Thursday, November 06, 2008
The Pecking OrderIn all of my happy delirium yesterday, I sort of forgot about Proposition 8. It's not that gay marriage is not important to me, it's just that I'm already married, (I got married in a Methodist church 17 years ago, and although it's not legally recognized, it is very real to me) so it's not an issue that I am passionate about. Everyone knows I'm married, and if I should occasionally forget that fact, my partner is quick to remind me. A comment on the blog yesterday (thank you Virginia) made me pause for a moment and take a look at some of the ballot initiatives that were passed on Tuesday.
Massachusetts decriminalized marijuana. Now instead of going to jail, if you get caught with less than 1 ounce of pot, you pay $100 dollars, and I think you even get to keep the weed. In Michigan, if you can get your doctor to give you a prescription, you can legally use pot for all sorts of ailments. In Maryland, you will soon be able to gamble legally, you won't have to drive the 4 hours to Atlantic City. In the state of Washington, you can now legally, ask your doctor to end your life. And it's not like I'm against pot smoking, I'm thinking that Boston is not such a cold place in winter, and an ounce of pot is enough to last from December all the way until May, it would certainly make all of that snow much more bearable. I don't mind a bit of gambling, even though I would much prefer getting a candy bar or a bottle of Orange Crush, when I put a dollar in a machine. I don't care if terminally ill people want to put an early end to suffering, it's their right.
It's the pecking order that I mind. When did it become more important to be able to kill yourself, or smoke a dube, or play the slots, than make a decision about who you wanted to love? In California, residents were able to feel compassion for a chicken or a cow, and passed a ballot measure that would give the animals minimal living space, not like a studio apartment, but enough room in the pen to stretch out and recline. Hey, I am not against being humane to cows and pigs. But what's the big deal about gay marriage? Why do gay issues always get put on the back burner for the good of the Democratic Party?
Look, I don't need to get married legally, I already have a toaster, I have a blender, I have dishes that match. I don't feel the need to serve my country in the armed forces, but if some of our citizens do, then what's the problem? Why do gay people come last in the pecking order, behind fetuses, behind gamblers, behind pot smokers?
And now in California, even behind cows?
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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