Monday, October 6, 2008

A Sacred Institution Between Two Unwilling Teenagers

Y'all know what I'm referring to, right? The third in the most-awesome series of SNL political spoofs ever? You know -- the Joe Biden/Sarah Palin debate parody from Saturday night.  Tina Fey and gang were on fire and never did they shine more brightly than with the single line above.  If you want to catch the full context, watch the video above.  It will show you the whole segment but if you just want to hear the line (the whole sentence is actually "I believe marriage is meant to be a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers") scroll about six minutes in.

The reason the above joke/sentiment made me laugh out loud and almost damn-near cheer my TV (it got the most live-audience applause, too) is because I can't stand that neither the republicans NOR DEMOCRATS will support gay marriage.  I'm not so sure about Palin or McCain, but I know Obama and Biden know better -- two men so knowledgeable about history and civil rights have to know how unfair it is to deny ANY citizen ANY right.  But they choose to pander because they feel they can't risk the political backlash in so close a race. Though I rarely start a sentence with the following because I feel it is reductive, I can't help it in this case. As a black person (that's the sentence starter right there), it is unconscionable to me to ever deny any law-abiding citizen the right to participate in any government-sanctioned activity.  I think about voting rights, property rights, housing rights, hell, even marriage rights (first for blacks -- the broom jump developed because it wasn't legal for slaves to marry -- and interracial marriages were illegal until 1967) and in every case, the people who wanted them were denied such rights because the majority perceived them as "less than."

So they can say all they want about tolerance and "a civil union is just the same" -- but it's not.  It is NOT the same.  Does 1896's Plessy vs. Ferguson "separate but equal" ring a bell for anyone?  Or that it had to be undone fifty-eight years later by Brown v. the Board of Ed? (I didn't even fact check the dates -- they have been seared in my brain since high school because they've always struck a deep chord with me.) Come on, people, let's spare ourselves the decades-long anguish over this and do the right thing now.  Does it make any sense to you that two "oops, we got pregnant" teenagers who don't even want it can get all the rights and legal protections of marriage?  That prisoners like Erik Menendez who murdered his parents can get married?  But good, loving people like my friends Ray Lancon and Sara Washington (I've been feeling your recent pain over this one, girl) can't? If that's not calling somebody "less than," I don't know what is.

California Voters -- No on Prop. 8. Voting any other way says you are against liberty and justice for all. This is not my opinion, this is fact. And it is also a fact that those against gay marriage will be proven wrong and one day gay marriage will be as commonplace as seeing a woman vote (an abomination in 1919) or a black person in a public swimming pool (cause for a lynching before the 60s). 

Okay, so... this is a screed as well as Deep Pop.  But we still love it.

April 7, 2009 UPDATE:  As everyone knows, Obama/Biden captured the White House on November 4, 2008, shattering a ceiling most felt would take several more generations to break through.  But even with that huge leap forward, California took a huge step back by passing Proposition 8.  The matter is still in the state Court of Appeals, and hopefully justice will prevail.  In happier news, Vermont and Iowa approved gay marriage this week, bringing the total of states that sanction same-sex matrimony to four (the other two are Connecticut and Massachusetts).  Four down, forty-six to go!

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