Sunday Sermon

Values, values, values, values. In the United States those invoking the term often (if not usually) use it to justify their own gruesomely immoral attempts to deny others freedoms and resources. Welfare for the poor, health care for everyone, the right to marry whoever one wants, the freedom to choose to end a pregnancy. Can't do it folks, goes against American values.

Whatever. It's cartoonishly predictable. When I hear an American say "values" I think theirs are probably deformed.

There are probably exceptions, but if the word hasn't been ruined it's damn close to it.

Getting to my point: last night, Nobel prizewinner-designate Barack Obama addressed gay and lesbian activists at a Human Rights campaign dinner in Washington, DC--and he talked a good game (New York Times). He said it was time to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), the Clinton-era (or should I say Newt Gingrich-era?) policy that says homosexuals must be discharged from the military if they're honest about their sexual orientation. He also "called on Congress to repeal the Defence Of Marriage Act [DOMA]," which lets states ban gay marriage and says the federal government position is that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Well, those are values I think most prairie dog readerswould agree with.

The problem, according to activists, is that the president could effectively end DADT by using executive powers to suspend its enforcement. And he hasn't.

As for DOMA, Obama shat the bed last spring when his administration defended the act by comparing homosexuality to incest (New York Times again).

Unlike Canadians, who can marry who they like regardless what their crotches look like (no thanks to Stephen Harper's conservatives, who fought against gay rights tooth and nail--please don't ever, ever vote for them), American gays and lesbians have to put up with unbelievable amounts of bullshit, mostly coming out the mouths of "value voter" bible-thumpers.

In fact in the United States, support for gay marriage is well below 50 per cent. Although I note that non-churchgoing catholics, Hispanics and people under 30 buck the trend. Who's the worst? Southerners (not by as much as you might think though), protestants who go to church every week and Conservative Republicans. (There's a difference between the last two?)

The link is to the Pew Research Centre, and it's recommended reading--very interesting stuff in a pleasing, easy to understand chart.

Given all this, it's probably not a big surprise there's a rally in Washington today to remind the president and Democrats it's time to stop talking and start doing. (Washington Post)

Will they? Who knows. Obama's actually said he's against gay marriage, so either he's a bigot or he's lying for political insurance.

I guess gay and lesbian Americans should hope he's a liar?

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