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My Apologies for Senator Allen

July 10, 2003 - 7:07 p.m.

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February 29, 2004



I was actually about to write something else in my diary (maybe that will give me something for tomorrow, so I'll have two days in a row). But I just heard one of my state senators say something stupid and insulting on television.

(Though, you may ask later who is the bigger idiot, since in the early nineties I did in fact vote for George Allen for governor on the basis that that son of the legendary Redskins coach can't be all bad. That kind of reasoning is precisely what is broken in our American democracy.)

Senator Allen, like all of his conservative buddies, is opposed to same-sex marriage. He's blowing this family values smokescreen, like all of his conservative buddies. It doesn't really upset me that the far right is concerned about same-sex marriages, because it arises from their insecurities about their sexuality, and I'm not going to hold that against a person. So let them crusade, if the popular Equal Rights Amendment can't gain the momentum to topped the 38-state ratification threshhold, this marriage amendment idea doesn't stand a chance.

But, on Buchanan and Press today, Senator Allen concluded an interview by saying that, "Normal people in the real world believe that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Let's break that down:

  1. While I'm fine with Senator Allen appealing to his religious beliefs to justify his hatred of homosexuals, he seems to be implying that it's a matter of common sense. He's taken the issue out of the realm of personal preference, and into the realm of logic and proof. I will submit to you that Sen. Allen may be fine and spouting his petty personal preferences, but any intellectual realm is not Sen. Allen's strong point.

  2. Same sex marriage is not going to be the death of the nuclear family. When you take a look at facts, the divorce rate in the United States hit 50% many years before Disney started offering insurance benefits to same sex partners of employees. I think we'll have to look elsewhere for what ails the family unit. (And here's a hint: It's hard to raise your children and see your spouse when both parents have to work longer hours for less pay.)

  3. Speaking of which, in the only studies to address the matter, children raised by homosexual couples tend to be more well-adjusted socially and academically than children raised by heterosexual couples. Maybe same-sex marriage will help families, because the homosexual couples can be role models to heterosexual couples on successfully raising children. (Here's another hint: Studies have shown that children raised by heterosexual couples who do not enforce rigid adherence to traditional gender roles for their children also tend to raise children who do better socially and academically.)

  4. While, at one point in time, the goverment interest in state-sanction marriage was tied to procreation, that's no longer a good justification for state-sanctioned marriage. The United States currently has too much procreation: there are 150,000 kids waiting in foster care for adoption right now, and the foster care system is severely overtaxed. It would really help a lot of kids if homosexual couples could adopt some of the kids stuck in foster care. Even if procreation were desirable, medical advances have made procreation possible without sexual activity. In fact, I don't necessarily support state sanctioning of same-sex marriage- I support the state getting out of the business of marriage altogether and leaving it to the religious institutions, where it belongs.

  5. I've long thought that the number one family crisis in the United States is out-of-wedlock pregnancy. If anyone can demonstrate a link between homosexuality and out-of-wedlock pregnancy, I will go down on that person. (Ok, that may not seem like much of a prize.)

  6. Keeping the state out of marriage altogether, leaving marriage a religious institution only, actually encourages the sanctity of marriage about which the conservatives are so concerned. If people can't go to the justice of the peace to get married, then they'll have to turn to ministers.

  7. Sen. Allen should never be allowed to later argue that his opposition to same-sex marriage has any basis other than a hatred of homosexuals. If normal people see that marriage is for a man and a woman only, then homosexuals must be abnormal.

  8. The American Psychiatric Association rejected the notion that homosexuality is abnormal thirty years ago. Sen. Allen isn't current on his research.

  9. Sen. Allen's quote also makes clear that he thinks that the citizens of Vermont are abnormal as well.

  10. I suppose I would be abnormal as well. However, as a factual matter, I am far more intelligent than Sen. Allen.

I'm not being too hard on Sen. Allen and the conservatives. I have no problem with their bigoted personal beliefs. But when they start whining about how gay marriage threatens family values, I'd like to see at least one damn fact to back it up.

I have to apologize as well. I suppose my errant gubernatorial vote helped Allen eventually get to the senate. I promise that I'm much more careful in casting my votes now. Every time I say to myself, "There's a Republican I can live with," it eventually comes back to haunt me.

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