Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's been a crazy week, and it's only Thursday...

Ah, crazy people funny. And scary.

But before I dwell on the craziness of our fellow Americans, some good news.

Last night the Washington State Senate voted to approve a marriage equality bill. The bill is expected to pass in the House, and Governor Christine Gregoire, who introduced it, will sign it.

Congratulations to the courageous lawmakers of the Evergreen State who have taken a stand for equality, even when it has meant stepping away from their party.

And now, on to the craziness.

First, in our neighboring state, Maryland, where the second try at passing a marriage equality bill has again brought the crazies out, comes the testimony of the aptly named 14-year-old, Sarah Crank.

Sarah said, "Today is my 14th birthday and it would be the best birthday present ever if you would vote NO on gay marriage. I really feel bad for the kids who have two parents of the same gender. Even though some kids think it's fine, they have no idea what kind of wonderful experiences they miss out on. I don't want more kids to get confused about what's right and okay. I really don't want to grow up in a world where marriage isn't such a special thing anymore."

The home-schooled student then added, "It's rather scary to think that when I grow up the legislature or the court can change the definition of any word they want. If they could change the definition of marriage then they could change the definition of any word. People have the choice to be gay, but I don't want to be affected by their choice. People say that they were born that way, but I've met really nice adults who did change."

God bless home-schooling, because if Sarah went to public school, she might learn something horrible like tolerance. Shudder.

And then there's the always-entertaining One Million Moms, a subset of the hateful American Family Association. Apparently they have an issue with JC Penney's recent hiring of Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson.

Sayeth the hate group in an "action alert":

"Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families. More sales will be lost than gained unless they replace their spokesperson quickly. Unless JC Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war then their brand transformation will be unsuccessful.

"Their marketing strategy is to help families shop and receive a good value for their money. DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there. The small percentage of customers they are attempting to satisfy will not offset their loss in sales.

"JC Penney has made a poor decision and must correct their mistake fast to retain loyal customers and not turn away potential new, conservative shoppers with the company's new vision."

Not that I shop at JC Penney all that often outside of the periodic underwear and sheet replenishment, but I support JC Penney's standing behind their decision. Ellen DeGeneres didn't get selected as a spokesperson because of her sexuality; I don't imagine she's going to do an ad campaign that says, "I'm Ellen DeGeneres, I'm gay, and I shop at JC Penney. More gay people should!"

We need to stop fearing that which is different. We need to not teach our children how to hate.

And for the millionth time, gay people aren't bad. Maybe say it to yourself a few hundred thousand times, and it might sink in...

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