Last Saturday night, May 21st, 2011, was prophesized to be the day that the world, as we know it, would begin to implode around us. A dark time when the faithful would fly away up to heaven and those with blackness in their hearts would begin the eternal sentence of toil, solitude, and misery. Most people laughed at this prediction, including me. And while I am quite talented at finding humor in almost any person, place or event, this time I am at a loss. As far as I can tell, that prophecy was pretty darn spot-on here in Minnesota.
Last Saturday night, we all died a little inside when the prophecy started to come true. Last Saturday night, many of the certainties that I thought I could share with my children also died. Last Saturday night, my adopted home of Minnesota became a little darker and frightening and the flicker of a similar flying away entered my mind. Last Saturday night the Republican majority of the Legislature decided it was time to chip away at life in Minnesota as we know it, by letting a majority decide who is worthy enough to marry.
Obviously, this measure can only be described as ridiculous in the cruelest way. It is also an example of our government intruding into our most private and personal decisions. Huh. I thought the Republicans didn’t like that….guess I misunderstood. Or maybe I just misunderstood the ruse about “taking it to the people of Minnesota” who “need to know the risks of same-sex marriage,” which are……which are…..I guess I misunderstood the meaning of “risk,” too, because I thought “people could be happy together forever” was a “benefit.” (Where is my Webster’s…..?)
Yes, ridiculous and cruel and quite moronic, from a fiscal perspective. During the floor debate in the House, Rep. Karen Clark, who is gay, said, “Don’t make me go to Iowa,” referring to being married in the presence of her family. I contend that Rep. Clark was describing the tip of the iceberg. If a middle-aged, heterosexual, single mom worries about what this could do to her family and friends, worries about what civil rights might be next on the chopping block, worries enough to consider abandoning her adopted home, what does that mean? It means that Minnesota is now distasteful to gays who believe in marriage, the people who support and love them, AND any other people who are afraid of potentially losing other civil rights with a similar ruse (“it is time to let Minnesotans decide”). It means that those with open hearts and open minds, who can often be well educated and high tax payers, have no reason to adopt Minnesota as their home, have no reason to stay here. There are many other places (warmer places that have better food!) where the risk of losing your civil rights to a loud minority isn’t such a reality, isn’t such a “risk.”
Even if you are dead set against same-sex marriage and the apparent “risks,” why would you send away many smart people, gay AND straight, who pay lots of taxes when we are in the midst of a budget crisis? Is this another part of this equation that I misunderstood? No. This is just another example of blind bigotry that will end up hurting every one, if it succeeds. Maybe that crazy pastor is on to something. One thing is for sure, I am less afraid of the rapture than I am of the Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature.