This post will be a bit of a preach to the converted, I know, but indulge me, I've been writing this all weekend .
A quote from George W. Bush in his weekend address:
Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all.
All? All who? Americans? Bush and the Repulican vultures have decided that gay marriage needs to be banned with an amendment. Discussed in Congress this week. Now. Not the economy, not Haditha and other Iraq issues, not slowly collapsing Afghanistan, not Iran's nuclear program, not the crazy-ass Korean leader we've been ignoring all year, not the safety of those in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast, not the billowing environment problems.
Does Bush even believe what he is saying? Questionable. Still, he has proven over and over again that he is a weak man. Americans have mistaken his blind ignorance for "plain-spokenness," his stubborness and hubris for loyalty and steadfastness. You can't even mistake his utter disdain for those who are not "like" him.
I've been thinking a lot this week about my little friends Gaby and Noah, pictured above. They are the children of "two mommies" who are married in the state of Massachussetts. You may remember that the Republicans used to stand for smaller (cough) government and shifting power to the individual States, thus allowing pockets of liberal thought, like... the upper East Coast! No more. I post the childrens' picture not to politicize my friends, but to make a point about the how this affects real people in the real world: Attacking gay unions is a direct assault on the family and so called family values.
Children need parents whose unions are protected to the full extent of the law. How can my friends wanting to commit their lives to each other be anything but a positive development in the state of the American family? It's hard not to worry about these kids when state laws are yo-yo'ing all around them.
Meanwhile, in Birmingham, England, my blogger friend Paul is marrying his boyfriend of six years in a ceremony this coming weekend. He is very happy, as anyone who can maintain a relationship for that long should be! Today he wrote, "Saturday can't come quick enough.." which I thought was really touching. Congratulations to both of them...
Recently Air America (via Left In The West) gave a list of 6 actions that would actually strengthen marriage. These are not my ideas, but I agree with them:
- If you want to do something that actually helps marriages, then raise the public’s consciousness of the dignity and importance of women in our still deeply patriarchal society.
- Provide every couple with a guarantee of health insurance that spares them the relational strains inflicted by devastating illness and an inability to pay for medical care.
- Increase the minimum wage and offer tax breaks to the working poor so that spouses can see each other for more quality length of time, rather than briefly passing eachother on their way to two jobs.
- Cover mental healthcare in medical insurance policies so that serious emotional difficulties can be prevented from tearing marriages apart.
- Encourage family planning.
- Set aside resources for dealing with domestic abuse.
This week George Bush is launching an assault upon the American family. His attempt to shred both the Constitution and the values this country was built upon (diversity, inclusion, etc) will be remembered as a marker in one of the worst periods of American history.