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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Katherine Kersten's Korner

It's time for another Katherine Kersten's Korner, and today, she joins the homophobes to ask, why are big bad Democrats afraid of the people?

Wingnuttia level: 10 (She's gonna blow!)

Of course, like a good wingnut, she starts out by saying that Democrats are afraid of people because they don't think it is necessary to vote on an amendment to enshrine discrimination in our state's constitution. Hmm. How about an amendment to ban divorce? Or an amendment to ban interracial marriages? An amendment to bring back slavery? Guess what, Kersten: there are some issues that are so stupid they don't deserve a vote. The ban on gay marriage is one of them.

She attempts to play the victim by saying that opponents of the amendment will paint supporters as "hate-mongers." I don't know; if one wants to put discrimination into the state's constitution, what else are you? Again, if people brought forward a ban on interracial marriages, would they not be correctly described as hate-mongers? What else would they be? What else are the liars who are hell-bent on creating a tempest in a teacup over this issue? Can somebody give me a better description?

Next, she moves on to supposedly fallacious arguments from opponents of the ban. Such as...

"The marriage amendment is unnecessary". Yes, it is. It is already against the law. She says that "activist judges" (read: any judge that doesn't find for the conservative point of view) may challenge it. But nobody in this state is challenging it. In addition, public sentiment is already moving towards acceptance of same-sex unions. I don't know how old Kersten is, but I'm willing to bet she is a member of a generation that doesn't like homosexuals. I, on the other hand, see no problem with same-sex union, nor do most young people. How stupid do we want to look in 20 years? How stupid would Minnesota have looked in the 1960s had we passed a ban on interracial marriage? Or interfaith marriage? Would we look back on that now with pride?

"The marriage amendment is divisive". Uh, yes, it is. There is no organized attempt to get same-sex marriage in Minnesota, as much as Kersten and other wingnuts like to pretend that there is. How many bills have been introduced on this topic in the past ten years? If anything, there may be attempts to treat homosexuals the same as everybody else in terms of civil unions, which is perfectly okay with me. Sure, Kersten may think it's okay for one person in a same-sex relationship to be unable to visit his or her partner in the hospital, or any of the myriad tiny things that married people take for granted, but I'm not okay with that. I guess it's because I'm not an uncaring asshole. So quit pretending that it's the same-sex relationship proponents who are divisive. After all, which side is lying in their radio ads?

"The amendment is discriminatory, a product of unfounded fear and hatred of gays". Again, yes it is. Replace "same-sex" with "interracial", or "interfaith", or relationships with an age difference of more than 10 years. Are those not discriminatory? Is it okay to say that banning so-called "May-December" marriages is not discriminatory? Oh, and nice try with the polygamy stuff. Ban proponents never fail to bring up their absurd beliefs that same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy or marriages with dogs and box turtles. Seriously, this is what they say, and must honestly believe. Am I the only one who is frightened by this?

"The marriage amendment is a cynical political wedge issue, a distraction from issues that people really care about, like schools and housing". Um, yes once again. If this wasn't a wedge issue, then the liars wouldn't be out in force with their ridiculous websites and radio ads. Besides, if Kersten really thought that marriage was "a universal social institution that connects fathers and mothers to their children, and thereby perpetuates the social order", then she would be advocating for a ban on divorce, not a ban on gay marriage. If a few hundred or a few thousand people a year entering into same-sex marriages is damaging to our "social order", then what about the breakup of tens of thousands of marriages?

Kersten brings out the same old arguments about how children need a father and a mother. Yes, that would be great. But it's an insult to every single mother and father who is trying their hardest to raise their children when Kersten says that kids without both will somehow be damaged. Guess what? Life sometimes isn't pretty. Reality gets in the way, at least for those of us who belong to the reality-based community. So it's not always possible for kids to have both a mother and a father. Maybe the father or mother was abusive. Or had substance abuse problems. Or was killed in Iraq. Or was just a bad parent. Kids, with love and support, can prosper even in an environment that doesn't fit Kersten's "Leave it to Beaver" nostalgia. To imply otherwise is disgusting.

Her ending is a real humdinger: "On the one hand are people who think that fundamental social institutions like marriage can be drastically redefined without harm. On the other are people who believe the social order cannot be tinkered with beyond a certain point without risking serious and unintended consequences." Not quite. On the one hand, you have people who realize that life can be difficult, but love and support can and should trump the beliefs of those people who want to go back to a lifestyle that never really existed. On the other hand, you have people who lick their chops at any attempt to divide the public on an issue that will not affect at least 90% of people, if not more, and almost nobody in a negative way.

If Kersten and her ilk could provide one shred of evidence that same-sex marriage actually and provably affects anybody in a negative way, then perhaps they could make arguments that went beyond fear and loathing. But they can't. No matter what they do, they won't be able to produce a person who has been hurt by a same-sex marriage. Conversely, I can provide plenty of people who actually have been hurt by homophobia and discrimination without lifting a finger. Kersten believes that homosexuals simply don't matter. Their lives are unimportant. They are not allowed to have aspirations of simply being treated like everybody else. They don't count. Perhaps she is perfectly fine with these beliefs. I, however, would have a hard time sleeping at night if I thought like this. Life for everybody is hard enough, but especially hard for people who are routinely discriminated against, as members of the LGBT community are. All supporters of the ban want to do is twist the knife a little bit for their pleasure.


At 2:27 AM, March 02, 2006, Anonymous Andy said...

My favorite part was when she compared this bruhaha to the civil war and women's suffrage. You know, 2 events that extended rights to Americans. She's too dim to see any irony in that.

At 6:15 AM, March 02, 2006, Blogger MN Campaign Report said...

Amen. Every tired, crappy, worn-out, discriminatory MCCL argument rehashed by Kersten.

At 1:44 PM, March 02, 2006, Anonymous Chris said...

They get so offended when people call them bigots. What do they think that term is, some crazy-ass, meaningless word like poopyhead, designed to make you feel bad and nothing else? Yes, guys, there are actually specific criteria we can apply to determine if you're a bigot. Like demonizing unpopular minority groups, spreading lies and stereotypes and hate about them, likening homosexuality with a mental disease and conflating them with child molesters (we're only doing this to protect the children!), etc., how exactly are any of these things different than what a bigot would do in the same circumstance?

If they don't want to be called bigots, then they should stop acting like bigots.

At 5:23 PM, March 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure would be nice if the legislature actually did the People's business instead of kowtowing to misguided religious wackos going after thier hate object of the week. Sheesh, trying to screw homosexuals one more time without a care about what is important to this state... they need to grow up.


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