Shall the legislature adopt a proposed amendment to the state constitution
to be considered by the voters at the 2008 general election that would
prohibit the state, or a municipality or other subdivision of the state,
from providing employment benefits to same-sex partners of public
employees and to same-sex partners of public employee retirees?
And below it, the two floating choices: "Yes" or "No". As I carefully inked in my little "no" bubble, careful not to go outside the lines or imperfectly color the bubble and thus render my vote uncountable, it occurred to me that this has got to be the most expensive little answer bubble I have ever filled out.
How patently ridiculous, how terribly sad, how shameful it is that a spineless governor (no kudos to Palin for her artful dodge on this one) and a handful of rabid rapture freaks can divert so much money to further their bigotry and intolerance. What about the over 2000 Alaskan children that are currently in foster homes as a result of abuse and neglect? If these self-righteous bigots are so concerned about saving families, why aren't they directing state money towards programs that help people with substance abuse, teach people parenting skills and help at-risk youth make choices that steer them away from suicide and substance abuse? What about universal health care? That would sure help families.
Ah, but how stupid of me - the only families that are worth protecting and saving are those that fit within the narrow definitions set by Mike Kelly and his cronies - people of color, homosexuals, single parents, or blended families need not apply.
It's been a depressing and downward trip through my adult life to arrive to the full realization that, contrary to school teachings, the US has a greater and more heinous history of oppression, intolerance, and hatred than many much older nations (a number which also includes the countries that our gummint loves to hate for their "lack of democracy" and "freedom"). And as I have made that journey, I have gained even greater appreciation for the US propaganda machine, pervasive in media, school texts and curricula, that occludes our ignoble history of extirpation of Natives (and current US apartheid system of reservations and villages), hate movements against Jews, Irish, African Americans, Latinos, Japanese, Chinese, and basically just about every ethnic group in this country that is not WASP - to name just a few. And lets not forget that little gem that never gets put in our American History books - that Hitler's eugenics program was modeled after American ones*.
I fear I do not share Cabindweller's optimism that the nays will prevail. I fear that tomorrow we will wake to the news that the voting majority (which is by no means the majority of this state) will have gone to the yeas. If that is the case, it will indeed be a very black day in this state's short history.
*For additional reading on the American eugenics movement, I recommend The State Boys Rebellion: The Inspiring True Story of American Eugenics and the Men Who Overcame It, by Michael D'Antonio, Simon & Schuster, 2004