Vermont has become the first state in the US to legislatively permit same-sex marriage without being first forced to do so by a court order. Vermont, unlike every other state so far, didn't need to be shamed or chivvied by a court decision into behaving like grownups toward same-sex marriage. Instead, the Vermont legislature took up the issue directly, and not only passed legislation guaranteeing marriage equality to all adult, pair-bonded humans in the state, they did so with a sufficient majority to override an expected veto from Vermont's stupid, bigoted filth-sack of a governor.
The times, they are a changing. And it's about time. For decades this country has been crippled culturally by the gangrene of religious dogma, with Bible-brandishing moralists and self-styled righteous crusaders trying desperately to crush any and every form of human freedom on which they could get their diseased hands. But thanks to the hard work, blood and sacrifice of honest, rationally-minded people, the zealots have failed to force state-ordered prayer upon public school students, failed to ban and burn every non-Bible book from every library in America, failed to mandate the teaching of Bronze Age just-so stories as science, failed to keep African-Americans firmly in the category of chattel, failed to lock women in their homes and chain them to the stove, failed to have all non-Christians rounded up and deported, failed to make everyone live by the same sterile, joyless standards of sexual self-loathing as they do, and generally failed to convert the USA into some alternate-universe mashup of Saudi Arabia, Nazi Germany and The Handmaid's Tale
. Now they've failed in their last, desperate bid at religious totalitarianism.... banning gay marriage. Only a few states have legalized gay marriage yet, but eventually they all will, and no amount of bile-spewing by the Religious Reich can stop that now. Freedoms once gained are not easily taken back. Humans are funny that way.
How have the Religious Reich responded to the tide of history turning against them? By lying, of course. They can't support their ridiculous arguments with facts, and they apparently don't understand the concepts of decency and honesty, so quite naturally they lie with the ease of a Gestapo officer firing a bullet into the brain of Jewish toddler. Already the so-called National Organization for Marriage - a stupidity tank dedicated to gay-bashing - has issued a TV ad based entirely on lies regarding the impact of same-sex marriage on poor, helpless hate-mongers everywhere. NOM's new ad not only features anti-equality talking points based on lies, they couldn't even find real people to read the ad's lines... they had to use actors. The Human Rights Campaign - an advocacy group who supports marriage equality - has responded with a withering analysis of NOM's lies, which you can read in its entirety here
“The Real Truth Behind the Fake Ad”
The general argument of the ad is that the push for marriage equality isn’t just about rights for same-sex couples, it’s about imposing contrary values on people of faith. The examples they cite in the ad are:
(1) A California doctor who must choose between her faith and her job
(2) A member of New Jersey church group which is punished by the state because they can’t support same-sex marriage
(3) A Massachusetts parent who stands by helpless while the state teaches her son that gay marriage is okay
The facts indicate that (1) refers to the Benitez decision in California, determining that a doctor cannot violate California anti-discrimination law by refusing to treat a lesbian based on religious belief, (2) refers to the Ocean Grove, New Jersey Methodist pavilion that was open to the general public for events but refused access for civil union ceremonies (and was fined by the state for doing so) and (3) refers to the Parker decision in Massachusetts, where parents unsuccessfully sought to end public school discussions of family diversity, including of same-sex couples.
All three examples involve religious people who enter the public sphere, but don’t want to abide by the general non-discriminatory rules everyone else does. Both (1) and (2) are really about state laws against sexual orientation discrimination, rather than specifically about marriage. And (3) is about two pairs of religious parents trying to impose their beliefs on all children in public schools.
We'll probably always have zealots among us. There will always be sick, failed individuals who hate themselves so much they can only feel happy by destroying someone else's happiness. Part of freedom
means that those sad, sorry people are free to be as useless and hateful as they wish in the nightmarish spaces between their ears. They can even have their fun little social groups, who meet each Sunday in fifty-million dollar fortresses against learning, to congratulate each other on how ignorant and judgmental they are. But they do not
have the right to impose their miseries on the rest of us. They do not
have the right to declare certain demographics to be morally inferior for no apparent or justifiable reason, all in the name of Christian (read: delusional hate-saturated bigot) values
. From what I've seen of them in practice, Christian values
can go to hell... which is apparently where they came from in the first place.