Okay, first the good, which is kind of old news: The commission examining whether New Jersey’s civil unions are really equal to marriages unanimously said last week that they’re not. I’d be more excited if I weren’t so angry the state needed a commission to hold 18 public meetings and over 150 interviews to say that separate is not equal. Didn’t we get over that a while ago? On the plus side, their recommendation that the legislature adopt true same-sex marriage has given the movement a real boost in these parts.
In considerably less encouraging news, the Bush administration has just passed a “conscience protection” rule that lets health care providers deny any treatment that’s “contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The Los Angeles Times can give you an overview, or you can hear a great debate on the subject on WHYY’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane by clicking here and looking up the show from Dec. 16.
As per the L.A. Times:
Critics of the rule said it was too broad and threatened the rights of patients.
They said they were particularly worried that patients would not be given full and complete information about their medical options. For example, they said, an antiabortion doctor in a federally funded clinic might refuse to tell a pregnant patient that her fetus had a severe abnormality. Or an emergency room worker might withhold from rape victims information about emergency contraception.
I’m no lawyer, but given how broadly this rule is defined, I don’t see what’s to stop an ER from saying they won’t give a female rape victim the morning-after pill because the way they were dressed at the time of the attack meant they were “asking for it.” I’m also chilled by the (now entirely possible) prospect of the victim of a gay bashing not receiving treatment because a doctor or nurse also thinks they deserved it. And what’s to stop a pharmacist from not dispensing antiretroviral drugs to HIV patients because they think the disease is a punishment from God? Medical treatment in these cases isn’t something that can be delayed, and in many parts of the country it can be very far from one hospital to the next.
Even President-elect Barack Obama has disappointed recently with his pick of the notoriously homophobic Reverend Rick Warren for the convocation at his inauguration. While I appreciate Obama’s apparent goal of undoing some of the partisanship that’s run so rampant lately, Warren was a big supporter of Prop 8, which many in the gay community find unforgivable. I’m one of them.
I really wish Obama would have a little bit more perspective. Doesn’t he realize that Warren is exactly the kind of person who would have objected to the senator’s parents’ marriage back when his mother was pregnant with him? (Loving v. Virginia made interracial marriage legal throughout the country 6 years after Obama was born.)
But we shouldn’t worry, because Warren couldn’t possibly be a hater! As per Politico:
Warren’s spokeswoman did not respond to a message seeking comment, but he has tried to blend personal tolerance with doctrinal disapproval of homosexuality.
“I have many gay friends. I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church,” he said in a recent interview with BeliefNet.
Much like Dan Savage recently wrote in a recent, hilarious post on the Slog, reporters (and I speak as one) really need to stop taking it on faith when bigots say they have “tons of gay friends.” What LGBT person in their right mind would be friends who thought them subhuman? I try to accept my friend’s opinions, but much like I wouldn’t tolerate one of them believing a certain race of people is inferior, I’m not about to let them decide I’m not worthy of the same respect they themselves are.
Journalists can’t take everything on face value. When you wrote up an interview with someone, you don’t quote absolutely everything they said, and if you have a reason to believe something isn’t true, you can’t just say it anyway. Isn’t it funny how these so-called friends are always impossible to track down? It’s almost like they don’t exist…
Warren also makes the irritating point of implying all gay people are AIDS victims. I hate to break it to you, Rick, but most of us aren’t, and that’s not even the way to think about it. Men who have unprotected sex with multiple other men are certainly at risk, but they’re a minority of the “family.”
Of course, for those who are still unconvinced that he’s a homophobe, Politico gives us this tidbit:
In the same interview, (Warren) compared the “redefiniton of a marrige” to include gay marriage to legitimizing incest, child abuse, and polygamy.
Sitting here listening to Christmas carols, I feel a bit strange writing about how angry all of this makes me. (In case you’re wondering, I take my holidays no religion, extra cookies.) Therefore, I feel compelled to include some uplifting news, and luckily for me, I don’t have to reach very far to find some!
Sixty-six countries have signed a United Nations declaration seeking to decriminalize homosexuality, which was sponsored by France. Merci bien pour votre effort de nous proteger! (For those looking for a dash of outrage to spice things up, notice that the U.S. was the only Western country besides the Vatican [which doesn’t really count] not sign the non-binding measure.)
Lastly, in unfortunately stereotypical fashion, I’m quite obsessed with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas (Is You).” At least it’s much more encouraging than the Christmas song I was into while I was stuck in France for the holidays two years ago.
So this goes out to my boyfriend, who helps me take the Christ out of Christmas in my godless, gay ways!
(Due to Sony BMG disabling embedding on this video, you’ll have to visit YouTube to see it.)
I love the song, but I kind of feel like the above clip is a weird Mariah/Santa romance video. And can’t Sony afford better video quality than that?