( – promoted by DocHoc)
The other day, I made one of my countless trips to Home Depot. Pulling into the parking lot, I parked next to a pickup that was even older than my car….if that’s possible. As I walked toward the store, I glanced at the back of the truck and spotted three bumper stickers; two on the rear window and one on the bumper that proclaimed “Bush-Cheney”. There was a “W 04” on the window, along with one that had stick figures for a man and a woman, a = sign and “Marriage”. That message was easy to figure out even in Oklahoma.
As I went into the store I gazed around at the customers, in a vain attempt to identify the truck owner. It dawned on me that I was using a prism of my own making to identify the truck owner, just like the truck owner was using to base his/her beliefs about the rights of those who are different; in other words, male homosexuals.
My preconceived notion was that the truck owner was male, middle aged, worked in the building trades, always working and never getting ahead. Most prominent is this guy voted his belief or prejudice over his own financial interest. Most important, it was emotional rather than logical. How did this issue get so political, in the first place?
Just maybe the argument for ‘domestic’ rights got misplaced from the beginning, or framed with a religious mantle by homophobic preachers.
I personally know of several heart wrenching stories about the travails of domestic partners, both same and different sex. One partner’s soul-mate got sick, requiring months of devoted nursing and caring for his needs. Toward the end of his life she moved him to where he wanted to die, several states away, to be close to his children. Her shock came when she was refused visiting privileges at the hospital and had no chance to participate in the funeral or it’s planning. The children tied his meager will up in a heartless lawsuit.
This is one side of the coin.
The other is in our laws. Somewhere along the way our legislatures inserted a religious term into law to define a domestic partnership. If we as a society had chosen to leave marriage at the altar and legal domestic partnerships at the county clerk’ office, maybe most of the divisive rhetoric would just appear on an occasional bumper sticker displayed by homophobic. Instead, by having the word marriage in our legal vocabulary, we have opened a window for those with narrow mindsets and political agendas to exploit a fundamental right of all Americans…equal treatment in the laws…even right here in Oklahoma.