Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marriage Equality, the ongoing struggle.

Great news! This week the state Supreme Court in Iowa ruled for full marriage equality in that state by declaring unconstitutional that state’s ban on marriage for people of the same gender. Lest anyone complain about “activist judges”, i.e. judges who protect the legal rights of people whom they wish to discriminate against, the state legislature of Vermont has overridden the veto of that state’s republican governor and granted full marriage equality to the people of Vermont.

Immediately after the court ruled in Iowa, the republican minority leader in that state’s senate approached the democratic majority leader and asked him to co-sponsor a bill to take away full marriage equality from same gender couples. The senate majority leader Mike Gronstal responded as follows:

"One of my daughters was in the workplace one day, and her particular workplace at that moment in time, there were a whole bunch of conservative, older men. And those guys were talking about gay marriage. They were talking about discussions going on across the country.

And my daughter Kate, after listening for about 20 minutes, said to them: You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My generation doesn't care.

I think I learned something from my daughter that day, when she said that. And I've talked with other people about it and that's what I see, Senator McKinley. I see a bunch of people that merely want to profess their love for each other, and want state law to recognize that.

Is that so wrong? I dont think that's so wrong. As a matter of fact, last Friday night, I hugged my wife. You know I've been married for 37 years. I hugged my wife. I felt like our love was just a little more meaningful last Friday night because thousands of other Iowa citizens could hug each other and have the state recognize their love for each other.

No, Senator McKinley, I will not co-sponsor a leadership bill with you."

His daughter’s quote offers a chilling insight for the forces that wish to manipulate and control both individual lives and societies. You are receiving a richly deserved new status of becoming irrelevant. This is primarily what churchmen in America fear the most

The political right and their power base, fundamentalist religions are just now connecting the dots and realizing that the “happy days” of George “W” and the neoconservatives are over. That they no longer are “movers and shakers” in national politics and that like “W” they are out and they are becoming increasingly irrelevant. At least, the Catholic Church should do nicely because, of the large influx of new Catholics from Latin America.

Latinos now account for 75% of Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and at least those who are recently arrived, still have an unquestioning subservience to the hierarchy. Once they are granted citizenship, they should provide a very nice “voting block” to the bishops. Provided, of course, that they can be kept pregnant and barefoot.

The Church’s teachings on contraception should help in slowing economic upward mobility and limiting educational opportunities, which would lead them to ask unsettling questions of their bishops. At the same time, anti-immigrant prejudice from the hierarchy’s allies on the political right cast the hierarchy as benevolent protectors of the immigrant communities.

So, people like Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles and Archbishop Neiderauer of San Francisco who are among the principal architects of the Yes on Proposition 8 victory can still show up at Democratic party events, receive nice checks from progressive donors and pass themselves off as defenders of the marginalized. Oh yeah, we had to stop marriage equality but, after all, we do so much to help immigrants (i.e. ourselves).


FDeF said...

The fact that our civil institutions are slowly but surely recognizing our right to form legitimate families should not encourage us to hope that the Catholic Church will become so enlightened any time soon. I just reread the Ratzinger Letter (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html) of October 1, 1986. This letter, which is insulting, hurtful and demoralizing, put the fear of the Papacy in the US Bishops and it remains to this day. With Ratzinger in the big chair now, nothing will change, or if it does change, it will be for the worse. I guess my point is, the "ongoing struggle' is on the civil front and we shouldn't even waste our time struggling for change within the church. What we can do is to insist that the churches, who don't want us in their lives, stay out of ours.

IT said...

Indeed, FDeF. I agree entirely.

Fr Farrow is certainly not pulling any punches. I know he has suffered for this at the hands of the heirarchy. I hope he takes care of himself as he continues to speak truth to power.

Bill said...

I tried to find personal bio information on Senator Paul McKinley, but was unable to locate any on the web. I'm just curious about his own marriage history.
It seems to me that if people would turn their attention to their own relationships, they would have less time to worry about who their next door neighbor chooses to love.

Steven said...

What surprises me, but is still pleasing, is that it is the small states that I think of as being more conservative (i.e., Iowa) that are actually more progressive and becoming the trailblazers. Let's hope this continues.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

A Blessed Easter to you!

Jackie said...

Happy Easter Fr. Geoff! I hope that you are well and will continue to fight the good fight.
It's amazing that so many pro gay marriage events happened so quickly and it looks like there may be more to follow.
Bless you for your courage in fighting against prop 8. May your life be filled with God'