Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shame on New York

This has nothing to do with parenting or autism, but dammit, it's important.

I am mortified to be a New Yorker today.  Our state senate defeated a bill that would have allowed for marriage equality regardless of sexual orientation. The State Assembly had already approved the legislation - 88 to 51 - early Wednesday morning, and the governor had said he would immediately sign the bill if it made it to his desk, but NY law somehow required another round of voting, so Wednesday afternoon the Senate defeated the bill 38-24.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...
 The argument against gay marriage is usually a religious one -  that homosexuality is an abomination against God, or that God decreed that marriage should be between a man and a woman.  It is not the role of the U.S. government to impose Christianity (or any other faith) upon its people.  And all that "sanctity of marriage" bullshit?  Don't tell me that heterosexual quickie 24-hour Vegas marriages, rampant heterosexual divorces, and far-too-common heterosexual infidelity are sanctified activities.  And for those who argue that God declared the purpose of marriage is to bear children: should all childless-by-choice heterosexual couples be denied the right to marry?  How about infertile people?

[An aside, this is also the root of my problem with the anti-choice movement: the Catholic Church might say that life begins at conception, but the rabbis teach us that life begins when the baby's head crowns.  The "pro-life" camp seeks to impose its definition of when life begins upon the Jews and any other non-Catholic group that might have its own opinion.  But I digress...]
14th Amendment: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States
 I do not understand why civil rights should be subject to voting at all.  Substitute the word "interracial" for "gay" and it's obvious what we're dealing with here.  I don't care if individual churches refuse to recognize a marriage between two women, but I care deeply that the right to a legally-recognized marriage - and all of the benefits that go along with one - is being denied to 10% of New York State's citizens.

And just to tie this all into parenting for a moment: I pray that if someday (far, far from now) my son announces that he has found someone with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life, and if that person happens to be a man, he will be afforded the legal protections that Stu and I enjoy.

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Keep it civil, people.