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Wisconsin marriage ideas, both half-baked and Goldin-Brown

by Jeremy Hooper

   In a piece discussing how Wisconsin could become the first state where a gay marriage ban vote actually goes in favor of the gays, the St Paul Pioneer Press features two couples, one a lesbian duo in their 50s and 60s, and the other a conservative Christian hetero pair both 76 years of age. So let's compare the contrasting quotes from the couples, shall we? First up, the married heterosexual couple, Jerry and Carol Isaacs:

JERRY ISAACS: "I don't see it as an attack, per se. It's the way things have been," ... "The Bible's the main source; the other is common sense."

JERRY ISAACS: "We're in support of the amendment, because it follows the word of the Bible,"..."Very clearly it's between a man and a woman,"

JERRY ISAACS: "I don't really discuss it with neighbors at this point in time," ... "But it would be good to have it in law, so that the courts or whoever cannot misinterpret where we stand."

And now the lesbian couples, Phyllis Goldin and Wanda Brown:

BROWN: "It's really frightening. We see this hate campaign as another step on the road toward fascism in America. We are frankly angry and terrified of that movement,"

GOLDIN: "On a personal level, we feel we are being used to advance political agendas. It's a very grim feeling,"

BROWN: "We're being exploited for right-wing political gain,"

BROWN: "They don't care about us at all," ... "I'd really like to meet a Wisconsin family that has been hurt by Phyllis and I loving each other. Who are they? Who has been hurt by this?"

GOLDIN: "First-class citizenship — that's a very attractive thing,"

Hmmm...so on one side we have a pair's religious beliefs and Biblical interpretations being used to justify their desire to drastically alter their state's most precious GOVERNING (read: not preaching) document; on the other, you have a pair of tax-paying citizens pleading for their state to NOT alter that same precious document so that it explicitly presents their partnership as if it lesser than and unworthy of legal recognition. So both totally valid right? I mean just the other day this was chatting with this Jewish friend of mine who keeps kosher, and he was all like, " Ya know, my religious beliefs tell me that consuming pork is not in my best interest, so I think I'm gonna take that belief to the public, church/state separated realm of governance and try and get pork banned for all." After grabbing a hot dog, I then trekked down to visit my Muslin chum, who told me about this new "one woman, one head cover" bill he's hoping to have enforced on people of all faiths. After briefly imagining the career death of virtually every female celebrity under 30, I continued to my Scientologist pal's mansion, where he told me to stop being "glib" and start helping him ban psychiatric medicine and drugs in this country. Weirded out, I finally swung by my Atheist friend's home, where she eagerly told me about her "One nation under self-replicating molecules" changes she was proposing for this nation's pledge of allegiance.

It was only after visiting all of these folks that I finally realized, "Hey, why let the facts that there are many different beliefs and that we, as Americans, have the right to subscribe to any or none of them stop each of us from pushing our own versions of moral fitness onto the public at large?" My world view has been changed at the hand of extremist religious conviction!

I pondered my newfound openness to church/state marriage for a second, when my pet shih tzu came over, tapped me on the shoulder and said," Daddy? Yea hey, it's me, Bosley. Uhm, I'm a dog. I poop on the street. I can't even get to 2nd avenue and back without you attaching a leash to this necklace thing that I wear around my neck. Hell, daddy, I eat the same damn lamb/rice food every day of my life. A simple being I am, not one to really delve into the realm of politics. But daddy, even in my canine state, I realize that you can't have religious beliefs influencing public policy, as the policies of the world's religions are not universally adopted by the public! I mean, daddy, I personally think ass-sniffing should be a legally-mandated activity, to which we are all encouraged to dedicate at least fourteen hours...or two hours, your time... a day. But daddy, I also know...oh, hold on I need to chase my tail [tail chase, tail chase, tail chase]...oh, where was I. Uhm, oh yea -- daddy, I know that you humans would see little to no value in the daily butt-sniffing allotment, so I would never be so bold to push my almost religious-like belief on you guys. So in conclusion, daddy, I think you need to snap out of your momentary lapse in reason and tell your readers that Jerry and Carol Isaacs' religious-based reasons for banning the Goldin-Browns are really unfair. They are free to condemn the ladies' love in church all they want. But just like I know not to pee in the house or bark at delivery men, I also know that using the Wisconsin state constitution to legislate morality is wrong. Now if you'll excuse me, daddy, I need to go call Condoleeza and settle this whole Middle East thing."

Always puts things in perspective, that Bosley!

So once again I'm back to my reasoned state of true American values, which fully tell me that my love and rights should not be hindered at the hand of another's faith. Mr. And Mrs Isaac are probably very nice people, who believe they are acting in their state's best interest. But by acting on their convictions, they would be deeply wounding the Goldin-Brown family, and stifling the ladies' right to equal treatment under the law. This is thoroughly unacceptable, and far too frighteningly tolerated by a supposedly freedom-loving public. People, this is getting really scary and far too many of us are remaining really quiet. If we don't start speaking out against this sort of operation now, who knows what relgious beliefs will be influencing what area of life next? I'm tellin' ya, folks -- Bosley's committed to this whole ass-sniffing thing!

Wisconsin a key state in battle over marriage [AP via St Paul Pioneer Press]

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