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    Impossible Princesses*

    The expected is happening to the FMA. Obviously, I’m glad as someone who doesn’t think the Constitution should be amended lightly, and relieved as a gay man.

    However, some days I hope I’ll never hear the words gay and marriage in the same sentence again. I still care about our having the legal means to provide for those we’ve chosen to spend our lives with, and I still care about equal treatment. But I don’t see what is productive about this particular argument at this point. The marriage-or-bust mentality can’t distinguish between a dignified life and a life supplemented by tax breaks and other entitlements. It treats compromises (such as civil unions and domestic partner benefits) as unacceptable, even in the short term. The debate has become more picky and detailed and, at the same time, more coarse. At least this round is more or less over, for now. There’s still time for people to learn to listen to each other. Yeah, I know, not likely. But I live in hope.

    * To be subsequently retitled “Kylie Minogues.”

    7 Responses to “Impossible Princesses*”

    1. Kris says:

      I have been looking for a place to comment that I am relieved and pleased that you have posted the new picture for your header. Relieved because somehow the rain-soaked fields of Frotzen, or whatever that was, somehow always got me down. Pleased because the tea and bowls things are delightful.
      This post seemed an appropriate place to make this comment. Though I have yet to figure out if you consider Kylie to be a force for good or evil.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Thanks–the picture was actually of rice paddies in Bali, which I’d hoped would strike an optimistic note of growth, plenitude, and striving toward the sun. Sorry it didn’t work. Re. the new picture, I’m not sure I like the way the orange of the tea bowl plays behind the purple in the banner, but I’m giving myself a bit of time to get used to it. BTW–speaking of pretentious symbolism–the bowl on the left is for Japanese tea. Atsushi bought it for me for Christmas; at the edge of the picture, you can see the whisk used to froth the tea. The teacup on the right is from the set my parents bought me for my birthday last year. The teapot behind it is my own. So the whole thing is kind of a US-Japan/generosity of people I love sort of thing…though it might have been better if I’d just kept that to myself.
      As far as Kylie goes…honey, we love Kylie. What made me think to use that as a post title was that I was listening to the album while writing it. Speaking of symbols of striving toward the sun! If she can go from her unrelieved ’80’s suckitude to actually being an expressive singer, think what those of us with a modicum of natural talent can accomplish if we get off our asses.

    3. Nathan says:

      You…you…homophobe! Er, wait…
      Nah, seriously, I’m with you on this. This was neither the time nor the place for this Amendment, if there ever will be.
      The thing that upsets me the most is that people who never cared one way or the other about SSM two years ago are crowing that the failure of the bill to gain passage represents some sort of victory over the religious homophobe bigots.
      There are reasons to support SSM, there are reasons to oppose it. Personally, I’d prefer that the pro-side wouldn’t be so committed to such a “by any means” headlong rush to getting SSM in place before the whole nation can express itself in voting…
      Either side trying to seize the (moral) high ground leaves me a little sick to my stomach.

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, Nathan, every issue has its hangers-on. If you have the spare energy to be upset by all of them, you’re a better man than I.
      Besides, it’s entirely possible that there are people who didn’t care about this issue two years ago who have had…forgive the locution, but I can’t find a better way to put it off the top of my head…their consciousness raised since then. But however people have arrived at their current positions, you’re of course right that one doesn’t have to be a bigot of any kind to find reasons to oppose same-sex marriage.

    5. I agree with you both. Now that the FMA is defeated, marriage is still up to the states as it should be and historically has been, and we can take it slow from here, trying out SSM in a few states, other arrangements in other states. The last thing we need right now is some federal judge knocking over the precarious balance we still have. In short, I’m for SSM, but take it slow.

    6. “But however people have arrived at their current positions, you’re of course right that one doesn’t have to be a bigot of any kind to find reasons to oppose same-sex marriage.”
      The distinction I make is between people who have reasons for opposing same-sex marrige, which I can respect even when I disagree — and people who _look for_ reasons to oppose same-sex marriage. It’s those latter who draw my ire.

    7. Sean Kinsell says:

      I think I basically agree, Steven, with just one qualification: There’s a difference between someone’s predicting, based on his long-standing moral convictions, that he probably won’t end up supporting gay marriage, and just casting about for reasons to be against it without ever allowing supporters to score any points. The latter maneuver makes me angry, too, but if someone is that un-self-critical, arguing is probably a waste of time.