Letter writer proposes new group to protect the sanctity of marriage
To the Daily:
I am writing to expand on Jordan Genso’s letter (‘Marriage’ is a heterosexual tradition that should be preserved for heterosexuals, 11/12/04). I think it’s great that the word “marriage” has special significance for Genso; it means a lot to me too. In fact, I am so pro-marriage that I would like to announce the formation of the American Marriage Is Sacred Committee.
The platform of AMIS will be to pursue the protection of marriage on several levels. First and foremost, we would like to constitutionally ban divorce. Divorce is the number one marriage destroyer in this country and must be stopped. Secondly, we would like to penalize those who get married but do not have children. Getting married is about starting a family — if there are no kids, what is the point? Why should the government reward these people, it is a loophole that must be closed. Therefore we propose an amendment whereby those marriages that produce no children after a reasonable amount of time will be dissolved by the government. We at AMIS also believe in the traditional family structure with a man earning a living while the woman tends to the home and children, so we would also like to relegate women to the home with passage of an amendment that bans women from the workplace. I’m sure that anyone who believes in traditional family values will have no problems supporting these measures. After all, a non-traditional marriage is no marriage at all.
As a bonus for Genso, for being so eloquent in his defense of Proposal 2, we here at AMIS will also pursue a constitutional amendment to ban white people from using the word “nigger.” We are AMIS!
Comparison of gay marriage to use of ‘N-word’ inappropriate
To the Daily:
Jordan Genso’s letter to the Daily in which he writes, “Allowing gays to get married would be like allowing white people to use the ‘N-word’” (‘Marriage’ is a heterosexual tradition that should be preserved for heterosexuals, 11/12/04), is an alarming display of ignorance within our community.
People outside the black community should be sensitive to the use of the “N” word because of the word’s tainted history and its association with hateful, discriminatory practices. In response to Genso’s comparison of the quest of gays for the basic personal right of marriage to the quest of whites to use the “N” word, I would argue as follows.
In striking down state bans on interracial marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1967 that “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”
I will concede that giving gays the right to marry will in fact change the institution of marriage in the minds of many, in the same way that giving interracial couples those same rights did. Sixteen states banned interracial marriage throughout the 20th century. Alabama’s constitutional ban on interracial marriage was not repealed until the 2000 election, with 40 percent of voters voting to keep the ban in place. I guess they too felt that changing the institution of marriage would be, as Genso writes, “disrespecting their community”. This is discrimination. This is hate, regardless of intent.
People need to stop comparing gays looking for the right to marry to whites’ use of the “N” word and high-income families’ desire for a flat tax (Gay marriage opponents made reasonable choice, 11/09/04) and start comparing it to interracial couples looking for the right to marry or women looking for the right to vote. Redefining an institution to include a minority group does not hurt or threaten that institution.
Finally, in response to Genso’s feeling that he had to vote for Proposal 2 in order to make sure that marriage didn’t change, despite his endorsement of civil unions, I would like to point out that Proposal 2 was written by and placed on the ballot by groups opposing civil unions for gays. This is why civil unions were explicitly grouped with marriage in a single ballot proposal — so that more progressive people like Genso, who might support civil unions, would not only vote to ban marriage, but vote to ban civil unions as well. The grouping was not an effect of “the homosexual community trying to take your word.” You were duped, and others will continue to suffer because of it.
Unified Palestinian leadership critical to Mideast peace
To the Daily:
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s recent death may have positive results for the Palestinian people inasmuch as Arafat forestalled the articulation of a coherent vision and strategy with regard to Israel’s destructive occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. The Road map, much praised by the American press, was and remains an obstacle to a just solution, and would only lead to negotiations over the creation of a Palestinian state on a mere 40 percent of the West Bank and not the full West Bank. The recent appointment of Mahmoud Abbas as chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, seen as a “pragmatist” by many Israeli and American officials for his willingness to engage the Road Map, will not be capable of maintaining legitimacy in the face of the grim crumbs of autonomy that the Road Map grants the Palestinians. It is important at this stage in their struggle for national freedom that the Palestinian leadership maintain a unified front of resistance to the occupation and reject the tired notion that it is really terrorism that is the fundamental obstacle to peace and not Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, because it is the latter that is the direct cause of the former. The message should be clear: If you want to end terrorism, you must end the occupation. Furthermore, it is important that the activist community at the University’s rally around the issue of the University’s divestment with companies like Caterpillar, which sells Israel the very bulldozers it uses to raze Palestinian homes and uproot their agriculture, and as such only contribute to the deterioration of the possibilities for a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.
The letter writer is a vice chair of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality