Sandra at the beach

6 11 2008

My expectations are few:

Guantanamo: close. Torture: stop.

That’s it. More? Yeah, more would be nice, more would be more than nice, but if an Obama administration cannot accomplish these two very basic acts—no matter what else it does—it will have failed.

As for other happenings on Nov 4:

Prop 8 passed. Hey, gays and lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered: You/we don’t count! (Oh, feel free to keep being, y’know, gay and all that, but please keep it to yourselves. Do that, and you get domestic partnership laws! That’s good enough, doncha think?)

And all you/us straight folk out there who think anti-gay laws and referenda have nothing to do with you: check out the Arkansas ballot measure which prohibits any unmarried couple from fostering or adopting children. The measure—which passed, natch—was explicitly aimed at prohibiting gays and lesbians from taking care of children. To get around an Arkansas Supreme Court decision which prohibited Arkansas’s Child Welfare Agency Review Board from, mm, discriminating against gays and lesbians, ballot proponents widened the prohibition to include all unmarried couples (ie, ‘individuals cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of marriage’).

I tried to find out if Arkansas allows single people to foster or adopt children (although the statute states that ‘It is the public policy of the state to favor marriage. . . over unmarried cohabitation with regard to adoption and foster care’), but was unable to do so.

Why should unmarried straight folks care? Well, in addition to reasons of principle (equality, dignity, and all those other silly et ceteras), it’s clear that those transfixed by same sex attraction have no problem flattening singles on their way to buttress the married.

As the commenter on Rod Dreher’s Crunchy Con website put it:

S
November 5, 2008 8:36 PM

I’m not gay and I don’t have any particular dog in the race over gay marriage. I’m not particularly for it, but given the tax subsidies and other benefits given to “married” people, I can see why a seriously-committed gay couple would want to participate.

What is really starting to gripe me is the whole focus on “marriage” is the foundation of our civil society, yada yada yada.

Well, I’m a heterosexual single. I’d like to feel like I have some contributing role to play in the betterment of society even though I’m not married.

There’s a pretty huge demographic of unmarried, never-married heterosexual adults. We matter, too.

It’d be nice to think so, wouldn’t it?

I let loose of fair number of words disclaiming any kum-by-ya sentiments, and am not bothered by the combative aspect of politics.

But, underneath it all, I hold to the basic belief that there is no us-and-them, there is only us. To strip away the dignity of the despised among us to strip away our dignity.

Grumblegrumblegrumble.

Okay, how I square this with understanding of difference and pluralism and the Other, well, that’s going to have to wait for another post. For now, let’s just say that this ‘us’ is a mixed bag. . . .