Wyoming is number one in suicides (New York is dead last, pardon the pun), they use WAY more gasoline than any other state despite being the least populated state in the U.S., and their Electric Power Industry Emissions - C02 are seriously off the charts, coming in at 982.82 short tons per ten people, nearly twice the average of North Dakota, number two on the list. They're also number one in large truck and rail fatalities. But that's not all...
Wyoming is the new King of Irony. Calling itself "The Equality State", Wyoming is in the process of voting to actively discriminate against same sex couples in their state, deeming their existing marriages null and void and outlawing any and all future attempts.
They're not alone, of course - and they're not the first. For years, we have watched the "will they or won't they" show in various states (Will they vote for same sex unions? They passed same sex unions! Oops - they repealed same sex unions!) They cry out that it's a states decision to make, then they adopt DOMA. Or they recognize same sex marriages, but won't perform them. Or they recognize civil unions, but only those made before 1991. On a Tuesday. In the rain.
The rules and regulations on who can marry whom in this country border on the ludicrous. If we do indeed "hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness", then why must we muck around with one persons pursuit of happiness in some perverse pursuit of our own? Why does "Defending my Marriage" have to entail denying my gay friends' theirs? Can someone explain that to me? Wyoming? Wanna take that noose off your neck and come explain this to me? 'Cause I'm not gettin' it.
Y'all gotta sit down and get on the same page with this stuff because, while I understand that each state has the right to make your own laws, you have, thus far, done a truly piss poor job. There need to be some guidelines, and I would like representatives from every state to answer these questions;
I've heard the argument that, since procreation is an essential component of marriage (?), people of the same sex shouldn't be allowed to marry since they cannot have children. Funny - there's a ton of people out there - married, heterosexual couples - that suffer from infertility. Should their marriages be annulled? Further, should they have to be permanently branded about the face with a mark that shows them to be infertile and therefore, unworthy of marriage?
I personally know a couple that got married knowing full well that neither one of them wanted to procreate - if a requirement of marriage is procreation, should they be forced to divorce? Or forced to conceive?
There are people born with ambiguous genitalia; their are people born with both varieties of genitalia (can they marry...themselves??); there are people born with genetic syndromes and conditions that make distinctions of male or female inconclusive; in other words, they're both..or neither. Who can they marry? They're still persons, they still have an inalienable right to be happy - who then are they allowed to be happy with?
Marriage is between a man and a woman, you say - so how do you judge a persons gender? Do you examine their genitals? Does a boy with un-descended testicles have to give up his identity as a boy and become a cleric, or Justin Beiber? Ah - maybe you judge by chromosomes - XX for girls, XY for boys, right? That's it, then - easy peasy. Oops - what about people with Klinefelter's Syndrome (XXY)? What about people with Turner's Disease (XO chromosomal pattern) - is there an island we should be shipping them off to, since they don't fit into your neat little boy/girl boxes? Can a transsexual who was once a man and is now a woman marry a woman? Or a man? Or a female to male transsexual? Or an intersexed person? Can a post menopausal lesbian marry an overly hirsute woman? Who is Chaz Bono legally permitted to wed? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller??
Try, for just a minute - step out of your ever perfect, ever closer to God life for just a minute and try to put yourself in these people's shoes. You wake up in a state where your same sex marriage was performed and is recognized by law. You look over at your same sex partner of the last 20 years (Larry King had been married five times in that same twenty year period - some sanctity of marriage there) and turn on the tv, only to hear them reporting that the state you just woke up in has overturned the ruling that made your marriage legal. The state has, in effect, divorced you without your consent. And there's not a fucking thing you can do about it.
Really let that sink in. Look at your wife or your husband and imagine that the state just told you you're no longer married - everything that you thought you had, you don't have. Oh, and you can never get married either. You're not allowed. Because you... are not normal. You...are not worthy. You... are an abomination.
How's that feel? Welcome to the world of Inequality.
No one should ever be made to feel that way, much less by law. These are people. They are your friends, your neighbors, your fellow citizens, your fellow Americans. Legislating who they are allowed to love is truly the abomination here. And those that do so should be disgusted...with themselves.
Jesus said, "What you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me", and that's true for us today as well. When you treat a gay couple like second class citizens, you treat me like a second class citizen. If any transsexual person is mistreated, then all of us are mistreated. The time has come for the "us" and "them" to stop; to cease and desist. "The Gay" will not bring down this country as backward televangelists and John McCain would have you believe; but infighting, hatred, and a profound lack of understanding most assuredly will.
And I don't intend to let that happen on my watch. I hope you don't either.
I'm asking you to stand with me - to stand with them. I'm asking you to speak out loud and constantly about injustice against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersexed and trans community. You may think it doesn't touch you, but it does. Someone you know, someone you care about, someone close to you is in pain right now - being made to suffer because of how they were born. And you can help to stop that.
Last night, Paul Ryan (who wins every Eddie Munster look-a-like contest ever, hands down) gave the Republican rebuttal to the President's State of the Union Address, and spoke smugly about Abraham Lincoln's reference to "the central ideas of the Republic". Mr. Ryan alluded that those central ideas were limited government and free markets. Wrong, Mr. Ryan. Pithy, but wrong. Lincoln's "Central Idea" was the equality of men. Equality, Mr. Ryan. Not tax breaks. Not less regulation. Not repealing "Obamacare". Equality - of ALL men.
"Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government, practically just so much. Public opinion, on any subject, always has a central idea, from which all its minor thoughts radiate. That central idea in our political public opinion, at the beginning was, and until recently has continued to be, the equality of men. And although it was always submitted patiently to whatever of inequality there seemed to be as matter of actual necessity, its constant working has been a steady progress towards the practical equality of all men."
~ Abraham Lincoln
Fight the fight. Be the change you want to see in the world.