Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mass. Gambit Out West

With the budget as tight as it is here, Massachusetts should charge wingers a licensing fee. We are yet again being used as an advertising ploy, a weapon.

This time, it is the other Lexington couple devastated that they and their children would have to face simple, gentle reality here — that same-sex marriage is legal. Following the publicity hound Parkers, the much calmer but still reactionary Wirthlins (see clip below) are tools in the campaign to stop SSM in California.

Massachusetts remains the hammer in the anti-gay wingers' tool kit. First for SSM and then requiring diversity and fairness in education, we are the control freaks' horror. The yes-on-8 folk use the tag line with the Wirthlins of Protect your children. Protect marriage.

No one on the anti-SSM side can even begin to explain how expanding marriage (redefining it as they would have it) harms their marriages in the slightest. Court after court at local, state and federal levels agree that there's no damage to sue for there. Protect marriage is a throwaway, just a rallying cry.

The first slogan goes to the heart of the specious ad campaign. The protection they seek is really from the larger world, with the legality of SSM being just a tiny snippet of reality.

Let's get down to it here. These parental rights types want to abrogate their primary responsibility to their kids, to give them a framework for the world outside their homes.

Having attended trials on these suits and read briefs and other related documents, I kept running across the punchline. These couples and a small group of similar ones say that they have the right to be the primary moral instructors of their kids. Indeed they do and it is a duty as well as a right.

They then fail in two ways:
  1. By claiming that even mentioning the legality of SSM or the existence of homosexual-couple led families, the schools have usurped that parental right.
  2. By not taking reality in stride at the light level the schools mention it, they have tried to avoid teaching their kids, being the moral instructors.
In my life, I have been instructed by my family both by example and by word. I also got moral views from church, Boy Scouts, my team coaches and others. Not a single one of them said, "I'm the only source of information or opinion you need or should have."

Instead, the assumption was that I had the wit and heart to digest what I saw, what I experienced, what I read and what I heard. In contrast, the Lexington couples have an extremely unrealistic expectation that they can put their kids in idea bubbles.

Moreover, they choose to avoid their role as moral teachers. I have raised three kids, I can show them how to deal with children's question and confusion. I considered that my duty.

If their kids come home with questions about a picture book that has a king marrying another king, fury and a sense of violation are not the rational response. Instead, for anti-SSM, anti-gay parents, the simple and effective answer for a second grader is something like, "In this state, two men can legally marry. We don't agree with that and believe that it goes against the Bible's teachings."

How hard is that? Isn't that part of being the primary moral instructor? Won't that help a child frame outside facts and information?

Yet, in California, the fearsome hammer of Massachusetts SSM and the dreaded possibility of having to speak with your kids become the tool of choice today. Of course, this is disingenuous. Of course, it's dishonest. It remains to be seen whether it will scare or convince anyone not already in the yes-on-8 camp.

By the bye, the good guys, the ones who want to expand marriage, are trying to put the truth to such lies. They could use our financial help right now.

Tags: , , , ,


Unknown said...

I noted that you were using the picture of a hammer from my website. It's a good picture. And it is free from microsoft. But I would appreciate it if you would not keep referencing it on my site. That is called "bandwidth theft". A better way is to copy it to your website and then reference it from your website. Thank you.
James S. Huggins


massmarrier said...

Sure, I'm happy to do that. As you note, this is a PD image. Microsoft must have left a link embedded in the code, I have never been to your sites and didn't get it there.

It is amusing though that you think of low hit, low size use as bandwidth theft. I suppose if someone took an image and put it on Fark, that would be justified. It seem melodramatic here though.

I replaced that image and a previous use of it with a copied, edited and reinserted one from my box here.

People link to my stuff all the time. To me that seems the nature of the net. Then again, my hosts give me lots of download bytes. Maybe you should also switch to a better provider. A few Ks a couple of times or even a couple of hundred of times should not worry us site and blog operators.

Anonymous said...

The Real Wirthlins - Religious Fundamentalists with brutal tactics

To hear Robb and Robin Wirthlin recount the day their 7-year-old son Joey was subjected to a schoolroom reading of the colorful children’s book King and King, you’d imagine he’d been read a gay porn novel by his elementary school teacher.

Dan Aiello, writing in the Bay Area Reporter, has taken a closer look at the Wirthlins, who are currently being bussed from church to church across California by Protect Marriage to support Proposition 8, which would eliminate marriage equality in California. Aiello uncovers a number of details about the couple that the Yes on 8 folks would rather remain unmentioned.

While the Mormon couple maintain they were merely trying to protect their children, they have been associated with two organizations that are determined to to eliminate marriage equality in Massachusetts through a constitutional amendment: The Massachusetts Family Institute and MassResistance, an organization identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group.

Anti-gay hate groups, according to SPLC, “are organizations that go beyond mere disagreement with homosexuality by subjecting gays and lesbians to campaigns of personal vilification.” The designation places MassResistance squarely in the company of neo-nazi, white nationalist, racist skinhead and black separatist organizations.

MassResistance Watch has more information about the group.

A spokesperson for Yes on 8 denied the Wirthlin’s involvement with the groups — both of which publicized the Wirthlin’s cause, raised funds and organized vigils on their behalf.

According to Aiello, “The Wirthlins, it seems, were looking for a reason to sue in Massachusetts. Now they’re looking for a fight here in California.”