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If you’re like me you didn’t see it coming. I could in fact say I had no idea the state of Kansas was under attack from something other than tornados or the corn weevil. Well I was wrong and entirely ignorant of the fact that Kansas was suffering such grievous assault by a pernicious evil it had to pass regulation against it so that no innocent store owner would be forced by civil law to serve a gay (not meaning happy) couple. Being at a considerable remove from the action in Kansas I’ve had to through this by explanations and analysis (none free of bias) for a sense of what this means. But, I think I have it in as plain as can be expected of a plane flat-as-a-pancake state as Kansas where Bible Belt joins Cyrus McCormick for some reaping. In Save-Your-Soul-Kansas if a civilly joined gay couple sit down together in your restaurant the aggrieved and assaulted server or owner can save his/her/their immortal souls and dignity by showing the offenders the door. “You will not be drinking your pink ladies in MY establishment.” Thus morality is preserved, though I think if the couple takes separate tables they might be able to get around the law, especially if each ordered a mint julep instead.
Here in Northern Minnesota I’m not aware of shops, restaurants, or motels being under assault by gay patrons. Red cheeked in our parkas we all look pretty much the same shade of misery red which could be construed as “cheery” without hitting the mark of blatantly “gay.” I don’t think menu items show orientation bias. Now some places do offer haricots, but I think that no more than an ordinary Joe way of appearing posh. Up here this looks a silly way of saying green beans but isn’t especially gay, though in Kansas haricots may well be the high water of gay identity. In Kansas ordering corn from the menu is advised.
Another thing I wasn’t aware of was Radio Rush playing a regular role in urging the salvation of Kansas from gay hordes. I respect Rush as a highly (I should be so lucky but am unfortunately bound by ethos) successful radio entertainer. He plays his age-group audience the way Segovia courted the guitar; pure mastery. But tickling out a tune his believers recognize doesn’t mean the music is Old Glory because it is an abnormal form of freedom (assuming Rush pays more than mouth service to the concept of freedom) that requires stripping freedom from others. I don’t mean to suggest Kansans aren’t entitled to their fears over dark clouds on the prairie, but I don’t see the moral danger in serving lunch to someone you think might be “that way.” Is this a one way thing where the patron can’t respond by asking for proof of the owner or server’s sexual history? The one surest thing about such legislation is its unfairness based on suspicion and innuendo.
Of more danger than serving burgers and fries to a possibly gay couple (to my knowledge most things we do in stores, restaurants, etc. has zero in the world of sex about it) is the damage such malarkey does the health of our body politic. In fact, I ran across a recent statistic from that high minded bastion of moral propriety calling itself the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Lots of rules and regulations there to preserve and protect morality; they are loaded with it. But if you approach morality in that cookbook fashion what do you get? Well, it’s not what most of what you or I would think of as moral. We might see it as far less moral and much more a sign of repression, of bias, and of rigid tradition when nearly nine (8.6) out of ten Saudi males conclude wearing too much eye makeup is what causes a Saudi female to be sexually assaulted. Well for gosh sakes they aren’t going to suggest some man or men were at fault, are they? No sir! Cookbook morals say males are superior. (A woman needs multiple witnesses to preserve her from an adultery charge in a rape case. How’s that for stacking the scale of justice?) But that superior being is vulnerable (and held largely unaccountable) if a female appears in public with more than her eyes showing. (Not good for driving which is why women are forbidden to drive. It’s a safety rule!) See now where a Saudi male is led to conclude the woman and her eye makeup are to blame for this moral ill? You could bet that if the Saudis countered this “moral ill” by requiring women to wear sunglasses to hide their eyes under their veils in public that the Saudi male would respond by being uncontrollably roused by women wearing “certain kinds” of “shades.” Be still heart of mine.
What Kansas did is not about morality or about any real threat to the common welfare. If taken and followed seriously such a rule or laws would be a big burden on everyone. To sit down for a country breakfast we’d need papers (a boon for forgers) to show our official and certified sexual status. How’s that for a twist on freedom? Radio Rush likes to fret over the government tracking guns but seems OK with governmental forms of bedroom peek-a-boo.) Ask yourself how you’d fare having to provide proof of sexual fettle. Would you have to go hungry after a bad night or get by on dumpster diving if a spouse had it in for you and issued a denunciation? Could you counter the effects of an ex with testimony from a current partner or mistress, or will only the words of the duly married serve as adequate? Let us hope the Kansan restaurateur isn’t his or herself divorced or you could end up in the courts for years over ordering a piece of pie on a day you looked particularly gay to someone entirely unsure of their own identity.