Saturday, November 7, 2009
"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.
Enough said, for now.
* Miller, Kevin, and Harrison, Judy. "Gay Marriage Repealed in Maine,"Bangor Daily News. November 4, 2009. http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/128048.html. 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.