Monday, March 15, 2010

I recognize that smell.

The Pennsylvania Senate is discussing John Eichelberger’s SB 707, which would amend the PA constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The Judiciary Committee may vote on it as soon as tomorrow.

For more information see Thomas C. Waters's blog entry, which tipped me to the situation. See also Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, whose blog swarm I'm joining with this entry. People like them know the situation in Pennsylvania much better than I. So I'm not going to tell you about it. But I will tell you a story.

January 27th was the last day of evidence in California's Proposition 8 trial. On January 29th Ron Prentice published a summary of the trial on the United Families International Blog. Here's the part that stuck in my head.

The controlling legal issue is not whether homosexual marriage is good or bad, but rather whether the people have the right to decide what is best.

Now that's interesting.

Because I thought that the controlling legal issue was the protection of the institution of marriage.

Let me check.

Yup. I was wasn't crazy. Ron Prentice is the Chairman of Protect Marriage dot com. Protect Marriage. Hmmmmm. I can't help but think that when he registered the domain name he thought that the core mission of his group was to, oh, protect marriage.

Make no mistake. When the Proposition 8 trial began it was all about protecting marriage. Just take a look at the Proposition 8 Trial Tracker and you'll see that. If Prentice's defense had had one iota of success in showing that same-sex marriages would harm anything at all, you can bet he'd be singing the same tune that was filling the air in early January. But he isn't. The tune has changed. Why?

I grew up on a dairy farm. My uncle sold the property when I was five, but we only moved a quarter of a mile down the road. So I spent my first decades walking the pastures and corn fields and ravines around that farm. I grew up accustomed to bad smells.

One day when I was in my early teens I was walking alone through the fields when I smelled something particularly bad. It was immediately apparent that something big had died. I followed the increasingly nauseating stench down into a ravine and, sure enough, there was the dead cow that I'd smelled hundreds of yards away.

Ron Prentice's words stink to high heaven. And just like the stench that hit me while walking through corn fields all those years ago, it doesn't take much effort to track the smell back to its source. In this case the big bloated cow carcass is Ron Prentice's desperation. He started by saying that he was protecting marriage, and the absurdity of that assertion has been illuminated. So now he's switching tactics. He'll say whatever he can to veil his hateful actions in a sham of logic.

When you look at the situation in Pennsylvania, don't be confused about What This Is Really About. The people who want to write discrimination into the state constitution want you to believe that it's about anything but discrimination. So they construct a What This Is Really About du Jour. What This Is Really About is plastic. What This Is Really About changes with the wind. Don't listen. Smell what's on that wind.

Follow your nose.

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