couple had lived in because of the tax bill. There are worse consequences for second-class lesbian and gay families. The worst being the denial of some to sit at their partner’s side as he/she dies in a hospital bed. And, second, a father or mother may not adopt his or her own children. Thus, the parent’s accumulated assets may not be passed on to the children as in a heterosexual marriage. The list of rights heterosexual couples take for granted that are not allowed to lesbian and gay families is extremely lengthy, and I will not continue with the details here.

However, it follows that the consequence of legalized heterosexist voting in this (democratic and free?) nation is the purposeful destruction of American LGBT families! I stop just short of describing it as genocide.

I have listened to conservative and evangelical Republicans tout their family values these many years, and now I respond, WHAT VALUES? You espouse the destruction of my people’s families because of your legalized heterosexism. Religious values, you say, and I respond, WHAT VALUES? In the New Testament Jesus Christ preached tolerance and love for all. In the Old Testament Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt for less than this!

So, in my anger and frustration, I thought, what can I do to try to change the heterosexist voter’s mind? I know that there are those 10 to 15 percent that are so anchored in their fear and hate that nothing short of death will move them. I put those bigots out of mind and heart because there is nothing to be done about them.  As to the rest, I assume that meeting and knowing lesbian and gay persons will help make a difference – there are probably one or two of us somewhere in each of their families.  However, I do not see - coming out to ones family - as the panacea that the LGBT movement has thought it to be these last forty years. The idea has been that making our heterosexual families aware of our homosexuality will automatically change their minds about LGBT people. And that, as it turns out, has its limits. In fact, we still have families disown their gay and lesbian progeny, consigning them to the street. We still have heterosexual parents who punish themselves because they believe it is their fault a son or daughter is gay, though the son or daughter doesn't blame Mom or Dad for his or her God given sexuality. We still have Christians who target gay men’s funerals with demonstrations of hate. We still have hate crimes and worse, murder of lesbian and gay people as a part of our American way of life. So, what can I do to try to change some of this fear, anger, and hate into if not love, at least tolerance and understanding?

I’d like to set up an on line journal where LGBT people tell their stories. I want to see published a lexicon of loss and degradation caused by this purposeful and hateful second-class citizenship imposed on part of the population because many Americans are unable and unwilling to share their constitutionally guaranteed rights with their own sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. And yes, that will portray us as victims because WE ARE VICTIMS! And, as victims we should be collectively ANGRY AT OUR FAMILIES for victimizing us! Oh, and if your own heterosexual family members disclaim any responsibility in this national disaster for lesbian and gay people, saying things like – “I didn’t vote NO against lesbian and gay marriage” or “you should have equal rights, but not marriage” – they need to understand the simple truth that “separate but equal” didn’t work for black people here in the United States, nor in South Africa! It never has worked and it doesn’t work today. They need to understand that a vote “NO ON MARRIAGE” for lesbian and gay people is a heterosexist hate vote against their own sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.

I wish I could keep some of my normal relaxed and occasionally humorous approach to life for this entry about Heterosexist hate in America. I wish that were possible.

It isn’t!

Enough said, for now.

* Miller, Kevin, and Harrison, Judy. "Gay Marriage Repealed in Maine,"Bangor Daily News. November 4, 2009. Last update, 9:29 AM EST, Saturday November 7, 2009. Viewed 9:42 AM EST. The hate statement disguised as Christian zeal was made by the Reverend Bob Emrich of Palmyra, Maine about the "No on 1" victory.

*2 The following is Jesus Christ's comment about forgiveness of those who victimized him as he hung on the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). I wish I were able to be as forgiving. Unfortunately this entry shows that I'm not as close to Jesus Christ as I would like to be.


Michael Ejercito said...

Our society, as well as the federal judiciary, has been tolerant of separate but equal when it comes to gender.

I have no problem with boys and girls having separate but equal education facilities.

Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...

Hi Michael,

Our society and the Federal Judiciary have both been tolerant of many prejudices in the past and we are currently tolerant of prejudice where we should not be. As I said, “separate but equal never works.” I know that many women and young ladies would agree with me. I’m equally sure that others would not. I am aware that it is possible to have disagreement about what constitutes prejudice. In fact, therein lies the problem. Where does one draw the line when confronting a rational such as yours?


KittKatt said...

Sometimes there is righteous anger. Jesus himself also got angry at religious hypocrisy. Think of how he turned over the tables of the money changers in front of the Temple. Or read his rant in Matthew 23, where he goes on and on like this:

13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

Nothing made Jesus more angry than when religious leaders made petty rules that discouraged people from connecting with God -- like today’s conservatives with their “God hates fags” lies.

I think the Bible includes Jesus’ angry side so that we can accept our anger, too -- and then turn our anger into motivation to become part of the solution.

Thanks for inviting me to comment on this post.

KittKatt said...

OK, after posting my previous comment, I thought that people might not look up Matthew 23. I’m copying it and posting it here, so you can see that Jesus was really boiling MAD!

Imagine him saying this stuff to the religious right who oppose marriage equality in God’s name. (And then keep following him on the rest of his journey.)

13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

16"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.

23"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...


Thanks for the complete text. My anger is nothing compared to Jesus' anger.


Michael Ejercito said...

Read Mark Chapter 10