Monday, July 17, 2006

Bad week in the courts

Its been a bad week for gay marriage proponents. The Nebraska gay marriage ban has been reinstated, as well as the ban in Georgia and New York’s highest court ruled that it can deny marriage to same sex couples since it is the court’s intuition that two opposite sex parents were best for children. Note that the court did not feel the need to provide actual data, just an intuition. Is there any other group of people that are as oppressed by other’s intuition? If the courts and legislators are unable to provide the rational for their decisions and instead rely on “unsettled feelings” or “intuitions” is this not bigotry, pure and simple?

I think children are the heart of the matter. Not that these decisions are made for the benefit of kids, because if that was their concern there would be healthcare for everyone under 18, and more money in the educational system. I believe the real motivation is to discourage gay people from forming families, which is in its essence, a denial of our basic humanity. We can form loving relationships, have children, and build lives, but don’t expect any help or approval from society or the legal system. And oh, keep it out of straight people’s faces, since the very fact of our existence is somehow offensive to them.

I found this all pretty depressing. We had spent the weekend in Ogunquit, and I did have one situation that made me feel a little more optimistic about the future. My wife and I entered a coffee shop with our son asleep in his stroller. My wife went to get some coffee, and a young mother entered with her husband and daughter. She saw my son and exclaimed how cute and chubby my son was. She then went over to my wife and asked if that was her son, and my wife said yes, it was. She repeated her compliments and then went back to her family. It was kind of thrilling to have a random straight person acknowledge the reality of our family. I think our son is the best little ambassador for gay families. Maybe this is the best we can do, one straight person at a time.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Straight anxiety and gay marriage

I haven’t been blogging about the marriage debate here in Massachusetts, because I find the whole debate so painful and anxiety producing, I have a hard time thinking about it. I couldn’t watch the TV yesterday because of it. But this morning, as in all mornings after the debate comes up, there is a slew of commentary from straight people on what this all means. I am a bit of a compulsive letter writer, but I cannot answer all of them, however, I found this article on slate particularly annoying:

Hate and Marriage:

I found the authors address on google, and this is what I wrote to him:

Dear Sir,

Let me see if I understand this. Gay people should abandon the fight for marriage because of straight people’s mostly unconscious anxiety about their gender roles. This is the most ridiculous argument yet. If I understand you correctly, gay families should remain legally unprotected because the majority (straights) are anxious? As a gay woman, I have seen the limits of democracy. If the majority wants to discriminate against a minority, then they can. Really, nothing stopping them.

I think your point is that this deep seated anxiety which causes 70% of the populace to trip over themselves getting to the voting box to vote against gay marriage is not bigotry, but it is. If there is no rational reason to expand marriage rights to gay people, if it is indeed, something that really belongs on the psychologist couch and not in legislation, it is discrimination. Not perhaps the virulent hateful kind, however, the haters drive the debate, and the anxious pick up its rear. All I can say to all of this, I hope you get over it so my family and I can have full citizenship in this country and are able to protect each other legally.

If you would like to add your two cents, this is his email address:

On another note, my state senator Dianne Wilkerson came through like a champ once more for gay people. I am calling her office with a thank-you and a donation this morning. This is her site: Dianne Wilkerson(Yes, this is how I spend my time when the baby is asleep).

Sunday, July 02, 2006

On second thought

I have been thinking more about this breastfeeding situation. I am more attached to it then I realized, even if I am being gnawed on. I don’t think my son will have any problems being weaned. He already takes a bottle of formula pretty willingly, I think its me who is going to have a problem. Every time I am tempted to do it, I just think of the first few days of his life. He latched on so well at the hospital, like he was a pro. The nurse kept on saying how smart he was, and I was amazed that we were able to do it. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ability to make milk. It just seemed too weird, but there I was feeding my baby.

He had all of these really cute breastfeeding expressions. He had a very serious one where he would furrow his brows like he was solving a physics problem. There was another one where he would lift up his eyebrows like a connoisseur as if he were saying, “This is an excellent batch.”

Now he messes around a lot when he is eating. He smiles, he looks all around. If I am breasting in public, everyone gets a good look at my nipple. I am not sure what to do about the biting. Its like he is conducting an experiment in cause and effect “Look when I bite down, that funny lady screams.” I never pictured myself one of these people who breastfed their babies until they were toddlers. He is six months now, and that is when I thought I would stop. I’ll keep doing it for now.