19 November 2003

It’s up!

The Times saw fit to print my letter this morning.  Here it is.

Posted in OnTheWeb on 19 November 2003 at 10:12 am by Nate

What now?

Well, there’s plenty, but we can’t blow it.

Unless you’re living in a vaccuum, you’ve heard about the Supreme
Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruling that the Constitution of the
Commonwealth requires that same-sex couples be entitled to the rights,
privileges, and obligations of marriage.

This is great.  Whatever your religious beliefs regarding
marriage, the civil compact that we live under requires that we do not
discriminate agaisnt other people in the legal protections that we
afford them, no matter how much we may disagree with them.  A just
society is one in which one’s affective identity memberships do not
engender discriminatory practice on the part of the state.  I.e.,
the state should not deny legal protections and obligations from a
person on the basis of some characteristic the person contains, no
matter how few people share that characteristic.  As John Stuart
Mill, perhaps the clearest disciple of modern liberalism noted,

If all mankind minus one,
were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary
opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one
person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing
mankind.

Now, the focus will be on the next step (I’d guess other states or the
U.S. Supreme Court and the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” and its
egregious rewrite of the “full faith and trust” clause), but there’s an
event that intervenes — the Presidential election.

(An aside.  The President said, “Marriage is a sacred institution
between a man and a woman. Today’s
decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court violates this
important principle. I will work with Congressional leaders and others
to do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of
marriage.”  What does George Bush know of the sacred?  Does
he have any training in divinity or theology?  Is he a religious
leader?  Is he a pastor or bishop of his church, the United
Methodist Church?  Can he provide any evidence that he’s in the
sacredness business?  And since the answer to the above questions
is “No,” then I’d like to thank him to keep his nose out of the
sacredness and sacramentality business.  He’s the president, not
the preacher, pastor, or priest.)

The issue of the place of gays in our society is going to be the
hot-button culture wars issue of 2004.  There are people convinced
that Western society and the Republic will both fall if we don’t keep
the gays from equal treatment and “preserve marriage.”  (Although,
straight people, you’ve done a good job with fucking up marriage on
your own, which makes me wonder sometimes why we gay people want to get
in on the deal….)  If we push too hard (which might mean “at
all”) in the next 12 months, then that could solidify a Republican
victory in the election.  People who regard this as at all
important and who oppose the extension of this basic equality to their
fellow Americans will vote with the Republican party next year. 
(A coda: don’t misinterpret me and say that I think that Republicans
are opposed to the extension of this basic equality; while most
probably are, not all Republicans are.  But all those who regard
opposition as an important issue will vote Republican.)  And,
fair-weather friends that the Democrats have been, they’re much more
likely to take the just course of action in the end.

But please, my dear gay activist friends, please don’t file any suits
until 3 November.  Let us get someone in office who will do us a
favor in legislation approval and judicial appointment.  Keep as
much of the gasoline as possible away from the fire that we’ll see in
the next election cycle — it’s likely to burn us otherwise.

Posted in Politicks on 19 November 2003 at 10:10 am by Nate

She’s starting early

Her parents are starting my goddaughter early….

No, it’s not actual coffee.  She’s mostly just interested in the plastic lid.  But I think it’s a good sign.

Posted in Day2Day on 19 November 2003 at 10:03 am by Nate