Wednesday, November 09, 2005


The following is from the gay newspaper, STONEWALL (August 2005). The Spanish have got Zapatero and we've got Bush. But we can thank Bush for putting Zapatero into power, can't we?

[Open quote] Translated by Rex Wockner

When the Spanish parliament took its historic vote legalizing both gay marriage and adoption of children by gay couples [June 30], Socialist Prime Minister Jose' Luis Rodriguez Zapatero—who put the full prestige of his office and party behind passage of the gay human rights legislation—made perhaps the most remarkable speech in favor of full equality for those with same-sex hearts ever delivered by a head of government anywhere.

Here are excerpts from Zapatero's speech:

"We are not legislating, honorable members, for people far away and not known by us. We are enlarging the opportunity for happiness to our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and our families. At the same time we are making a more decent society, because a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members.

"In the poem 'The Family,' our [gay] poet Luis Cernuda was sorry because,

'How does man live in denial in vain
by giving rules that prohibit and condemn?'

"Today the Spanish society answers to a group of people who, during many years, have been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been offended, their identity denied and their liberty oppressed. Today the Spanish society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity and restores their liberty.

"It is true that they are only a minority, but their triumph is everyone's triumph. It is also the triumph of those who oppose this law, even though they do not know this yet, because it is the triumph of liberty. Their victory makes all of us, even those who oppose the law, better people; it makes our society better. Honorable members, there is no damage to marriage or to the concept of family in allowing two people of the same sex to get married. To the contrary, what happens is, this class of Spanish citizens gets the potential to organize their lives with the rights and privileges of marriage and family. There is no danger to the institution of marriage, but precisely the opposite: This law enhances and respects marriage.

"Today, conscious that some people and institutions are in a profound disagreement with this change in our civil law, I wish to express that, like other reforms to the marriage code that preceded this one, this law will generate no evil, that its only consequence will be the avoiding of senseless suffering of decent human beings. A society that avoids senseless suffering of decent human beings is a better society.

"With the approval of this bill, our country takes another step in the path of liberty and tolerance that was begun by the democratic change of government. Our children will look at us incredulously if we tell them that many years ago our mothers had less rights than our fathers, or if we tell them that people had to stay married against their will even though they were unable to share their lives. Today we can offer them a beautiful lesson: Every right gained, each access to liberty the result of the struggle and sacrifice of many people that deserve our recognition and praise.

"Today Prime Minister Jose we demonstrate with this bill that societies can better themselves and can cross barriers and create tolerance by putting a stop to the unhappiness and humiliation of some of our citizens. Today, for many of our countrymen, comes the day predicted by Kavafis [the great Greek gay poet] one century ago:

'Later 'twas said of the most perfect society
someone else, made like me
certainly will come out and act freely.' " [Close quote]

That's from Spain, a once upon a time Empire, and we're in America, the home of democracy and freedom. What's wrong with this picture under American fundamentalism?


When one looks at today’s world, an obvious reality emerges. The world is roughly divided between nations dominated by angry religious factions and those which aren’t. Nations run by religious remain scientifically, politically, economically backward. Fewer democracies exist among them, and women are more often oppressed. Poverty runs rampant in fundamentalist religious nations, and civil liberties are most threatened in them. Many backward religious nations are led by dictators.

Far too many evangelicals strive to impose this foreign, religious angst on America. Generally, they oppose science and change, make bad economic decisions (Bush’s deficit), are warlike, argumentative, angry. They seek to control how we act in our bedrooms, what we do with our bodies, what we read and watch, who we should love and marry. They try to tell us when we should have and with whom we should raise children. They’re basically a negative force, awaiting their imaginary rapture/escape.

We can’t afford to let fundamentalism halt American progress. We must move forward scientifically, politically, economically. Let evangelicals pray freely (it’s America) but vote them from political power. Historically, religious fundamentalists always abuse political power. They’re oppressive because all god/myths are tyrannical by nature, demanding obedience or death.

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