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You can’t handle the truth!

A lot of you are friends with me on Facebook and are likely well aware that I am caught up at the moment in the fight against HJR-3, a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution that would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman.  I’m going to write more about that one of these days – I keep trying to get my thoughts into a cohesive lump instead of the ranty outbursts I post on Facebook. But today is not that day; today I have a little comic relief for you. But first, a little background.

Here’s the wording of the proposed amendment:

“Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

The first sentence is bad enough, but the second is wildly troubling even for some who are opposed to marriage equality. It has opened up all kinds of questions and even led to a supporting bill theoretically defining the intent of the amendment.  

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to listen to several area representatives speak, and one of them suggested that even though he found the second sentence troubling, he still supports the amendment. I was (naturally) pissed. Today, however, he (with some others) filed an amendment to remove the second sentence.  I emailed the encouraging news to a friend with whom I’d been discussing it over the weekend, and got this back in response. It’s freakin’ awesome.  

But first, before we get to that, this is a wildly important issue, and if you are looking for more information or want to know how to get involved in the fight for equality for ALL Hoosiers, please visit Freedom Indiana (or ask me questions – I am happy to talk about it).

HOLY CRAP, while I was getting this together the amendment to remove the second sentence was passed! But this is still awesome and funny and timely so you’re getting it anyway. 🙂

I did not write anything below this line – all from my clever friend. (Sorry about the somewhat wonky formatting.)

__________________________________________________________

Good for him. Now maybe he – or anybody in the media – could start asking folks what the heck the second sentence does or means. We supposedly have an entire bill, HB 1153, that describes what the second sentence doesn’t do. Namely, that it’s not there to take away benefits, rights, etc. So why is it there?

If the institution of marriage between man and woman is so fundamental – a truism – that itself connotes only one meaning, then why would you need a second sentence? Its removal does nothing…unless of course it does exactly what it sounds like it does.

I’d like the exchange to go a little something like A Few Good Men

 

                                      WENDY

                              (continuing; beat)

                         Speaker, I have just one more question

                         before I call the Indy Chamber and

                         Indiana University: If you gave an order

                         that Marriage wasn’t to be touched,

                         and your orders are always followed,

                         then why would marriage be in danger, why

                         would it be necessary to have

                         the second sentence?

 

               And SPEAKER has no answer.

 

               Nothing.

 

               He sits there, and for the first time, seems to be lost.

 

                                     SPEAKER

                         Gay marriage is a sub-standard form of

                         union. The second sentence is offered

                         because —

 

                                     WENDY

                         But that’s not what you said. You

                         said the amendment was to protect “marriage.”

 

                                     SPEAKER

                              (pause)

                         Yes. That’s correct, but —

 

                                     WENDY

                         You said, “Marriage was in danger”. I said,

                         “Grave danger”. You said —

 

                                     SPEAKER

                         Yes, I recall what —

 

                                     WENDY

                         I can have the Court Reporter read

                         back your —

 

                                     SPEAKER

                         I know what I said. I don’t need it

                         read back to me like I’m a damn —

 

                                     WENDY

                         Then why the two sentences?

                              (beat)

                         Speaker?

                              (beat)

                         Why did you —

 

                                     SPEAKER

                         Sometimes legislators take matters into their

                         own hands.

 

                                     WENDY

                         No sir. You made it clear just a

                         moment ago that legislators

                         could not take matters into their own hands.

                         Marriage is between man and woman. So

                         Marriage shouldn’t have been in any

                         danger at all, should it have,

                         Speaker?

 

               Everyone’s sweating now. Everyone but WENDY.

 

                                     SPEAKER

                         You little bastard.

 

                                     LEHMAN

                         Your Honor, I have to ask for a recess

                         to —

 

                                     WENDY

                         I’d like an answer to the question,

                         Counselor.

 

                                     JUDGE

                         The Court’ll wait for answer.

 

                                     WENDY

                         If Turner told his men that Marriage

                         wasn’t to be touched, then why did

                         it have to have a second sentence?

 

               SPEAKER is looking at Long and Morris.

 

                                     WENDY

                              (continuing)

                         Speaker?

 

               SPEAKER says nothing.

 

                                     WENDY

                              (continuing)

                         Turner ordered the second sentence, didn’t

                         he? Because that’s what you told

                         him to do.

 

                                     LEHMAN

                         Object!

 

                                    JUDGE

                         Legislators…

 

               WENDY will plow through the objections of LEHMAN and the

               admonishments of the Judge.

 

                                     WENDY

                         And when it went bad, you cut these

                         guys loose.

 

                                     LEHMAN

                         Your Honor —

 

                                    JUDGE

                         That’ll be all, counsel.

 

                                     WENDY

                         You had Judiciary hold a phony

                         Committee hearing —

 

                                     LEHMAN

                         Counselor —

 

                                     WENDY

                         You doctored the committee meetings.

 

                                     LEHMAN

                         Damnit WENDY!!

 

                                     WENDY

                         I’ll ask for the fourth time. You

                         ordered —

 

                                     SPEAKER

                         You want answers?

 

                                     WENDY

                         I think I’m entitled to them.

 

                                     SPEAKER

                         You want answers?!

 

                                     WENDY

                         I want the truth.

 

                                     SPEAKER

                         You can’t handle the truth!

 

               And nobody moves.

 

                                     SPEAKER

                              (continuing)

                         Son, we live in a world that has

                         walls. And those walls have to be

                         guarded by old white men. Who’s gonna

                         do it? You? You, Rep. Heuer? I

                         have a greater responsibility than

                         you can possibly fathom. You weep

                         for gays and you curse our

                         marriage. You have that luxury. You

                         have the luxury of not knowing what

                         I know: That squashing gay rights, while

                         tragic, probably saved lives. And my

                         existence, while grotesque and

                         incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

                              (beat)

                         You don’t want the truth. Because

                         deep down, in places you don’t talk

                         about at parties, you want me on

                         that wall. You need me on that wall.

                              (boasting)

                         We use words like honor, code,

                         freedom… we use these words as the

                         backbone to a life spent defending

                         bigotry. You use ’em as a punchline.

                              (beat)

                         I have neither the time nor the

                         inclination to explain myself to a

                         man who rises and sleeps under the

                         blanket of the very freedom I provide,

                         then questions the manner in which I

                         provide it. I’d prefer you just said

                         thank you and went on your way.

                         Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a

                         weapon and stand a post. Either way,

                         I don’t give a damn what you think

                         you’re entitled to.

 

                                     WENDY

                              (quietly)

                         Did you order the second sentence?

 

                                     SPEAKER

                              (beat)

                         I did the job you sent me to do.

 

                                     WENDY

                         Did you order the second sentence?

 

                                     SPEAKER

                              (pause)

                         You’re goddamn right I did.