Views & Voices

The American values of exclusion and discrimination



The former Secretary of State of Ohio, Ken Blackwell, (now a research fellow at the certified hate group the Family Research Council) wrote at on Monday regarding marriage equality and the diverse nature of those who are supposedly protecting traditional marriage.

Ken Blackwell

To Blackwell, it seems as though “protecting” heterosexual marriage is not a liberal or conservative issue, but instead brings Americans from all political walks of life together — thus making exclusion and discrimination an “American Value”.

Throughout the entire article (you can read it here), Blackwell gives us nothing new, and reiterates how vague notions of “the people” are the best ones to make decisions like “protecting traditional marriage.” He echos the popular refrain that when a legislature or a judge extends marriage rights to same-sex couples, that elites are “forcing” acceptance of marriage equality upon society.

To Blackwell, the issue of gay marriage can only be decided by “the people,” because they have a stake in protecting their “civil marriage rights.”

Though I won’t go into the stupidity of this “let the people vote” mantra, as I have already addressed it on this blog time and time again, it is a powerful rhetorical device that our opposition has been using quite effectively.

Most people would rather make an important decision themselves than allow a representative to make that decision for them. Funny thing is, our system of government is not a pure democracy, which is what the “let the people vote” crowd seems to want, but is instead a representative republic, where the people elect representatives to … shockingly … represent them.

Blackwell then starts his discussion on the power of the electorate, and how the vast majority in one particular section of the country has voted to protect their “civil right of marriage.” This region would be, unsurprisingly, the South. From Texas and Tennessee, to Virginia and Florida, the entire South (save North Carolina) has enshrined the exclusivity of heterosexual marriage into their state Constitutions.

To Blackwell, this is important, because:

Marriage is not a wedge issue. It’s a bridge issue. That’s why liberals fear it on the ballot. They know that the people do not want marriage abolished. They know it creates a formidable grassroots coalition.

Oh yes, the gays are “abolishing marriage”. Those evil evil gays!! Who knew that when my husband and I got married, that the heterosexual married couple down the street magically became “unmarried”.

All kidding aside, to assert that we are “abolishing” marriage is quite juvenile. What we are actually doing is we are extending CIVIL marriage rights to individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.

We are allowing individuals, no matter if they are gay or straight, to be treated by their government the same. Maybe Blackwell’s particular religious “version” of marriage is being abolished; but then again, if my Jewish marriage affected his “Christian” version of marriage, then his marriage was having problems to begin with.

To Blackwell, “Marriage wins in liberal states, conservative states, and moderate states. It’s not a red state/blue state issue. It’s a red-white-and-blue issue and it wins all over.” And maybe that is true.

Maybe to Blackwell, American values ARE exclusion and discrimination. Maybe telling individuals that their relationships are inferior and not worthy of respect IS a facet of the American dream. Maybe ensuring that “all individuals are NOT created equal” was really what Jefferson meant when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

But that is not my America, and that is not what I believe that it stands for … and I will fight tooth and nail against those who want to make it so.

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