The other real oddity of a platform plank that the GOP has had through the pat 20 years concerns “the love that dare not speak its name” (or, as Ellen DeGeneres once called it, “the love that now just won’t shut up”).
First, I have to tell you a story.
The Peeper has a caregiver, a nanny who he loves dearly who is a very comfortably “out” lesbian. He adores both her and her lover, and so we were very surprised to hear that he had gotten in trouble at his daycare for using the word “gay” in a derogatogy fashion; i.e. “that’s SO GAY!” We sat down and first asked him if he know what “gay” meant. Sure he said, that’s when a boy is with another boy. Yes, we said, boys together is a type of homosexuality. Another is when a girl is with another girl. And it’s just something that people do; some boys and girls are together, and sometimes boys with boys and sometimes girls with girls.
Girls with girls? asks the Peep. Yep, we say. Like your friends X and Y.
The Peeper looks at us with the narrowed eyes of skepticism.
“But X and Y ARE boys!” he announces, settling that argument…
So that the GOP doesn’t appear to be as confused as the Peep about homosexuality, it’s addressed twice in the 2008 platform:
Once in “Defending Our Nation”, were the GOP lauds “the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service” since obviously “traditional military culture” began in the 1950s and, besides, those Greek hoplites were pussies, anyway.Again in “Defending Our Values” the GOP states: “(b)ecause our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it.”
It’s hard to see the point here. Other than the “let’s lock up the gay-bashing Christopthocene vote” point.
Traditional military culture once forbid those damn wimmen and darkies from sullying our Noble Uniform and Heroic Fighting Men. When the time came to realize that having a uterus or more melanin didn’t prevent you from the full range of duties and privileges of citizenship, the nation told the “traditional military” “get over it” and the “traditional military” did what traditional militaries do in democracies – it saluted, moved out and drew fire.
End of THAT story.
And “traditional marriage”? Would that be the Shoshone tradition? The native Hawaiian tradition? The early Shaker tradition (where husbands and wives were celebate – no hope for “our children’s future” there)? The colonial tradition in much of 18th Century America, where the wife was property, to be paid for and treated as such?
And, more to the point, because I don’t believe in spanking my kids when they’re bad, is my discipline undermined because my neighbor does? If I feed my kids meat, is their diet disrupted because my neighbor is vegetarian? If I believe that marriage means that I never shave, does my neighbor’s scraped chin threaten my union?
No, of course not, you say…that’s silly.
So is this whole nonsense.
Again we have a political party trampling into the churchyard in search of votes. A party that wanted true freedom of religion and a respect for religious feeling would have as a platform plank a demand that government be completely neutral in matters of marital faith. No more demands for a minister’s or rabbi’s or priest’s name on a “marriage certificate”. What business is it of my government who solemnizes my marriage? No; a genuinely “small” government – a government intended to respect my individual rights - needs only to know who is contracted as partners for business, tax, legal, and custodial purposes.
And where in this does it demand “a man and a woman”?
In its mad rush to enfold the social and religious conservatives the GOP foolishly demands fealty to an unrealistic, archaic, and narrow interpretation of “tradition”.
The GOP is arguing here for something that benefits not the nation, or “our children’s future” but the benefit of small, fearful people who fear and loathe homosexuality.
That’s worse than a crime; that’s a mistake.
Tomorrow: Up from social issues - The Dismal Science