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Month: March, 2013

ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY: A MOTHER’S NATURE

As the Supreme Court recently took up California’s Prop 8 case, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own path to viewing marriage equality as a civil right.

I admit that for years I was indifferent. My church was famously opposed to it. But I felt I needed to have a deeper understanding of its implications before rendering a stance either way. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) further confused my quest because it resulted from Congressional bipartisan support during the (seemingly Democratic) Clinton administration. I began to feel secure with a pro-civil union attitude that evenly negotiated two sides of the question.

But as Prop 8 was passed and then overturned, it was revealed that the Mormon church– and to a lesser extent, the Catholic church – played a significant role in funding the anti-equality effort. That was a significant turning point for me. I felt those institutions had no right to interfere in the political and personal will of the electorate. They could enforce their own doctrine in the confines of their religious education programs or pulpits. It was the covert manner in which they funneled money that subverted the communities of members/parishioners they represent.  After all, citizens were voting for a legal contract to be recognized between two loving and committed adults.

Then it came home. When I became aware that I was the parent of a gay son, the lens through which I saw the world changed. I knew socially he would face discrimination in some forms. But I did not believe he and his eventual partner should be deemed less than deserving of the nearly 2,000 legal rights and benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. In his eyes, I saw clearly the dignity entitled to all humans.

I believe that marriage equality, along with legally recognizing LGBTQ as a protected population, is a civil right. As a mother, I won’t accept anything less. As citizens of what is considered the freest country in the world, we shouldn’t settle for less.

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PICKING UP AN OLD FRIEND.

Man, life got ahead of me. Or am I just too fixated on getting ahead?

But, I neglected her, my guitar – got too busy contemplating and arrogantly prognosticating. I should have been living alongside her timeless pulses. So with nimble fingers and quiet grace, I bring her back into the light. We tune and I offer a song.

I’m rock, blues, Carter and Cotton. And from that hollowed beauty of her fine woods, she dances within the restless night of my ceaseless soul. Curves and contours meld with mine. I am confined to our renewed solitude.

“Freight Train” to warm up. “Ventura” to savor.

My confidant, friend;  we vanish together.

WAR IS A THIEF

American foreign policy: “the creation and/or maintenance of a country’s power and influence through military force.”

On the tenth anniversary of the United States’ pre-emptive, unprovoked assault on Iraq, we have to face how these endless wars define our nation. We can choose to believe the official justification of “spreading democracy” (an oxymoron since true democracy is not inserted, but rather rises from the people – the demos) or we can face the difficult truth of what these “wars” truly reflect: imperialism.

Foreign policy, as stated above, is actually the definition of imperialism by the Dictionary of Human Geography. But imperialism doesn’t end there. We feel it economically as well. Monopolies, corporate strongholds on legislators and global conquests all mimic imperialism. The toll of imperialism and its “wars” – militarily or otherwise – subverts the common good. While the demos, deemed as political or economic collateral, are fed the entrails.

War is a thief of democracy. Elections are paraded as symbols of a system “brought to the people.” Absent, however, are the will and the voice of the masses imperiled by war’s destructive path. Invasion pursued by the state, corporation or global financial institutions are inherently antidemocratic. Just as global profits are gained by the exploitation of labor, so are the spoils of war. Imperialism imposes, destroys and takes. It is non-empathetic; it is psychopathic by nature.

World War II was the last defensive war America fought. Subsequent military action, as implemented by noble soldiers, has stolen lives, families and communities. War has ripped the fabric of true democracy – one that is engaged and enacted by the populous.

War is a thief.