In the Christmas issue I referred to Ann Coulter’s jaw being wired shut as one of my favorite things. Shortly afterward I swore I felt the ground trembling beneath my feet and heard a sound much like piano wires snapping, followed by a loud voice, “…Alicia Keys and Barack Obama… children of a black father who abandoned them and a white mother who raised them, they all identify with the ethnicity of their black fathers to establish victimhood and status in America.” Ann Coulter’s lips are no longer sealed and she is hitting the circuit to promote her new book, “Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America.” In addition to her out of touch ideas on single parenthood, Coulter’s new book enthralls us with criticism of Michelle Obama’s wardrobe: “Her obvious imitation of Jackie O’s style – the flipped-under hair, the sleeveless A-line dresses, the short strands of fake pearls – would have been laughable if done by anyone other than a media-designated saint.” Mind you, this is coming from a woman who desperately needs to have her roots tended to and should seriously reconsider the appropriateness of a black mini-dress and knee high black boots for an appearance on CBS’s Early Show. Nevertheless, I have apparently unleashed a karmic curse and we are all being punished for my evil thought and I sincerely apologize for inflicting her upon you.
The Bitter, Bitter Cold
In mid-December Joel Stein of Time.com wrote an insightful column on what is now an ongoing drama in the race for Minnesota’s Senate seat between comedian Al Franken and incumbent Senator Norm Coleman. In his comparison with the 2000 presidential election, Stein referred to Florida as “a diverse, messy, weird and slightly creepy hick state” and characterized Minnesota as “the most organized, practical and cordial one in the Union.” One month after Stein’s article, over two months after the election and after the other freshman Senators have been sworn in, we see the court challenges continuing and Coleman’s attorney expects this to last at least two months. Meanwhile Minnesota has a vacant seat since Coleman’s term has expired. So much for organized, practical and cordial.
Is DOMA Doomed?
Bob Barr, former Congressman from Georgia and author of the Defense of the 1996 Marriage Act (DOMA), recently wrote an op-ed piece for the LA Times in which he conceded that DOMA should be repealed. It’s taken over ten years for Barr to realize the law, which he said was designed to protect states’ rights, has actually infringed on them and is contrary to the Full Faith and Credit clause of our constitution. These revelations came to light after Barr faced the challenge of trying to gain the support of Libertarians in his failed 2008 bid for the presidency. He still doesn’t have it right, though. His change of heart appears to be about states’ rights rather than equality; he believes the definition of marriage should be decided by the people. Let’s check back with Mr. Barr in ten more years.
365Gay.com has reported that three new laws to protect LGBT Californians against discrimination have recently gone into effect. The three laws provide protections for youth in foster care, elderly LGBT individuals and couples and “strengthens existing law to ensure protections based on gender, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status and sexual orientation” and “clarifies sections of law that prohibit discrimination in insurance and government services and activities.” Denial of government services is exactly what happened when voters passed Proposition 8 in November. The amendment to California’s constitution rendered the California Supreme Court’s interpretation of law, including protections of rights and freedoms as defined by their constitution and antidiscrimination laws, moot. How long will it be before these new protections are put to the people to vote away?
Living the Dream
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man before his time. He saw equality not only in terms of black and white, but also brown, yellow, male, female, gay, straight, young, old and on any other basis people could be divided. We can find many truths in Dr. King’s speeches that still hold true today. In his famous I Have A Dream speech forty-five years ago, King said:
“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”
While Dr. King was speaking specifically of the plight of people of color, he clearly intended to include every American. His words are timeless and his dream of freedom and equality is universal.
We are on the edge of a historical moment when a biracial man stands ready to don not the yoke of slavery, but the yoke of freedom as the leader of the free world. In honor of Dr. King we must all hope that President-Elect Barack Obama gives life to the dreams that he and others of the Democratic Party encouraged us to dream during the elections last year; hope that they will keep Dr. King’s dream of equality alive.