Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kerry Wary of Marry Parry

Big sigh. The very bright and knowledgeable Sen. John Kerry leaves the blinders on when it comes to marriage equality.

I remain aghast at the Dems this election on this subject. No one in a position to get the Presidential nomination, including Obama, Clinton and Edwards, supported same-sex marriage. Those three are typical of lefties who claim to be LGBT fighters, but choke on the most obvious civil rights issue.

Many analysts say Obama had no choice; had he orally favored SSM, he'd be unelectable. Clinton and Edwards, on the other hand, are in the same camp as Kerry. All have 20th or 19th century attitudes on the subject. All hide behind a conflation of personal religion and constitutional and legal principles. All want to bless civil unions, the separate-and-still-unequal gimmick. That would be like telling a Rosa Parks she should stand at the front of the bus, so long as she didn't look at or touch the seated white people.

At Tufts, the first question following a solid foreign-policy/vote-for-Obama address last night, Kerry showed his befuddlement on this issue. He had already joked about being on the verge of the speed limit in age (65 in two months), but he sounded like 95 on this issue.

(That last remark may be ageist and unfair. A 92-year-old long-term friend is a strong supporter of marriage equality.)

Consider Kerry's remarks (italics are his emphasis):
I do support marriage equality and, in fact, in a major effort to engage in gay bashing on the floor of the United States Senate when they passed the Defense of Marriage Act, I was the only Senator running for re-election among 13 or 14 no votes to vote against it. And I was against it because I believed and still believe that there ought to be equality of rights with respect to, you know, any status granted by the state as a formal right.

In that regard, I was not in favor of overturning the law that was passed in Massachusetts. Though my personal position has been as a matter of faith — partly faith and partly upbringing — is that marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman, because of the whole concept of procreation et cetera, which is what you learn as a young person. But that should not restrain you and hasn't restrained me to acknowledge that rights given by the state must be recognized, which is why I'm not for overturning the statute here in the state.
The factual blunder that SSM exists here by statute and not court decision is odd enough. He also later said that SSM was settled in California and Connecticut, apparently unaware of the vote on Proposition 8 in the former next month.

These suggest he may not have given the other legal aspects enough thought. Perhaps Mass Equality or some of the SS couples who changed the minds of our local legislators need to explain what comes with full marriage equality and why it is necessary.

Moreover, the tired and highly questionable procreation stick is not one to wave anymore. At its silliest and most obvious, that suggests 1) that the infertile, those who chose not to have children or adoptive parents should not be allowed to marry, just to get civil unions, and even 2) that he and his wife, past fertile years, should not have been able to marry.

Worse though is this powerful person who is known for supporting other civil rights would have it so wrong here. His faith ruse does not shield him. He also referred to marriage as the oldest institution. Not only is it not, but most people didn't marry at all until a century or two ago. Many biblical paragons were polygamous and had concubines as well. Institution, my butt.

If his Roman Catholic clerics tell him how to think on this, he needs to act on principle, not emotion. He managed to do that for abortion rights in similar circumstances. He has no cover here.

Today, 64 may be the new 44. Kerry is not too old to find enlightenment here and some courage on this matter at the same time.

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Joel Monka said...

There's no reason to believe that politics is the reason Senator Obama opposes SSM- he belongs to a church that opposes it. His stance is consistent with his faith.

massmarrier said...

That doesn't cut it. There are numerous other church teachings he ignores, most obviously a woman's right to choose.On that one, he has even been scolded publicly and gotten hints of non-communion or worse. Yet, he supports abortion rights.

He can't play that card convincingly.

Scott Wells said...

MassMarrier: what church do you think Obama belongs, or belonged, to?

massmarrier said...

Mr. Wells, please say what you mean. Most of us know he was a long-time member of Trinity United in Chicago and has resigned. That can't be a real question.

As for both pols, I expect them to do the right thing for all of us, regardless of what some minister or priest tells them, as Kerry did on a woman's right to choose.

Maybe they should chat with Elizabeth Edwards. She can be more humane and reasonable than doctrinaire clerics.

If you have a point though, please make it.

exitquote said...

I, too, have been deeply disappointed by the lack of open support for same-sex marriage in this campaign. I haven't heard much mention of it, but I could swear that I caught Biden referring to "couples in a same-sex marriage" during the VP debate when surely he meant to say "same-sex civil union". You'd think such a slip-up (which I optimistically take as a show of Biden's real views on the matter) would garner more notice, when the whole argument seems to be based on shaky semantic ground as it is.

Anonymous said...

And here I thought prostitution was the oldest institution. My grandfather, the Baptist minister, had a whole tome on the subject.

Anyway, the other excuse that Kerry, like Edwards and others use, is "upbringing". I always find this a curious thing for supposedly self-directed and motivated politicians to say. It implies that they have no free will. "My parents brought me up to be a bigot, so uh, sorry, gotta be a bigot!" Somehow it just doesn't wash. If you're going to be a bigot, John, own your bigotry.