Friday, May 11, 2012

Pure Prejudice

The United States has gone raving mad.

 Some of my favorite composers, artists  & poets are gays, lesbians or bisexuals. How much of this "identity" is evident in their art varies. Sometimes they think about it deeply in their art, sometimes it isn't obvious  at all. If you're involved in the arts, you better get used to being around LGBT, & in a nonjudgmental way. But I was hardly ahead of the curve on LGBT rights, & I've said this many times. I had gay &  lesbian coworkers. The brother of one of my best friends was gay.  I had no close gay friends.  I had a lesbian piano student in the late '80s I got to know fairly well,  I resided across the street from a "married" lesbian couple for a few years & casually observed their ordinary  coming & going routines. A beloved gay DJ at WFMU died of AIDS in 1993; it was the shock  turning point for me, seeing how his family (except a younger sister) was in complete denial throughout the wake & funeral.  I finally began to understand what rights LGBT did not have that were guaranteed to married couples & family members.

A gay person did not have the right to have a gay "spouse"  relation by his side when he was dying, for this relation to be involved in funeral planning, manage his postmortem affairs, collect his insurance, inherit his property, if "family" objected.  This is unadulterated cruelty. It has nothing to do with religion. The solution is civil, changes in law. A strong domestic partnership  law would alleviate some of the most egregious injustices. It's not marriage equality, but its something.  North Carolina voted to ban not only same sex marriage, but other forms providing  basic  social justice & human rights for LGBT.

Why do we keep putting this up for a popular vote? Why do North Carolinians - who already have strong laws against same sex marriage on the books - get to engrave pure prejudice in their state constitution?  It's ignorance & stupidity & bad law & even worse religion. Enough is enough.

This is how people like myself logically & morally  conclude that nothing less than full civil marriage equality can permanently guarantee full human rights to LGBT.  The "other side" doesn't really want to compromise with civil unions & domestic partnerships or any other  legal arrangement less offensive to religious sensibilities regarding "marriage"  they can use to place limits on LGBT rights. Give them a chance & they'll permanently say "no" to everything. The best we say is that some of them are misguided & misinformed.  But they are all horribly wrong.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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