By Anonymous (not verified) on May 28, 2009

The California Supreme Court’s recent decision on gay marriage is a tragedy. It hobbles families, discriminates against mothers and fathers and children, and endorses the horrific idea that civil rights can be repealed by a vote.

The one thing the decision doesn’t do, though, is end the battle over same-sex marriage, either in California or the rest of the nation.

My family is at the center of that debate, even though we don’t want to be. We can’t avoid it because we are a lesbian-headed household.

Opponents of same-sex marriage won their victory in California on May 26 when the court upheld Proposition 8. Approved by statewide vote in November, the proposition banned same-sex marriage five months after it became legal. In that period, 18,000 lesbian and gay couples married.

In its 6-1 ruling, the court allowed a mere majority of voters to strip thousands of their neighbors of a legal right and, thus, of the ability to fully protect their families. The decision allowed those 18,000 marriages to stand, but prohibited others from marrying, punishing couples that committed the sin of falling in love at the wrong time or failing to marry at the right moment.

The supporters of Proposition 8 hailed the ruling and counselled advocates of marriage equality to accept the will of the people. They also scolded us for not acquiescing to the wishes of people who want to discriminate against us.

I have some questions for the proponents of Proposition 8 and for all those around the nation who want to horde the legal protections their families receive.

Would you ever accept such discrimination?

Would you decide that your children don’t deserve the protections marriage provides families?

A lawsuit has already been filed in federal court challenging the decision. A campaign is being launched to put the issue back on the ballot in California.

The fight is also continuing in New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and many other states.

Five years ago, same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts. In the last seven months, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine have endorsed marriage equality.

The idea that our families deserve rights is no longer revolutionary, and eventually it will prevail.

This fight won’t end until my son and all the sons and daughters of lesbian and gay parents get the same protections other children receive. To give up on our families now is unthinkable.

Diane Silver is a former political activist who writes the nationally syndicated Political IQ column. She can be reached at pmproj@progressive.org.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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