Friday, December 19, 2008

Obama and Rick Warren--Ewww!

Okay, you know I have to say something.

In case you've been living under a rock, President-Elect Obama has chosen Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Now, that wouldn't be such a big deal if Rev. Warren wasn't so blatantly bigoted and anti-gay. Rev. Warren was a HUGE force in California in regards to Prop 8. Remember Prop 8? That was the law that completely removed the civil rights of gays and lesbians that were originally granted as the court believed that lack thereof violated the constitution.

Okay, let's step back a bit, shall we?

First, I fail to understand how me wanting to get married and have access to my partner during illness and death, let alone the other 1000 benefits that marriage affords in this country, affronts the dear pastor. Good grief! I'm always amazed at the Christian religious fundamentalists.

Let's look at just a few of those benefits.

Access to Military Stores
Bereavement Leave
Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Social Security Survivor Benefits
Tax Breaks
Veteran’s Discounts
Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison
Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
Automatic Inheritance
Automatic Housing Lease Transfer
Bereavement Leave
Burial Determination
Child Custody
Crime Victim’s Recovery Benefits
Divorce Protections
Domestic Violence Protection
Exemption from Property Tax on Partner’s Death
Immunity from Testifying Against Spouse
Insurance Breaks
Joint Adoption and Foster Care
Joint Bankruptcy
Joint Parenting (Insurance Coverage, School Records)
Certain Property Rights
Reduced Rate Memberships
Visitation of Partner’s Children
Wrongful Death (Loss of Consort) Benefit

And the above list is by no means exhaustive. There are many, many benefits that come with marriage. Let's look at some of the more intimate ones:

Bereavement leave: When a partner dies, it's not often that the surviving partner has benefit of leave from his/her job. I don't know about you, but to tell me after many years of living as a spouse of my partner that I cannot take off work to make arrangements, attend the funeral, take care of the estate, or even take a couple of days off to mourn is inhuman.

Visitation or Decisions on Care in the hospital: I've run up against this one and it's a doozy. In my case, the one person who can make decisions, my sister, is estranged and certainly doesn't know, care about, or understand my wishes. But, as a blood relative, she's it. My partner can be, and has been in some cases, summarily dismissed by hospital staff. In one case I actually lambasted the patient advocate to get access to my partner.

There are so many!

These are the things that Rick Warren, in his narrow view, want to deny me and every other gay and lesbian person out there. I saw a video today posted on ( in which Rev. Warren states that, in his understanding, all gay people want multiple partners. He has in the past equated giving civil rights to gays and lesbians in the same context as pedophilia and beastiality.

I don't know about you, but that certainly doesn't describe my life. I go to work every day. I pay my taxes. I obey the law. My partner does the same. We don't go "clubbing." We stay home with our dogs and cats in the evening and check out the internet news and watch our favorite TV shows. We pay our bills. We give to charities. We donate our time. We visit sick friends. We attend church.

We're actually pretty boring.

And regardless of how "normal" our lives are, people like Rick Warren don't want to afford us basic civil rights. God forbid we use their term "marriage" to describe our relationships.

And it is in this context that I vehemently disagree with President-Elect Obama's choice of Rick Warren to lead the invocation at his inauguration. It's about fairness and civil rights. Civil rights. You know, those things that gays and lesbians don't have and have been fighting to have for decades? Yeah, those.

So, if you're one who espouses the mainstream Christian Fundamentalist view of gays and lesbians, I implore you to think for yourselves. Don't dig into the Bible and read it literally. It's not literal. It's allegorical. It's a history book. And if you feel the need to be literal, then be literal about everything. Don't eat shellfish. Don't wear clothing of two types of material. Do it all.

Once you obey the whole of the law, talk to me about gays and lesbians. And then after you do that, look at Jesus' teachings. Jesus said the whole of the law and the prophets were summed up in two commandments: love your God with all you are, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Then explain to me how denying civil rights to gays and lesbians is loving your neighbor.

President-Elect Obama has made a HUGE gaffe; a major mistake. And it would do him well to correct it before the inauguration and replace Rev. Rick Warren with a more compassionate, progressive pastor.

Blessed Be...

No comments: