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Sunday, February 26

Something to remember always

I hope Liz can forgive me for this (I feel like a bit of a piggy for posting so much in such a short time) but I saw this copied on several blogs I read (I apologize that I cannot find the original post or s/n name) and I feel it needs to be spread around, remembered and repeated as much as possible.

Bigotry and gay adoptionThe Rovian Republicans are at it again.

As the 2006 election approaches, right-wing strategists realize that to maintain power, they must again rile up their base. Give conservatives a reason to fight the culture war from the ballot box, the thinking goes, and their presence will help guarantee top-ticket results.What were statewide gay marriage bans in 2004 appear to be gay adoption bans this fall. Ballot initiatives in 16 states speak to the fact that the Republican Party is again relying on deeply held biases to stay in office.

To me, however, there's no moderation on this issue. There's no gray area. There's no coalition to be formed. There's right and there's wrong. There's love and there's hate. Call me stubborn and close-minded, but if you are against gay adoption, you are a bigot. A hateful, prejudiced bigot.Why put these shameful measures on the ballot now? Whatever happened to putting forward an agenda of real ideas and inspiring voters to choose which party most embodies their beliefs? When did playing on ignorance and hatred become a get-out-the-vote tactic?

Only a weakened party unable to govern would make this strategy its top priority.The fact that issues like this are even up for a vote proves that the Republican Party is not only morally bankrupt, but also absent ideas. It's not about helping people, of course, because to do so would mean a radical shift in Republican policy. It would mean treating actual human beings with the same respect the right treats clumps of cells. It would mean helping children in the early stages of their lives. It would mean teaching parents and potential parents to make educated decisions. Above all else, it would mean more attention paid to the very safety net Republicans have steadily eroded.Where are the Republicans stepping up to adopt children clearly starving for love? Where are the Republicans backing the comprehensive sex education that would help prevent unwanted pregnancies? Where are the Republicans working for solutions that don't involve hate, that don't involve the continued stigmatization of normal, good-hearted Americans?

Republicans supporting these bans, you see, don't care about families. Nor do they care about children. They care about using people as scapegoats. That way, they can divert attention from their own shortcomings to a common enemy. Government in tatters? Blame liberals! Economy in the tank? Blame immigrants! Marriage in trouble? Blame homosexuals! If the right couldn't answer charges with "They did it," they would have nothing. No group has better perfected buck passing and blame gaming than the Bush-era Republican Party.

Today's Republicans aren't about progress. They're about being a thorn in its side. How else could you explain a party whose constituents spend more time fighting evolution, complaining about Howard Stern and protesting outside of hospices and abortion clinics than working for solutions to more pressing problems? Only small-minded people think SpongeBob SquarePants is a greater threat to the American way of life than myriad actual concerns.

Like many people, I can speak to this story personally. One of my very best friends is a gay man who happens to have adopted a beautiful son. The only thing atypical about the situation is the love and attention the doting father provides his son. The only thing unusual about the situation is the undivided attention my friend gives his one and only. The only thing abnormal about the situation is the massive amount of toys, books and puzzles in their home.

In fact, he's a better father than those who would have prevented the adoption could ever hope to be. He's a better man, too. His son, accordingly, couldn't have it any better. The thought that there are people in this country who would fight to have kept them apart sickens me. And it should sicken you, too.This isn't, as the right would have everyone believe, about special rights. It's about equal rights. The rights we take for granted. The rights to start a family, to be able to tuck your child in at night and know that everything you've done has led to this. To attend the recitals, plays and games. To enjoy watching them grow from childhood to adolescence and into adulthood. To share the same love that my parents shared with me. If that is special, doesn't everybody deserve special?

I have no idea who originally wrote this, but I am so very glad they did, the distractions and 'hot button' issues (along with voter fraud, et al) has played a HUGE part in the elections since 2000 and we, as citizens, need to educate ourselves and our friends to see these antics for what they are. Distractions put in place by a government that has NOTHING to offer us, an adminstration that has failed us repeatedly. 9/11, Katrina - NOLA, Wiretapping, Illegal wars, Gulags, the list goes on and on.

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