Does The United States Have Second-Class, Separate, And Lesser Citizens?

Ed Raymond

Let’s forget about the physical body and its functional parts for a few moments as we contemplate the wonders of the mind about the institution of marriage. When considering a mate, we might look at some of the mental demands made on both parties, such as (1) I promise to be true to you in good times and bad; (2) I promise to care for you in sickness and in health; (3) I will love you and honor you all the days of my life; (4) I will love and cherish you till death us to part; (5) With my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow; (6) I will be with you, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. There are many other vows people might make to one another to help cement a strong relationship.

 Here’s a little challenge for you. Would acceptance of these six vows reveal whether a person as described below could subscribe to each vow?

1. A heterosexual male         
4. A homosexual male
2. A homosexual female        
5. A transgender
3. A bisexual                       
6. A heterosexual female

 Did you make a determination that some of the six persons listed could not make all six vows?  
Which ones could not?

Marriage Gives Options And Restricts Freedom

Estimates of our LGBT population in the United States range between 16 million and 25 million. Tom Blair, a local columnist, made his position clear a little while ago: “Homosexuality from the beginning of time has traditionally been considered immoral as well as a form of perversion and an unnatural act. Not many years ago it was even illegal in most of the U.S. and most of the world. Yes, I have heard that homosexuals are born that way and can’t help it... And we should consider the long-term effects on children being raised by gay people. Just because TV, media, the younger generation and some politicians support it doesn’t make it moral or acceptable. And because it has become more popular doesn’t make it right either.” But just last week the United States Supreme Court decreed that gays were not second-class citizens, that they were not “lesser.” It has taken thousands of years just to reach this point. A July 1, 2013, Time magazine article “The Horror Upstairs” outlined what gays went through less than a half-century ago when an arson fire in a New Orleans gay bar killed 29. The case has never been solved, although it is still the deadliest fire in New Orleans history.
The treatment of the gay New Orleans community during this tragedy was typical of U.S. treatment of gays. Jokes on the radio started after the fire the next morning. A talkshow host asked the question “What do we bury them in?” Answer: “Fruit jars.” Police said identification would be difficult because most victims carried fake IDs, and “Some thieves hung out there and you know it was a queer bar.” A teacher who was in Charity Hospital in critical care was fired in his hospital bed for being at the bar. He died a few days later. The killed and injured were “outed” when a newspaper published the names. The injured were then fired from jobs. Those gays uninjured in the fire had to report to work the next morning as if nothing had happened. This was a world governed by thoughts similar to Tom Blair’s.

Churches were asked by a minister to the gays to hold memorial services for the 29 dead. All Catholic and Protestant churches in New Orleans refused to conduct services. New Orleans at the time was 47 percent Catholic. So much for Christ’s forgiveness. Priests and ministers hung up on him when he called.

From Bathhouses And Bars To Marriage And Military Service

We have come a long way in two decades since “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. I wonder how many of the six characters I have listed in the first paragraph Roman Catholic Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. would choose to go to Heaven. Remember, according to numerous popes, only Catholics get to Heaven. Gays, being “intrinsically evil” according to Catholic doctrine, can’t make it either. There must be some way to discriminate against gays if marriage vows are studied thoroughly. Wuerl stated after the Court decision, “Some have framed this debate in terms of ‘equality.’ [Damn right, I have!] That rings with a certain American appeal. [I would suggest “human” instead of American.] Everyone wants to be treated equally, with love and respect due all people. [Is that too much to ask of priests and bishops?] What is the nature of marriage?”

I would suggest marriage is when two people make most of the vows to one another I have listed in the first paragraph. Corky and I exchanged these vows at the altar of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo on September 7, 1954, 59 years ago. We live by those vows. Our youngest son and his partner exchanged much the same vows in Des Moines as soon as same-sex marriage was legal in Iowa some years ago. They live by those vows, too. Wuerl says we must get to the truth of marriage first. No. We must determine equality first. A full-page newspaper ad by Minnesotans Lynn and Dave emphasizes that equality comes first. The ad reads, “Our son Kyle is gay and lives with his partner in California. It is where he feels most accepted. But one day he will want to marry in Minnesota with his family, with his friends, and with his friends he grew up with right here in Duluth. He shouldn’t have to go to Canada, or to another state. He is a Minnesotan. This is where he belongs. When he came out to us someone asked if we were sad. Yes, we were. Not because he was gay, but because he would have to go through life as a second-class citizen. That’s not something any parents want for their child.”

“You Are The Devil’s Gateway, You Are She Who First Violated The Forbidden Tree”

While the Vatican and Catholic bishops are splashing and groveling around in two millennia of religious muck about sex, women, homosexuality, and heresy, Catholic lay persons actually have a higher approval rating of same-sex marriage than any other American group. Evidently the bishops still believe in Saint Clement (150-215): “Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought she is a woman.” (Witness the current Vatican “investigation” of the work of Catholic nuns.) Maybe the bishops still believe the father of Latin Christianity, Tertullian (160-225): “Woman is a temple built over a sewer.” (He is also responsible for the Devil’s Gateway image.) Or as the great philosopher Saint Augustine (354-430) so succinctly put it, “It is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of any woman. I fail to see what use woman can be to a man, if one excludes the function of bearing children. She is not in the image of God. Man by himself is the image of God.” Even Martin Luther (1483-1546), the great reformer pounding on the door of Wittenberg, said, “The words and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes.” No wonder poor Martin suffered from sex and hemorrhoids all his life. Even Methodists did not escape from 14th-century thinking. John Wesley (1703-1791) dropped this gem on his wife: “Wife: Be content to be insignificant. What loss would it be to God or man had you never been born.” What would Jesus Christ, Margaret Thatcher, Joe Sixpack, Antonin Scalia, and Pope John Paul think about these expressions of religious leaders? How many of the five would agree that all six persons could keep marriage vows? How many would pick only two?

My God! Even Some Mallards Are Queer Ducks!

It’s a good thing that science marches on in a relentless onslaught on ignorance. Here we have bishops of many religions preaching that marriage, according to English jurist William Blackstone, “is founded in nature.” Ah! The bishops say it’s gotta be natural law. Natural law of what? Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court, re-elected by the good citizens of Alabama even as a natural bigot manages to squeeze the word “nature” into one all-defining sentence: “Homosexuality is a crime against nature and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” About the only difference between the Alabama Court and the Ku Klux Klan is that the Klan wears pure white.

Did you know that mallards in the Capital Mall perform homosexual acts in front of God,  members of Congress, and Protestant and Catholic bishops? Don’t take your kids to the Mall because at least one mallard out of ten practices homosexuality.The facts of biology in our universe quickly put the absolute lie to the idea that homosexuality is “unnatural.” Our closest relatives the bonobos and chimps exhibit about the same percentage of gays as our human friends and relatives. Homosexual bonds are a natural part of their lives—as in ours. Biologists have no problem finding species where homosexuality is present. A museum in Oslo, Norway has an exhibition of 1,500 species that exhibit homosexuality—and the biologists doing it hardly even tried. Biologist David George Haskell sums it up: “A wide, living rainbow arcs across the natural world. Diversity rules in sexuality, just as it does in the rest of biology. To claim that the only natural forms of sex and pair bonding occur between unambiguous males and females is to ignore the facts of human biology. Let those who wish for marriage to be ‘founded in nature’ take note: the view outside the Supreme Court is full of life’s beautiful sexual variegation.”

Did You Know That Hurricane Sandy Brought Death And Destruction To New York Because It Legalized Same-Sex Marriage?

There is a cartoon in The Hartford Courant of the four conservative members of the Supreme Court where, naturally, Scalia has the caption: “We’ll find gay marriage constitutional only if it’s between two corporations of the same sex!” As Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Scalia always vote for corporations over people, it’s a very appropriate message. A consultant for Fortune 500 companies has estimated that the LGBT community had $790 billion in buying power in 2012. Now that is something any red-blooded, energized, disease-free personhood corporation would be interested in.

Scalia actually is just a good old-fashioned bigot who has never worked out the science of homosexuality. He probably doesn’t care. He has already accused the majority of the Court of signing on to “the homosexual agenda.” One would assume his shadow Thomas, the one who is never curious enough to even ask a question, follows his lead. Poor Alito happens to care more for corporations than he does people, so one can write him off before a case gets to court. Roberts is bright enough to have fresh ideas but is hidebound so far to the ring-wing that put him there. I can only hope he has possibilities of having some regard for human beings. I feel sorry for those who seem to be so hamstrung by the Bible. I see that Blair uses Leviticus to support his queasiness. I wonder if he wears a polyester-cotton mix in shirt or underwear while spouting such “morality.” Then there is a lot of “begatting” in the Bible, almost impossible to keep straight. Let’s see. Sarah couldn’t get pregnant, so Abraham, with permission, impregnated Hagar, Sarah’s handmaiden. Such positive action brought forth Ishmael. But then Abraham had Isaac with the barren Sarah. See you around, Ishmael. Let’s see. Jacob had two wives but his older brother Esau had three. David had at least five wives and supposedly had dozens of rugrats by fertile concubines. Even Moses, laden with those very heavy rocks of the solid Ten Commandments, had two wives. Wasn’t there one about... And then there was King Solomon with his seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. A long time ago I read about an African king who wanted to beat Solomon’s record so he married a thousand wives. I think he died young.