We all have the same civil rights.
That’s what Michele Bachman said to a group of Waverly High School students in Iowa last week.
We all have the same civil rights.
Isn’t that nice?
We all have the same civil rights.
Of course, it depends entirely on what you mean by “we.”
Bachmann told the teenagers, “We all have the same civil rights…”
“Then why can’t same-sex couples get married?” asked student Jane Schmidt, who is also the president of Waverly’s Gay-Straight Alliance.
They can get married.
Just not to the people they love.
SCHMIDT: One of my main concerns is government support for the LGBT community. So my question is what would you do to protect GSAs in high school and support the LGBT community?
BACHMANN: Well, number one, all of us as Americans have the same rights. The same civil rights. And so that's really what government's role is, to protect our civil rights. There shouldn't be any special rights or special set of criteria based upon people's preferences. We all have the same civil rights.
SCHMIDT: Then, why can't same-sex couples get married?
BACHMANN: They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they're a man.
SCHMIDT: Why can't a man marry a man?
BACHMANN: Because that's not the law of the land.
SCHMIDT: So heterosexual couples have a privilege.
BACHMANN: No, they have the same opportunity under the law. There is no right to same-sex marriage.
SCHMIDT: So you won't support the LGBT community?
BACHMANN: No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There's no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life. You're an American citizen first and foremost and that's it.
ELLA NEWELL (a junior at Waverly High School): Wouldn't heterosexual couples, if they were given a privilege then, that gay couples aren't, like given that privilege to get married, but heterosexual couples are given a privilege to get married?
BACHMANN: Remember every American citizen has the right to avail themselves to marriage but they have to follow what the laws are. And the laws are you marry a person of the opposite sex
According to Bachmann’s convoluted logic and staggering condescension, gay people have the same right to marry as straight people, they just have to be not gay.
Opines Bachmann, allowing gay people to marry somebody of the same sex would be conferring special privileges on a select group based on their (presumed) sexual practices. Because, as I’m sure you all know, gay people only want to get married to each other for the squicky gay rainbow sex and not because they actually love each other and want to commit to spending their lives together like normal people do. It’s totally true and you can look that up.
In replying to Ms. Schmidt, Bachmann gave a total of six responses – and those six paragraphs clearly demonstrate why this ridiculous goof should be kept as far from public office, any office, as is possible. Not only should voters, all voters especially including conservatives, soundly reject her bid for president, they shouldn’t even elect her to be the town dog catcher – let alone a United States lawmaker.
The paragraphs above demonstrate not just a cognitively challenged viewpoint but a sharply bounded intellect as well. But, Hell, you know maybe she was just having a bad day. Too much cold medicine and not enough hetro bang bang jungle monkey sex or something. But both in the context of the conversation above and in the broader context of 21st Century American society, Bachmann’s responses add up to a big fat intellectual zero.
Her statements are neither internally consistent nor do they make any sense whatsoever in the context of her own stated political positions. It’s nothing more than gibberish, the kind of internal bizarro-world rationalizations given by an un-medicated psychotic.
Well, number one, all of us as Americans have the same rights. The same civil rights. And so that's really what government's role is, to protect our civil rights. There shouldn't be any special rights or special set of criteria based upon people's preferences. We all have the same civil rights.
All of us have the same civil rights.
Except, of course, the part where we don’t.
What? You want a non-gay example? Bachmann, as a high ranking member of the government, has the right not to be strip-searched at the local airport. You and me? Not so much.
Civil rights are those inalienable entitlements that each American is given by his or her supposed creator (or by the happy accident of just being an American, whatever), i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the specifics of which are partially delineated in the Constitution.
The key words in Bachmann’s statement above are “us,” “we,” and “our.” Bachmann’s use of those words is not all inclusive, when she says “us as Americans,” she is not talking about everybody. She barely acknowledges that gay people are human, let alone American. It’s the doctrine of extremism and increasingly of mainstream American conservatism itself, i.e. you’re either with us or you’re against us. There is us, and there is them, and that’s all there is. Period.
In Bachmann’s clearly stated worldview, Americans are Christians and Christians aren’t gay. Period.
But then how does Bachmann explain gay Americans who are both clearly gay and clearly American? Simple, according to Bachmann, gay people aren’t really gay, they’re just wrong, broken, defective. At best they are the result of incorrect choices and the victims of uncontrollable lusts and dangerous behavior. At worst, homosexuals are the work of the literal boogieman. Bachmann’s husband has made an entire career and a tidy living based specifically on that exact view of homosexuality – i.e. it’s not a sexual orientation, it’s a disease, a sin.
A disease like alcoholism or drug addiction. A disease which can be cured.
A sin like avarice or gluttony, a sin for which the sinner can repent.
The rights Bachmann alludes to up above include, but are not limited to, the specific rights spelled out in the Constitution and its various amendments. And, according to Bachmann, government’s role is to protect those rights. Unfortunately, while each human being may be entitled to the same civil rights, what the Constitution fails to define in any but the most general sense is what, exactly, constitutes an actual American – or what constitutes a human being for that matter. Apparently, that definition was a truth the Framers thought was self-evident enough that it didn’t require formal description (well, except for that part about slaves being only three fifths of an actual human being, but I digress). Because of this, for the last two and a half centuries, senators and representatives exactly like Michele Bachmann have used their religion, bigotry, and shameless lust for power to define who exactly gets to be a human being in America and who doesn’t. We’ve used this exact reasoning to exclude all kinds of people from full realization of their civil rights. People who are the wrong color, people who worship the wrong god or none at all, people with the wrong political view, people who lack the proper reproductive organ, people who can’t read, people who have funny accents, people without land or means, people whose ancestors came from the wrong country (including those whose ancestors came from this country before it was this country) and so on right up to this very day.
Americans have civil rights. Gay people aren’t American. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
And it’s really just as simple as that.
That’s what Bachmann means when she says that we all have the same civil rights. We. Us real Americans. We all have the same civil rights. Those other people? They aren’t really Americans, so they don’t count.
That’s why in Bachmann’s mind equal rights means special rights.
If she, and those like her, actually saw all people as people, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place, would we?
They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they're a man.
Try something, substitute the racial designator of your choice for the gender nouns in that statement, i.e. They can marry a Caucasian if they’re a Caucasian. Or they can marry an Asian if they're an Asian. Or they can marry an African American if they’re African American. And so on. How’s it sound now? Think it would stand up in court? They can only marry if their ancestors came from the same European culture. They can only marry if they are both of the same religion or attend the same church. They can only marry if they own land or have jobs. They can only marry if they can both read. They can only marry if they both love tractor pulls and lite beer. They can only get married if they are both liberals, or both conservatives, or both independents. They can only get married if the wife casts her vote same as the husband. They can only get married if the woman is a virgin. They can only get married if they are of the same socioeconomic caste. They can only get married if they plan on having children – and only if they are both capable of producing children together. They can only get married if they don’t have any genetic defects that they might pass on to future generations.
Oh, hey, I know, they can only get married if they are both blond haired and blue eyed and a card carrying member of the master race…
How about now? How’s that sound? Too far? Too extreme? Of not extreme enough?
Don’t try to tell me that it’s not the same, because it is.
It is exactly the same.
Now, this is typically the point where people like Bachmann, or her mouthpiece, start bleating the standard slippery-slope warning, i.e. if we let gay people marry other gay people of the same gender, then we have to allow people to marry animals and farm equipment and the Eiffel Tower.
Just as soon as dogs, milking-machines, and French landmarks are sentient self-aware beings who have attained the legal age of majority and are responsible for their own decisions under the law.
This is the same exact legal precedent that gives people with Down Syndrome, Autism, or other cognitive impairments, the right to get married, i.e. if they are of legal age and are legally responsible for themselves no matter their particular impairment, then nobody can prevent them from getting married – even if the thought of mentally challenged people having sex makes others squicky and uncomfortable. Just as it is conversely illegal to have sex with somebody who isn’t legally able to give consent, such as a child or a dog, or to marry somebody who can’t understand what they are doing, such as a person in a coma and no more aware or legally responsible for their own actions than a potted plant.
The admonishment “but but but then we’ll have to let people marry animals and so on” is a logical fallacy and a specious idiotic product of somebody who simply doesn’t have an actual argument other than “I don’t like it.”
The inalienable civil rights of others are not determined by what makes you uncomfortable.
You deal with your own squick on your own time, you have no right whatsoever to force your logical fallacies on others. If the thought of homosexuality makes you uncomfortable, too damned bad, that’s your problem, you deal with it. Just as if the thought of a black man marrying a white woman bothers you, or people of different religions bothers you, or people with Down Syndrome. It’s your problem, and that has no bearing whatsoever on other peoples’ civil rights.
According to Bachmann, the purpose of government is to protect civil rights for all citizens. Bachmann is also a vocal advocate for small government, maximum individual sovereignty, and minimal federal meddling in people’s lives.
So how come Bachmann, as a sitting United States lawmaker, is going around telling a bunch of high school kids who they can marry?
[Why can’t people marry who they want to?] Because that's not the law of the land.
There was a time when the law of the land didn’t allow people of Bachmann’s gender to vote. Or own land. Or hold a job. Or run for office.
There was a time when the law of the land considered people of color property and less than human.
There was a time when the law of the land herded people of certain ethnicities into internment camps for no reason other than they had slanty eyes or their last name was Eichmann or Frazetti.
There was a time when the law of the land allowed a government committee to destroy your life simply because an anonymous accuser alleged that you might be a communist – or a terrorist.
There was a time when the law of the land sterilized people deemed undesirable.
There was a time when all of these things were the law of the land. That doesn’t make it right. That doesn’t make it moral. And it doesn’t mean we can’t fix it.
Times change. Society changes. Laws change.
Bachmann knows this, else why is she fighting so hard to change the law of the land that allows all woman access to a safe and affordable abortion?
Times change. The men who founded this country knew it and expected exactly that, and that’s specifically why they incorporated directly into the fabric of the Constitution a method for changing it as society itself changed.
It is blindingly obvious that Bachmann is a coward, a moral coward, who instead of answering a teenager’s question honestly and directly, i.e. instead of giving her real reason for opposing same-sex marriage, hid behind a specious sound bite. And make no mistake, Bachmann knows exactly what she is, i.e. a coward and a hypocrite, otherwise she would have answered this question directly. We’ll come back to that in a couple of paragraphs.
A great many of the horrors of our past have been perpetrated under this same exact moral cowardice.
The Red Man doesn’t feel the same way about his kids as we do.
Negros are better off as slaves in America than as savages in Africa.
I was just following orders.
I didn’t know what was happening inside Abu Ghraib, the CIA was in charge.
We can’t change the past, but we can damned sure change our future.
They have the same opportunity under the law. There is no right to same-sex marriage.
There it is again, they.
And the truth of the matter is that in many cases they don’t have the same opportunities under the law. They don’t have the simple right to see a loved one in the hospital – if that loved one is their same-sex partner. They don’t have the right to insurance benefits or next-of-kin notification or joint ownership or medical decisions or tax breaks or any of the veritable host of rights that come with traditional relationships. In a lot of cases, they don’t have the right to adopt children if they so choose to do so – or, in some cases, gain custody of their own biological offspring. In fact, there are a lot of rights they don’t get – including the right not to be discriminated against when it comes to fair and equitable representation of their civil rights and interests by their own Goddamned Representative.
Bachmann says that a man is free to marry a woman and vice versa. True. But, ask yourself something, if same-sex marriage is allowed, how does that change – in any way whatsoever – a man’s right to marry a woman and vice versa? How does same sex marriage in any way, any way whatsoever, affect traditional male/female marriage? If men can marry men and women can marry women, can’t men still marry women and women still marry men and will not one goddamned thing be any different for Michele Bachmann in any way whatsoever? Assuming that you’re heterosexual, your rights, my rights, your marriage, my marriage, Bachmann’s marriage, will have changed not one iota. If you’re straight, same-sex marriage affects you, whoever you are, in no way whatsoever, other than the fact that you will have to come to terms with the idea that some people you don’t know, somewhere that has no impact on you, are maybe doing something that you don’t like.
LGBT people aren’t asking for special rights, they’re demanding the same rights that any American is entitled to, i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of goddamned happiness. Nothing more, nothing less.
And to be clear here, it’s not just gay people making this demand, a hell of a lot of straight people, say like yours truly, demand the same. Not because we either approve or disapprove of who you have sex with or who you love, but because in America either we are all free or none of us are.
[Will you suppose the LGBT community?] No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There's no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life. You're an American citizen first and foremost and that's it.
No. That’s the only truly truthful statement Bachmann made. No. You can depend on me not to represent your interests as long as I am in government. No, despite the fact that I swore to support and defend the Constitution and civil rights for all Americans. No. Fuck you.
Here’s a thought, a hell of a lot of heterosexuals perform the exact same sexual acts that homosexuals do. In fact, heterosexual sex only has one combination that homosexual sex doesn’t have. I’m not going to spell it out for you, being as this is a family blog and all, but you should be able to figure it out. If you’re having trouble, type the word “sex” into Google Image search and educate yourself on how the naughty bits fit together in various combinations.
Every single American should fully understand the implications of this line of reasoning: Given that there is only one thing heterosexual couples can do when it comes to sex that homosexual couples can’t, and people like Bachmann have stated fairly specifically that that one act is the only form of sex they believe to be sanctioned in the eyes of their God, then their actions indicate that they believe that they have the right and the authority to dictate how you have sex – and quite likely the position you have it in. Here’s the kicker, Bachmann and her ilk believe they have the God-given right to dictate why you have sex, not for pleasure or intimacy or love, but for the sole purpose of reproduction.
That’s what this is all about.
Now, you want to talk about governmental overreach?
Bachmann not only wants control of your bedroom, she wants to decide how you think.
And that’s why Conservatives should send this woman packing sooner rather than later.
If there are no special rights for people based upon their sex practices, then there should be no special prohibitions either.
Now, this is typically the point where people like Bachmann bring up how gay marriages don’t produce children, or don’t produce children without help. This is an asinine argument. There is no requirement whatsoever, under any law or regulation at the Federal, State, or local level for a marriage to produce children as a requirement for validity. If you require that gay people produce children as a result of their particular sexual practices in order to be married, then you must apply this requirement to all marriages regardless of the genders of those involved. This argument is invalid. It also doesn’t apply even within the context of traditional pairing. It’s also stupid. Fail. Try again.
As to that bit about being an American first and foremost, well, we’re back to a United States Representative telling American citizens who they are. And I have to wonder what Bachmann’s reaction would be if, say, President Obama told this girl that she was an American first and foremost – and thereby implying that Schmidt was a Christian second. I’ll leave the imagining of that outraged response by the usual rightwing pundits as an exercise for the reader.
Remember every American citizen has the right to avail themselves to marriage but they have to follow what the laws are. And the laws are you marry a person of the opposite sex
While the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act does specify that marriage is between one man and one woman, the actual implementation was left up the individual states. DOMA has no Constitutional basis at all and is quite likely to be repealed upon Supreme Court review – especially since the White House has declined to defend it. As to the Constitution itself, House Resolution 56, the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment, was introduced before the House of Representatives on May 21, 2003. Ratification of this constitutional amendment would have overridden state law and defined marriage as between one man and one woman in the US Constitution. So far, it hasn’t even come close to getting out of committee, let alone passed the House or Senate and gone to the states for ratification. The question at this point is of course, how someone who strongly advocates for State’s Rights and smaller Federal interference, and in fact is campaigning for president on this exact issue, could possibly be for an amendment that is directly counter to those stated positions – unless she is, in point of fact, a flaming hypocrite who simply wants her way.
In Iowa, where Bachmann made this condescending proclamation, the law specifically says that you do not in fact have to marry somebody of the opposite sex. But, I digress. Again.
Here’s the thing: The plain and simple truth of the matter is that aversion to same-sex marriage here in the land of the free and home of the brave is based entirely on religion.
Take religion out of it, and there is not even one legitimate reason why any mentally competent adult should not be able to marry any other mentally competent adult regardless of gender – and especially despite what some politician thinks. (Don’t. Just don’t even go down the road of, “Gay is a mental illness so gay people aren’t mentally competent. Because that just makes you even more of a douchebag than you already are. You’re also wrong).
Same-sex marriage deprives nobody, not one single person, of any right that they have at this exact moment.
Same-sex marriage cannot be shown to have negatively affected any traditional marriage in any way whatsoever, ever – even if that was a factor for basing a law on. Which it isn’t. And so-called defenders of traditional marriage should be damned grateful that we don’t start implementing laws based on what might or might not impact good old-fashioned hetro marriages, because booze, gambling, sports, money, work, porn, children, and religion are a far, far, far bigger threat to traditional marriages than any random pair of queers minding their own business in the privacy of their own bedroom.
Same-sex marriage in states that now allow it has had zero, repeat zero, impact on the lives and livelihoods of people who oppose it. No church has been forced to perform marriages that they oppose, just as they didn’t have to perform marriages they opposed prior to the legalization of same sex marriage – hysteria not withstanding. Marauding bands of sparkly homosexuals don’t roam the streets waving guns and wearing tri-corner hats. Law and order and life seems pretty much the same now as before. National security remains unaffected. The earth’s orbit hasn’t changed. Now, it’s true that a lot of lives and livelihoods have been degraded to some extent nationwide in recent years – but that has everything to do with the immoral actions taken in the boardrooms of Wall Street and nothing whatsoever to do with gay marriage (If you want to go all Westboro Baptist and argue that God is punishing America for Teh Gay, I will listen to you – just as soon as you can prove what you say using accepted mainstream scientific methodology and empirical forensic laboratory evidence to the legal standards in the US state of your choosing).
Now, this is typically the point where people like Bachmann bring up the final ultimate idiotic argument: If gay people get married and raise children, those children could turn out to be gay help us lord jebus oh noes! Gay parents might make for gay kids. So? What do you care? Seriously, one way or the other, so what? Question, without resorting to pseudo science or Jesus, explain where gay people come from now.
Here’s the thing, so pay attention: In America we don’t make laws based on religion, yours or anybody else’s. Period.
And no, American law is not, in point of provable fact, based on the Christian bible. No, it’s not. It only looks that way if you cover one eye and ignore pretty much most of the bible. Sure there are some superficial similarities, the bible forbids murder and theft for example. Hardly surprising since most human societies generally frowned upon killing people and stealing their shit long before Moses went up the mountain. Thou shalt not murder people and steal shit isn’t something you should need God’s guidance on. But the bible also says that rape is fine, providing the rapist marries his victim afterward – I’m curious why Michele Bachmann doesn’t advocate for changes in our law to reflect this biblically endowed civil right: Rape + marriage afterward = God Happy. It would certainly have a far, far greater impact on our society than if one man lays with another don’t you think? (Here’s a question, what if one man rapes another? Can they get married then? Whoa. Sorry, somebody slap Jesus on the back there. My bad) How come Bachmann isn’t advocating for the abolition of divorce? After all, dissolution of a marriage is forbidden in both the New and Old Testaments. How about adultery? Why hasn’t Bachmann demanded that Newt Gingrich be stoned to death as specifically directed by God? There wasn’t any of this vague “lays with” crap either, God said commit adultery, die motherfucker. Period. Speaking of Children, God recommends that if a man dies childless, his widow must have intercourse with each of the man’s brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband’s male heir.
There is plenty more where that jackassery came from, but I think that’s about enough silliness at the moment.
And yet, this is exactly what Michele Bachmann and the religious Right would have. And that is exactly why Bachmann refused to answer Jane Schmidt’s question directly and instead choose to hide behind an inane and idiotic sound-bite like “it’s the law of the land.” Her answers are motivated entirely by her religion and her un-American attempt to force those religious views on everybody else in this country. She knows it. She absolutely knows it. And she knows why it’s counter to everything this country stands for.
And that’s exactly why she tried to hide her real intentions.
The law of our land is that our laws are not based on religion.
Nor should our law be based on hate.
Give me one valid argument against same-sex marriage that isn’t, ultimately, based on either religion or just plain bigotry.
Bottom line: We may not all have the same civil rights, yet, but we all have the right vote against dimwitted hypocrites like Michele Bachmann.
Please do so.
Commandment #1: Speculation about Marcus Bachmann’s sexuality is not relevant to the conversation. Whether or not he is straight, bent, closeted, confused, or a piece of farm equipment is his business. Does that or does that not make him some kind of hypocrite? Who gives a fuck? He is not running for office. Should he become First Dude and lead the charge for Teh Gay Cure, then you may have at him. Until and such, mocking, ridiculing, or belittling any person for his or her supposed sexual orientation is the tactic of the hater and the bigot. Don’t be that person, at least not here. Any comment that engages in such douchebaggery will be deleted immediately and without notice.
Commandment #2: This post is in no way whatsoever an attack on religion in general or Christianity in particular. It is a blunt assessment of one Christian and one form of Christianity. If you take that personally, that’s your problem. Don’t make it mine. If you feel that this is directed at you and your beliefs, then you should go back and read the post again, carefully. Sound out the big words and get help if you need it. If you still feel that this article is a condemnation of your personal brand of Jesushood, well then it probably is. Go somewhere else and think about that. Any comment attempting to turn this into a discussion of my supposed intolerance of your particular religious viewpoint or about the much ballyhooed persecution of the poor, poor American Christian will likewise be removed without warning or comment.