Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Run Run Run

Arizona is an increasingly unnerving place to live. In past weeks and the past few days we've had the wacky no-abortion insurance bill, the crazy no-pill-for-teens bill, the insaaaaaaane no-selling-eggs bill... has it reached the point of waking up each morning and wondering what new affronts to civil liberties the dawn will bring? Apparently so. Today's predictable but still enraging entry has the esteemed bishops of Arizona throwing their ecclesiastical weight behind the proposed state no-gay-marriage amendment. Predictably, the bishops smack down marriage equality as an affront to nature and, predictably, in the same breath proclaim their concern for making sure everyone's treated nicely:

The bishops' new statement says the church opposes the legal recognition of same-sex unions "in order to prevent the redefinition and devaluation of the institution of marriage" but adds that "people of whatever orientation must always be treated with compassion and respect and that their civil liberties must be protected."

What, do they really think no one will notice the fundamental disconnect there? Continuing the run of the Predictability Express, they choose to couch their argument in Natural Law--granted, a refreshing change from the usual Leviticus fallback; perhaps the good fathers recognized that arguing from Leviticus automatically requires them to also argue for killing recalcitrant children and forcing rape victims to marry their attackers--you know, the usual "they can't naturally have kids" plea.

In a bit of unintentional irony, the front page of the local section of the paper this morning carried a prominent, color picture of an elderly couple celebrating Mardi Gras at the Cajun bar on Grant Road. The caption noted that the couple, ages 82 and 92, have been married for four years. Apparently the bishops have yet to muster sufficient moral, er, "Natural Law" based outrage to prevent such unions between people whose procreative abilities have long since dried up.

My anger has a distinct tinge of nausea with it this morning, because this time it's personal. There is no surprise here at all; the shocker would have been if the bishops had decided to make a fabled, 1970s-style Liberation Theology stand against the unjust treatment of a specific group of people--indeed, the altering of state constitutions to expressly limit the rights of a single group. I would have fallen face-first into my coffee mug. As it is, I simply feel defeated. Maybe I wouldn't be quite so sick had I not grown up in the Catholic Church, if I did not still consider certain edifices to be my spiritual home, despite having fallen away from the rank-and-file rules of the Magisterium.

Fuck me. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Did I mention that same-sex marriage is already prohibited by statute in Arizona? That the proposed amendment also bars legal recognition of any relationship designed to approximate marriage? That it's simply a mean-spirited move to further push our faces into the muck and rub 'em around a little? It's one big nanny-nanny-boo-boo to remind us of the rights we already don't have.

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