The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Thursday, August 12, 2004

ARGH

Two bits of news today on the struggle for equal rights and treatment for the non-hetero people of America. And both are annoying.

The first is the resignation of New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, after his disclosure of an extramarital affair with another man:
"My truth is that I am a gay American," he said.

"Shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affairs with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony," the married father of two said. "It was wrong, it was foolish, it was inexecusable."

The Democrat said his resignation would be effective Nov. 15.

McGreevey said he would step down because his secret both his sexuality and his affair leaves the governor's office vulnerable.
This bums me out, because it means that our country still has a ways to go on the tolerance front. Now mind you, I have a detailed opinion about the merits/"sanctity" of marriage, but that can wait. I only offer up two examples: Tim Hutchinson and Rudy Giuliani. Both of them were elected politicians who cheated on their wives (in both of their cases, the end result was divorce). Neither resigned, and Hutchinson even ran for reelection, losing by a mere few percent to the current Senator Pryor of Arkansas.

What it boils down to, unfortunately, is a continuing sentiment of "ewww, two men together" that remains pervasive in our culture. Even in Jersey, which is a "blue" state, for those who are into the red-blue-divide deal. Hutchinson and Giuliani were also politically "vulnerable" (the latter until he became "America's Mayor" or whatever), but not on a resignation level. America still needs to grow up.

Shakespeare said it best: To thine own self, be true. McGreevey had to do what he did today because of how he felt and who he was. I wonder what's in store for his future.

The other bit of bad news today was one I expected: The California Supreme Court anulled the marriages of the thousands of same-sex couples who were married in San Francisco earlier this year. Still, as we've seen in the US Supreme Court lately, there was some punting involved:
In its ruling Thursday, the court said San Francisco illegally issued the certificates and performed the wedding ceremonies, since state law defined marriage as a union between a man and woman. The justices nullified the nearly 4,000 marriages performed between February 12 and March 11, when the court halted the weddings.

The court did not resolve whether the California Constitution would permit a same-sex marriage, ruling instead on the limits of authority regarding local government officials.
Gavin is gonna appeal upward, so we'll see how that works out.

San Francisco and Massachusetts are so important in the cause of marriage for all, but not primarily for legal reasons. The biggest reason is that it puts the actual couples front and center, and shows them to be real people, with real jobs, real love, and endeavoring to honor the real committments of marriage. The more same-sex marriages there are, the more they become just "marriages". And that's the goal.

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