Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Of social fabric and sweater vests

It's been quite an eventful January here in the frozen tundra. I'm sure Indiana is still here under all the snow and ice somewhere, but it's been a while since anything has been normal.

And not just with the weather.

Much to my dismay, Indiana has a law on the books that outlaws same-sex marriage. Not content with that, a group of folks decided we needed to amend our state Constitution to define "marriage" as between one man and one woman. And then, just to be sure they weren't misunderstood in their zeal to keep basic rights from a certain group of their fellow Hoosiers, they added a sentence that banned civil unions and domestic partnerships, too.

Most Hoosiers I know wish our lawmakers would spend their time repealing that law and addressing things like education reform, environmental issues, child safety, and getting social services to those who need it. But no. Our elected representatives launched into Session to double down on a bad law.

I won't get into the shennanigans that ensued. Suffice it to say I was working on my second letter to my reps asking them to oppose the resolution when Ali wandered by. Learning what I was doing, she suggested that I revise my intro. "You should tell them you're married to Dad so they know it's not just gay people who are against it," she said.

Not only is she a good editor, she might have some political savvy. Or maybe it's her father's art of persuasion that's rubbing off. She was right. I revised.

I would like to say, "Happily, our lawmakers saw the light from the thousands of others like me who wrote or called or attended hearings and now that bad Constitutional amendment idea is dead." They did remove the second sentence, which because of rules you don't care about, means it may not be on the ballot for a couple of years now. But there's still plenty of session going on and it could come back as originally drafted and still make it to referendum.  Unlikely. Still possible.

But that's not all of why I can't start my paragraph with "happily."  Because even if the constitutional amendment IS dead and no one ever again wants to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc..., Indiana Code still bans it.

That just saddens me. I'm not heterosexual because one day I shut my eyes tight, clicked my heels and wished for it to be so. I am who I am because I came out that way. And so did you.

People who didn't come out like me shouldn't be denied any right I have because of who they love and who they share their lives with. 

As I see it, if we're all part of the same cloth, that makes us all equal threads in the fabric. And right, now if that fabric were a winter coat, Hoosiers would have frostbites on parts of us where the threads are bare.

Remember laws that banned interracial marriage and allowed businesses to refuse service to people of color? Doesn't it seem unbelieveable that anyone ever thought there should be separate drinking fountains and restrooms based on color? Are we really so slow we can't see the parallels here?

Sigh. Anyway. 

Speaking of fabric, I'll end on a lighter note. For Christmas, I bought Jeff a sweater vest. Because, yes, I like sweater vests.  He finally broke down and wore it to work today with an Oxford shirt and a tie, of course.

Jeff is a bit of a clotheshorse. He's used to people complimenting him on his fancy ties and ensembles. I know this because he reports such discussions to me. Today at work, he received no such compliments. If you can believe him. Which I don't.

According to him, he was the source of great amusement. "That's not your usual," "I've never seen you in something like THAT before," and other comments he implied were more precisely negative about his attire.

He claims his response (and this I think I DO believe) was something like, "Well this was a gift from Cheryl and I would like to continue to have sex with her, so I'm wearing it."  He may have followed it up with, "You may notice that I don't have any meetings today with anyone outside the office."

He's a charmer, that one.


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