Monday, June 23, 2008

The ERA and Gay Marriage

I'm rather happy about the fact that people can marry those of the same sex now, mainly because it was such a slap in the face not to be allowed into a hospital room to see a dying loved one, or any other of the numerous indignities that a partner in a same sex relationship needs endure. But, happy as I am, I can't see that spending any extraordinary amount of resources on the fight for same-sex marriage is the best use of those resources. When there are situation like the New Jersey 7.(or 4, depending on where you look)

Clearly one needn't only focus one's resources in one direction, but I can think of innumerable issues that should be dealt with that would have a much farther reaching effect. Like making housing discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. It is illegal in California, but a federal version would be nice. I think there needs to be a renewed push for the ERA. It may not seem to be a gay rights issue, but I think that it would open a lot of legal doors.

Let's take gay marriage for example, on a federal level. In 1996 the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA) passed. DOMA says that neither the feds nor states can be forced by other states to "treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage." This may be unconstitutional as it stands, but a stronger case could be made were the ERA added to the Constitution. If the ERA were in effect then one could easily argue sex discrimination in the case of marrying someone of the same sex. For example, if there was a woman who wished to marry another woman, the only reason she is not able to marry that woman is because of her sex. If I wanted to marry that same woman I would be allowed to for the simple fact that I am male, and she disallowed simply because she is female.

Theoretically one could extend this to all sorts situations. Take housing discrimination. Were I a lesbian and was denied housing on those grounds then I would be denied because of my sex. A lesbian would be denied not because she she is a person who falls in love with women, but in fact because she is a woman who falls in love with women. Obviously it is her sex and not who she falls in love with that is the problem. Again, I fall in love with women and I am not discriminated against in my choices of housing. The reason I am not is because I am male. Were I female and yet otherwise the same then I would not be allowed to habitate those same places a esbian is denied.

I'll be honest, law is not my strong suit, so there may be a glaring problem with my reasoning, but it seems not to be faulty to me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ex-Hillary Supporters to vote for McCain

Most of this has been discussed in other places as well, most of what I saying isn't that new, but I think putting it all together will be helpful for me.

There are a number of aspects of this topic. First and foremost is the way the media has portrayed it, left-wing feminists are going to go vote for McCain to punish the Democratic Party for not nominating Hillary. This would be stupid of them to do, as McCain works actively against their interests, and the interests of women the nation and world over. But, the media loves a good story about how women are going to do something stupid based on emotion, because women are always so damn emotional. This all obscures the fact that I haven't heard a single feminist say they would vote for McCain, even the ones who can't stand Obama.

Then which Hillary supporters are going to vote for McCain? Why the right-wing, racist, scare-mongering ones. Not that Hilary was the only one with the right-wing bigots on her side, Obama just got to keep his, for now, because he's the nominee. Had Hillary won the nomination I'm sure that there would have been just as many right wing bigots writing screeds that connected Hillary to Valerie Solanas and warned between the lines about how she would have all the men castrated and forced to do hard labor. Or something.

So, yes, some women are not going to vote for Obama because they are disgusted with the misogyny of the party and of Obama. So what? It's their damn right to, and the people that attack them for voting their conscience are simply wrong to do so.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An Open Letter

An Open Letter to the Democratic Party

Party Leaders, Candidates and Members,

I don't know how to put this politely so I will instead simply say it. I cannot vote for a party which is not willing to act against torture or torturers. With the release of the report Broken Laws, Broken Lives by the group Physicians for Human Rights, it has become clear that the United States has engaged in torture in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and most likely at various locations across the globe. The silence coming from all but the most sidelined of Democratic politicians is deafening. Not a single major party figure has called for even as much as investigations, much less laid out a plan for stopping the torture. This is not an acceptable position to hold in the twenty-first century. Torture is wrong and must be condemned always and confronted and stopped when occurring. But this is not the case at this time.

Because of this I can say now with no doubt in my mind that I shall not and cannot vote for a candidate for high office if that candidate has not condemned torture both in deed and in action, and I can see no candidate for high office from the Democratic Party in this year who can make that claim. Make no mistake, I do not endorse the opposition candidate, who has as of late made his position on torture quite clear, and goes beyond the tacit consent of the Democratic leadership. But all the same, I can never in good conscience work towards the election of a candidate who has not acted against the gross violation of human rights that is torture, even in such a small way as voting for that candidate.


A Concerned Citizen

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


“All ancient philosophy was oriented toward the simplicity of life and taught a certain kind of modesty in one’s need. In light of this, the few philosophic vegetarians have done more for mankind than all new philosophers, and as long as philosophers do not take courage to seek out a totally changed way of life and to demonstrate it by their example, they are worth nothing.” Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher

I like that Nietzsche guy.