Blizzards for V-Day, or, A Letter to Senator Waltz and Rep. Frizzell
2 LONELY DEGREES!
It's fecking cold. And Baby Kitten here is all wrapped up, ready for his facial. Or his screen test. Or a lobotomy. Yes, a lobotomy sounds good.
Behold Zeke Whippet up to his little puppy knees and ankles in the snow. He is not amused, by the way (click to enlarge!):
In scenic Greenwood IN we got mostly snow, but in Martin-tucky they got ice. It was pretty, if dangerous to drive on.
I'll finish up this Photo Update with some Pet Pics. Here's Zeke Whippet all curled into a ball cuz it was cold, and then the "cat" looking serene. In reality, he was digesting a toddler that strayed into our yard.
Now is the time on my Blog where I get Preachy.
Joint Resolution 7 in the Indiana Senate is on its way to the House. This is Indiana's version of the "Marriage Amendment." Alarmed, I went to our state's government website and found email addresses for my sentator and representative, promptly wrote a letter and sent it off. Following is the letter:
I’m writing to voice my concern about the proposed marriage amendment and its impact on Indiana’s citizens.
Recently legislators have indicated their support for this amendment based on other states’ passage of similar amendments. Others cite that such amendments are the “will of the people”, based on the fact that these amendments are supported by about 60% of citizens polled in other states.
I think these arguments are misguided. The “will of the people” in the 1950’s and 60’s was that black people and white people shouldn’t get married, that black children shouldn’t go to white schools, and that whites shouldn’t have to share public facilities with non-whites. This state in particular was a notable example of such sentiment, and this is sadly still a part of our Indiana society in some places.
I’m surprised that since these events are so recent that we as a society, and more to the point our elected officials, have failed to learn history’s lessons. In 50 years, about the same amount of time since many of our Jim Crow laws were repealed, I want our society to be able to look back and see that Indiana refused to be swept up in the rush to take away rights from its gay citizens as so many states have done in recent years.
As a gay man with what can only be termed a spouse, where will I go to ensure that tax laws, inheritance rights, visitation and power of attorney are applied to me and my partner as it is to my straight married friends and family? I could move to Canada, or the United Kingdom. But I’m an American and don’t want to do that. I don’t want to have to do that.
Part of your job is to protect those in the minority: blacks, gays, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, the disabled, and so many others.
I hope you carefully think about this as the marriage amendment comes to the floor: if majority opinion had ruled in the late 19th century and the early- and mid- 20th century, where would we be now as a society? Some in the state of Indiana would be very happy if that imaginary world were real: a world where non-whites could not vote, or hold office; where murder of minorities went unprosecuted; where bi-racial marriage was illegal; where women were legally allowed to be beaten by their husbands.
I’m sure you are not one of those Hoosiers. But society judges harshly. It is easy for us in 2007 to look back at 1817, or 1947, and feel pity, anger, and embarrassment at our forebears’ misguided attempts to promulgate and even legislate their racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and other prejudices.
I hope we do not make the same mistakes, and that the next generation, and the next, will not have cause in 2057 to look at us with that same pity and embarrassment.
with utmost respect,
So there it is. Two weeks later, I got a response. It was........ fascinating. Behold:
Message from the Office of Senator Brent Waltz
Tue, 13 Feb 2007 11:18:52 -0500
Thank you for your email regarding Senate Joint Resolution 7. I appreciate your comments; however, I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the marriage amendment.
The amendment does not seek to regulate private conduct, only state recognition of such conduct by virtue of preferred benefits such as tax status and related legal issues. Marriage is a legal and social construct which grants over 1100 legal rights and privileges. Marriage law has always been a matter of state law jurisdiction and the amendment simply seeks to preserve the law in its current state.
Again, thank you for writing. If I may be of further assistance to you in the future, please let me know.
Notice something? The response
HAS NOTHING TO DO AT ALL WITH MY LETTER!
My argument wasn't about "private conduct" at all. It was about state recognition of my relationship. I'm not sure he even read it, or if his assistants read it. I suspect there's a pile of pre-written responses which just get sent along as needed. So I wrote back, imploring him to read my letter.