Archive for the ‘Maine’ Category

My New Year’s Resolution is to blog at least three times a week. Clearly, this is an area I could improve in tremendously.

My Thursday mornings usually consist of a long run (I don’t have work until 12), but I’m pretty sure I have the swine flu. Or maybe I’m a giant hypochondriac? I sometimes believe that half of being sick with things like the flu is totally in my head. So here, I am, laying in bed and blogging.

For perhaps the first time ever, the Texas state legislature and I might be on the same page when it comes to gay marriage. That is, if gay people can’t get married, I shouldn’t be able to either.

Apparently, this might be true for all Texans:

Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state.

The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that “marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.” But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

“This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

I’m a big fan of ironic errors by agenda-driven people that end up proving the exact opposite of their point. Especially when those people’s beliefs oppose my own.

But really, this illustrates how ridiculous it is to limit civil rights when our country has a proud and long history of extending them. The Texas legislature also shows the danger of rhetoric and thorny language. I was incredibly disappointed when Proposition 1 passed in Maine (where I’ve voted the past four years), striking down gay marriage. It was heartbreaking, but did anyone actually read the language of the proposition:

Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?

Counterintuitive. Confusing. Unfair?

I’m not saying Prop 1 passed because of language. The efforts of activist groups in Maine seemed largely successful in getting people to understand the basics of the law. But shouldn’t marriage law—something that affects most of us—be a little easier to understand?

On a personal level, I’ve struggled with the concept of marriage, especially after taking a class on the anthropology of gender and sexuality in college. Is it a declaration of love? A patriarchical and patronizing entrapment? An effective and economical way of sharing assets and raising children? Increasingly obsolete?

I’m not sure myself. I am sure that right now–as an idealistic, borderline self-righteous (and single) 22 year old–I don’t believe in enjoying the legal and economic benefits of marriage if others cannot. Unfortunately, after last election day, it seems that ideal might be further into the future than the 10 years or so that would make things convenient for me.

But I do know, if I do change my mind, I’m not moving to Texas.


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