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gay marriage

The State of New York voted down the gay marriage bill yesterday. By a vote of 38 to 24. There are 32 Democrats. Somehow I am not too surprised. Not because I am familiar with the NY political scene, but lately people have been letting me down. I am losing faith. (Don’t worry. This is supposed to be an inspiring post!)

Tea Parties.

Townhall crazies.

Birthers.

People who don’t know that you CANNOT be a Nazi AND a Communist at the same time.

Sarah Palin’s book, on the New York Times Bestseller list.

The fact that now I can remember Rush Limbaugh with fondness. Ah, the good old days before I was made aware of the existence of one Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck.

I found the panacea for my doom and gloom as far as humanity is concerned today: Senator Diane Savino, a Democrat from Staten Island. Or rather, since we all should be wary of blind hero worship: we learned of her strong position on one issue today, and I plan to reserve my full-throttle love affair with her until I have a chance to know more about her other political beliefs and standings. But I will say this:

I am absolutely in love with her speech at the New York Senate floor yesterday defending the rights of gay people to be legally married.

The video of her speech is turning into the latest, hottest Internet Meme as I write. At least in the parts of the cyber world that I wander. People were elated to witness an impassioned speech explaining why voting YES to gay marriage is the right thing to do, that is at the same time rational, humorous, engaging, and moving. Perhaps the defeat in the State of New York is not for naught. Here is the silver lining: a plainspoken, easy to understand, relatable argument, from a Roman Catholic nonetheless.

* Like a dork, I sat down, listened to her while frantically trying to type down her words. So I can read them again. So I can read them out loud to anybody who would listen. Like a great Jon Stewart episode that speaks volumes of truth amidst the laughter. The transcripts for the highlights of her 7-minute speech is after the jump. IF you don’t feel like watching the video, or perhaps you disagree (and if so, I appreciate your staying around), please do read the highlights. I typed them out for you, my imaginary friends!



On the fundamental of the gay marriage bill:

“This vote is not about politics. It is not about democratic politics, or republican politics…

This vote is not about an issue of politics. This vote is about an issue of fairness and equality, not political. It is the fairness of two people, who are of the right age, of sound mind, who choose to live together, share everything together, and want to have the same protection that the government granted those of us who have the privilege of marriage and treated it so cavalierly in our society.”

On how she helped someone else see her point:

At 3:09, Senator Savino tells the story about her encounter with a stranger who stuck his head inside her car and asked her whether she was going to vote YES, and why. She reminding him that they could, as a matter of fact, go and get married at the city hall the next day, and nobody would question the quality of their relationship. Their commitment to the marriage.

“Do you think we are ready for that kind of commitment?”

The man saw her point.

On the role of the government as far as marriage is concerned:

“We in the government do not determine the quality or the validity of people’s relationships. If we did, we would not issue three quarters of the marriage license we do.”

On “what we are really protecting”

“Let me ask you something ladies and gentlemen, what are we really protecting?”

“Turn on the television. We have a wedding channel on cable TV devoted to the behavior of people on their way to the altar. They spend billions of dollars, behave in the most appalling way, all in an effort to be princess for a day. You don’t have cable television? Put on network TV. We’re giving away husbands on a game show. You can watch The Bachelor, where thirty desperate women will compete to marry a 40-year-old man who has never been able to maintain a decent relationship in his life. We have The Bachelorette in reverse… That’s what we’ve done to marriage in America, where young women are socialized from the time they’re five years old to think of being nothing but a bride. They plan every day what they’ll wear, how they’ll look, the invitations, the whole bit, they don’t spend five minutes thinking about what it means to be a wife. People stand up there before god and man even in Senator Diaz’s church, they swear to love, honor and obey, they don’t mean a word of it. And so if there’s anything wrong, or any threat to the sanctity of marriage in America, it comes from those of us who have the privilege and the right, and we have abused it for decades.”

The powerful conclusion that should be the rallying cry for the march:

“We have nothing to fear. We have nothing to fear from people who are committed to each other. who want to share their lives, and protect one another, in the event of sickness, illness or death.

We have nothing to fear from love and commitment.”

Update: Andrew Sullivan over at The Atlantic explained what I called the “silver lining” a lot more eloquently, with more punch (which is expected since I am not a writer but a stream-of-consciousness-typer-aka-excuse-for-illogical/bad-writing). And I am loving it too. There is hope, peeps. There is hope.

“[E]very time this question is thoroughly debated, and each time we put ourselves, our dignity and our families on the line, we win even if we lose… Civil rights movements always move forward by occasionally moving backward. And at each moment in the struggle, those unpersuaded watch us, how we respond, who we are. Anger and sadness are more than legitimate responses. But so are calm and confidence.” Andrew Sullivan

Update: I found a blog whose host took the time out to transcribe the entire speech. Amazing!

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No flaming please.  I didn't mean to compare Gays to Polygamists.  But if Utah Senator Chris Butt-Ars (A-ha!) has his right to speak what is on his mind, to spout garbage based on stereotypes and gross generalization and nothing else, despite being an elected public official, then I have the right to generalize the State of Utah as still the hotbed of polygamy, and then to generalize polygamy as the Pantheon of immorality. 
 
Hey, it is a free country, right?  Butt-Ars's Republican colleagues in the Senate seem to believe so.
 
Here is the gist:
 
In an interview for a documentary film, "Butt-Ars called gays 'the greatest threat to America' and likened them to Muslim radicals. He said homosexuals lack any morals and want special rights.  'It's the beginning of the end,' Buttars said. 'Oh, it's worse than that. Sure. Sodom and Gomorrah was localized. This is worldwide.'"
 
Butt-ars has been stripped of his chairmanships by Senate Republicans after a closed-door meeting brought about by the outcry, and his Republican colleagues were outraged and they are standing behind him.  (I wish I had loyal friends like these…)  Butt-ars likewise refused to apologize, but rather relished the pride of taking a stand for his own beliefs.  (Imagine: what if we all had showed respect for the slave owners who took the stand for their own beliefs?  Hmmm…)
 
Below is the lengthy quote from The Salt Lake Tribune because you simply cannot make this stuff up! 
 
"I want the citizens of Utah to know that the Utah Senate stands behind Senator Buttars right to speak, we stand behind him as one of our colleagues and his right to serve this state," said Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville. "He is a senator who represents the point of view of many of his constituents and many of ours. We agree with many of the things he said. . . . We stand four square behind his right [to say what he wants]."

Buttars, R-West Jordan, said he "totally" disagrees with his removal from the panel. In a statement he plans to post on the Senate's Web page, he said the action was an attempt to "shy away from controversy." And, he said, he would not apologize for his comments.

"I don't have anything to apologize for," he said.

"When it comes right down to it," Buttars said in his statement, "I would rather be censured for doing what I think is right, than be honored by my colleagues for bowing to the pressure of a special-interest group that has been allowed to act with impunity."

 
Wow.  Are you kidding me?  Is this for real?  In this day and age?  I must be incredibly naive to be astounded by these news lately so easily.   
 
This and the Cartoon from the New York Post yesterday are reminders that we should not be complacent about "How far we have come along" despite the victory of having elected the first African American POTUS.  Baby, we've still got a long way to go…

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This is one of those one-liners that make me laugh out loud… Brilliant, great sense of humor. Indeed a good question, and I have to say, no matter where you stand on this divisive issue, this question does make you pause and give the whole thing some more thoughts.

Picture found here

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