06 February 2004

am i naive? (the answer is often yes. however:) john kerry surprised me yesterday by stating unequivocally that he does not support gay marriage, but rather full and equal civil unions.

all this sounds very plessy v. ferguson to me. if senator kerry thought a little harder, would he understand that it doesn't make sense to, first, state that you support the full participation of a class of people in american society, and second, state that you support the creation of a new institution so that those folks can't participate in one of the more fundamental institutions of american society? (none of this, btw, is to say that civil unions are bad.)

let's think about some other "suspect classes." seeing as i've already referenced plessy, let's try race first. "separate but equal" doesn't work constitutionally, hasn't for a long time. minority people, under the letter of the law at least, must be afforded full access to marriage and every other public institution in this country. in a situation perhaps more similar to gay marriage, one should also note that laws banning miscedgenation haven't been OK for quite some time either.

...this despite the fact that lots and lots and LOTS of people made claims about "God's law" in that context.

but what if sexualities were all nurture (or choice), no nature, as many conservatives have said? well, we can point to lots and lots of constitutional law guaranteeing equal rights to people who have made religious choices in direct contradiction of antonin scalia's fabled "judeo-christian foundations of our country" (see his outrageous dissent in romer v. evans). interestingly, however, muslims and hindus and atheists and santeria practitioners are all allowed to marry.

the list goes on. point is, obviously, if we claim we're about affording queer people full citizenship, and if civil marriage is in fact a secular rather than a sacred institution, then the massachusetts supreme court just made a gutsy and entirely correct decision.

UNRELATEDLY, dean has announced that he'll be dropping out if we don't take wisconsin. this is the right move. i was getting a little antsy, honestly, about division among the dems. although i have to say: the media is SO fucking this up. first the white house-scripted attacks on dean (who would, i think, have been the more appealing candidate in the general). then the pleasantly self-fulfilling annointment of kerry as the nominee. then the parroting of the "massachusetts liberal/just like dukakis" shit. anyway. i've been checking out position statements lately, and i'd be happy to support kerry there, mostly. let's just hope he can keep improving that stage presence.

eyes on the prize. yes indeed.