Return to Krista's Korner

"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Friday, November 4, 2005 - The Family Values Sideshow

"When did lying become a family value? Maybe it’s naïve of me to be shocked, but honestly: The family values folks lie. And you should pay attention to exactly how they lie, because any minute now they’ll be bringing their campaigns to your state."

And what about this didn't I know?

"Such modest rhetoric won over many a cautious voter, according to polling before and after those amendments passed. Voters might not have been ready to alter an institution central to their lives, but neither did they want to be gratuitously nasty to lesbian or gay family, friends and colleagues. That’s why, in pale blue or lavender states, the amendments are written as some variation on this misleading phrase, from Michigan’s 2004 constitutional amendment: “Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman.” In redder states, the phrase might be more explicit, as in this one from Mississippi’s 2004 amendment: “Any marriage between persons of the same gender is prohibited and null and void from the beginning.” As I’ve written elsewhere, for those voters who haven’t thought long and hard about the issue, such wording often comes across as a mere dictionary definition, a vote in favor of Webster’s.

But once those amendments are in place, the family values folks race, pitchforks in hand, into their local city councils, courts, public universities and legislatures. Arguing vehemently that voters had clearly declared that marriage was between a man and a woman, they insist that partnership recognition under any other name is “marriage in disguise.” Civil unions? A naked invasion of that sacred, unique, time-honored territory called marriage. Domestic partnership benefits? Marriage! Shared health insurance? Marriage, all marriage, all forever off the table."