Sara Whitman

Playing Politics: It's Our Lives

Filed By Sara Whitman | January 15, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: constitutional amendment, gay marriage, Iowa, marriage equality, Republican senators, same-sex marriage

Last night I read that 18 Republican state senators from Iowa are introducing an amendment to ban "gay" marriage. I would like to remind them, it's not "gay" marriage, it's marriage equality. And since there isn't a hope in hell this will pass? You're playing politics with our lives.

Stop it.

This isn't about winning. This is about bravado and bullshit. It's about making resources scarce in an environment that is already difficult to fundraise money in. It's about shouting EVIL GAY MARRIAGE over and over to appeal to conservative donors. Voters? Maybe but it's really about the money. It always is.

I'm shocked Pat Robertson didn't throw teh gays in with Haiti's pact with the devil. I think that may be about an unchecked case of syphilis rather than money.

The bill itself won't get anywhere because Iowa just went through the vote, and the same people are in office. It takes 67% of the vote, I've been told. The only gain to be had is to spread mean-spirited, hateful messages.

Playing politics with our lives. Our safety. I've been told over and over, that when marriage equality is achieved in a state, more conservative states have an intense backlash against anything LGBT. Hate crimes are rising. Dr. Tam insists he can't testify in the Prop 8 trial for fear of his life- when was the last time anyone was killed for being an idiot?- two very real gay men have been killed in DC recently.

Seriously, not one anti-gay, hate spewing person has ever been killed for making their statements. I believe the level of violence has been documented as lawn sign stealing. Illegal, no question, but violent?

C'mon. Can we at least use a little common sense here?

Each hard fought vote is being put to test. It was here in Massachusetts and will be in every other state in the nation that passes marriage equality. I can't help but think of a quote, from 1992 about California politics at the time.

"Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote. Those rights are spelled out in the Bill of Rights and in our California Constitution. Voters and politicians alike would do well to take a look at the rights we each hold, which must never be chipped away by the whim of the majority."

Two wolves and a lamb, indeed.

The political game, which I have admittedly played a deep role in, isn't simply about power. It's our lives. My kids lives.

Please stop.


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As a recently married Iowan, thanks! I couldn't agree more!!

No, they're not going to stop just because you ask them to or because you appeal to the empathy you incorrectly imagine them having.

I've sometimes compared these people to a 2-year-old tormenting a cat. The toddler slaps the cat, yanks its tail and giggles every time the cat expresses agony. It's only when the kid actually gets scratched that he learns that he's causing real harm to a living creature, and that said creature is willing to retaliate.

I'm not necessarily advocating that we scratch religious right people, but I'm very strongly advocating that we give them something to lose by messing with us. Even Gandhi and MLK Jr. grasped that concept.

This is part of the burden of being a minority group. The "issues" aren't some abstract concept they are peoples lives. Part of the power and privilege of being a member of the majority group is that the "issues" don't affect your life.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 16, 2010 2:03 AM

The quote you reference was where we started as a republic with a Bill of Rights and has always been a partially achieved goal rather than one fully obtained.

The rights of a single person, or minority percentage points of our population, have never been fully enforced even when recognized. There will always be inequities to overcome. It is an evolution.

It was also a thought provoking post.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 16, 2010 2:03 AM

The quote you reference was where we started as a republic with a Bill of Rights and has always been a partially achieved goal rather than one fully obtained.

The rights of a single person, or minority percentage points of our population, have never been fully enforced even when recognized. There will always be inequities to overcome. It is an evolution.

It was also a thought provoking post.