Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: The Maine Way

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Maine Way

It seems the Maine Way didn't come through on the hopes of so many gay and lesbian couples around the United States. But the problem with putting something like this to the vote is that the most progressive decisions made in America, the constitution not withstanding, are made in the courts. As Linda Hirshman so aptly discusses today on The Daily Beast, these issues shouldn't be matters of referendum. They should be decided by legislators or the court system. If we left it up to bigots to move this country forward in fulfilling the dream of the founders, "every man is equal under the law", then we wouldn't have equal rights for anyone but the white majority in this country. Saying it's a religious issue is simply a cop-out. Trust me, growing up in the South, hating black people was its own kind of religion--and prior to the protection established under the law, people used that same religion to defend their bigotry--as they are doing now with gay marriage.

Matters of justice and equality should never be put to the whims of a fearful, bigoted voter base, however sincere their vote may be. We vote for representation and we entrust those representatives to create legislation that protects the constitution and the individual from the bigotry and hatred of the masses. That's the point of the republic. Initially created to protect the white man from the heart of the equality established by our laws; we can now turn the republic's machinations against itself and use it to protect the underrepresented from the masses.

Group think is dangerous; not because it's always wrong but because, like water, it tends to move down, toward the lowest common denominator--and in this case it's pure bigotry and fear of the other in the name of religious fervor. And it's not just Christianity; every organized religion repudiates homosexuality, not because it's inherently evil but because most religions are patriarchal. Homophobia runs in its blood.

Until religious people--of every stripe--stand up and demand that everyone, rich or poor, white or black, gay or straight, is a child of God and deserves the same rights under the law and equal respect in the world, then I feel gay rights will continue to fight an uphill battle.

Today is a day that religious people everywhere should be ashamed of themselves. Love has nothing to do with bigotry. And the silent majority of religious people need to step forward and no longer allow fear and bigotry to set the legislative course in this country.

"Love is love." -Yogi Bhajan


Post a Comment

<< Home