Thereâ€™s less than five weeks left until the fine citizens of Wisconsin vote to determine the level of legal security my family will enjoy. The feeling around the country is that, of all of the current proposed constitutional amendments, Wisconsin has the best chance of being the first state to defeat one. I hope so. The groups opposing the amendment have been very well organized and have been able to get good sums of money in order to run television ads and produce other educational materials. Hundreds of volunteers in every community throughout the state have been knocking on doors and calling fellow Wisconsinites to educate them on the true consequences of the ban. Others, like me, have organized house parties and other types of fundraisers and talk to everyone who will listen about how the ban will affect not just my family, but straight couples â€“ young and old.
And thatâ€™s what I need to write about today. I canâ€™t help but think that the television ad campaigns are focused on the wrong part of the proposed ban. I keep hearing about â€œgay marriageâ€ and â€œprotecting gay families.â€ Donâ€™t get me wrong, Iâ€™m all for protecting my family and honoring my Canadian marriage. Itâ€™s one of the most important things to us. But I donâ€™t think itâ€™s going to sway voters.
I honestly donâ€™t think that the average straight voter gives a crap about the security of my family or if Iâ€™ll be able to make medical decisions in the event something horrible happens to TJ. They may care about those kids that will lose their health insurance because of the potential loss of domestic partnership benefits because many of those kids will end up on Badger Care or Medicaid, but maybe not.
In my opinion, straight people care about other straight people. Iâ€™m not bashing them, I just think we care about what we can relate to. The vast majority of my friends and family are straight and I know that, for the most part, they are great allies and truly care about what happens to my family. But itâ€™s hard for some of them to see the larger picture about how the constitutional amendment will hurt me and TJ. Since the adoption, Micah and I are cool and no one can mess with us, but TJ and I still have no legally recognized relationship.
What my family and friends can relate to are their unmarried, shacked up kids â€“ or parents â€“ who will also be affected. Like my friend Erin. She has her boyfriend covered under her health insurance. Or another woman I know who receives a death benefit from her husband. She found another man to share her life with but canâ€™t afford to lose the benefits she gets because of her dead husband which would go away if she remarried.
How about my female cousins who have been beaten up by their live-in boyfriends and were able to get restraining orders against them? No more of those. The courts in Ohio, who passed the same amendment that is proposed here, ruled that itâ€™s no longer domestic violence because theyâ€™re not allowed to recognize the relationship because it â€œis similar toâ€ legal marriage. The proponents of Wisconsinâ€™s amendment keep saying that it will only affect gay people, but theyâ€™re lying. Thereâ€™s a mountain of proof from Ohio, Michigan, and other states that have already passed it.
I just hope enough people see through the bullshit and do whatâ€™s right. Marriage for lesbians and gay men is already illegal in Wisconsin and no oneâ€™s trying to change that. I think what scares me the most is that when I hear about the amendment on the network news shows or even on NPR news, itâ€™s referred to as â€œThe Ban on Gay Marriageâ€ but thatâ€™s not the most damaging part of it. Even our allies are using this language and itâ€™s hurting the cause. The heaviest attention must be directed to the second sentence of the proposed amendment â€“ thatâ€™s whatâ€™s going to get people to see through the fog of politics.
Is it just me or does the world we live in just get more insane everyday? It just scares the shit out of me. I canâ€™t help but think that this is what thinking people in the late 1930â€™s and early 1940â€™s must have thought if they lived in Germany. I know that most of my friends and family think Iâ€™m over the top, but I think weâ€™re living in the 4th Reich right now. I think people really need to remember that Hitler was elected and had the support of the majority of Germans. The camps didnâ€™t happen overnight. They started with small changes to laws and just grew, slowly, from there. Most people didnâ€™t even notice what was happening until it was too late. We need to wake the fuck up.