Sunday, July 09, 2006

Strange Bedfellows

108 Strange Bedfellows

Courts in Georgia and New York have ruled against gay marriage.

Georgia’s no surprise. New York shouldn’t be.

This may be the first time since Brown v. Board of Education there’s agreement between the state that gave us Newt and the state that gave us Mario.

You can understand the Georgia decision. And if you look beneath the surface, you can understand the New York decision as well.

Georgia’s is about the Bible. New York’s is about money.

The fundamentalist Confederates believe the deity opposes homosexuality.

The New Yorkers just don’t want to pay benefits.

This makes Georgia’s the more moral of the two decisions, if only because they put their rulings where their mouth is.

New York plays progressive. This decision is not about progress. It is about saving effort for the courts in distributing the estates of dead gays and lesbians. It is about keeping costs down. It is about spousal and custody rights of parents for children. It is about closet discrimination. And it is about hypocrisy.

It’s time for New York to come out of the closet and say “we don’t like those queers any more than they do in the south.”

Aunt Dotty the OBGYN raised parakeets, which she taught to swear in Yiddish. “Fegalah, Fegalah,” the bird would chirp.

Aunt Dotty was not a hypocrite. She didn’t like gays, and her birds weren’t going to, either.

Aunt Dotty never met a government program she didn’t like. Socialized medicine was her pet. She’d ride the bus from Co-op City to Einstein Medical Center, wearing her silver fox stole – fanciest lady in The Bronx – but still on the bus. Mass transit, she thought, was better than private transportation. Co-op City was not exactly “the projects,” but it was underwritten by the City. She was for free public schools when that wasn’t terribly fashionable. She was for free public colleges when City College began charging tuition.

She believed in live-and-let-live. Except not gays. But she didn’t hide that, and neither did the parakeets.

And she was probably typical of heterosexual New Yorkers in her belief.

Never did find out her reasons, but probably if someone had asked her, she’d have told them – and at top volume.

In this respect, Aunt Dotty was a Confederate Sergeant. She was right out there and up front about her beliefs, as were the Georgia soldiers who didn’t like blacks and weren’t going to give up slavery. Right up front. Except she didn’t have a problem with Blacks – at least no more than with anyone else.

New York is a “blue” state. Georgia is a “red” state. (In the Civil War, it was grey, but who’s counting?)

But now we know that Albany, New York and Albany, Georgia have a bit more in common than you thought.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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