The saved and the savages
Gay marriage, a weapon of mass distractionMatt ZalaznickDaily City EditorThe nation dodged a dark day when the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage fizzled in the Senate. History, however, may still look back at this part of the century and cringe – the amendment’s supporters have vowed to take another stab at slashing the civil rights of homosexual Americans. What’s more, George Bush will be further convinced of his divine righteousness to decide how Americans should live their lives if he is born again, again, and wins another four years as religious-fanatic-in-chief this November. It’s astonishing how proponents of the amendment – among them Colorado’s U.S. senator, Wayne Allard – continue to be blind to their cause’s roots in paranoia, hate and intolerance. They claim not to realize their cause is as medieval as some of the country’s past social engineering obscenities, such as the Jim Crow laws that made African Americans second-rate citizens. But blindness to its own spite seems to be a linchpin of the increasingly venomous and missionary social conservative movement that beyond gay marriage, seems to want to erase the secular, free-thinking progress of the last century. They seem to want to redivide the world into the saved and the savages. It’s an easy and disingenuous attack to say the left is anti-religion. The left is not anti-religion, but many who consider themselves liberals find missionary doctrine thundering from the White House and conversion through legislation disturbing. And while these crusaders stifle stem cell research and lose their tolerance for sex education, family planning and free speech, they rant and rave about preserving the American family. Exactly which American family? It would seem only families who haven’t suffered crippling diseases, who haven’t dealt with teenage pregnancy and who haven’t listened to Eminem or the Dixie Chicks – and who haven’t ever voted Democrat. Some of Bush’s staunchest allies in Congress, including a possible presidential successor, the chaste Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, have even resorted equating perceived social deviance – particularly gay marriage – with Sept. 11.According to The Associated Press, Santorum said the future of America depends not on scientific advancement, international cooperation or environmental ingenuity – but on outlawing gray marriage. “Isn’t that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?” he said. The ultimate homeland security is securing the homeland. And while the zealots tie up Congress debating whether two loving adults can say “I do,” while they insist everyone who isn’t gay should get married right away, a group of congressmen from both parties has been warning that a revamping of the country’s intelligence apparatus is crucial and that the legislative branch should take action to help the government prevent the second coming of Sept. 11. But folks like Allard and Santorum, waiting for a more beatific second coming, would rather poke around in the bedrooms of private citizens than poke around in the bomb-making factories of public evil-doers. They’d rather mimic the Taliban then track it down. City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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