Living in Sin! 

Part two

And another thing! No matter how awful you think homosexuals are in the here and now, you're going to metamorphose, Bub. Hallelujah! You're heart will soften, your fear will ease and you will get smarter. You will learn more and come to realize this condition isn't something you can switch on and off, and by this time a decade from now, you'll be looking at homosexuals through kinder, more enlightened eyes. Maybe it'll take two decades, or maybe three. Or it's possible you'll die with all that Biblical loathing still in your heart. But if it's not you, then it'll be your kids who wise up. And mark my words, by the time your kids' kids are mature enough to have their own mind about how humans should rightly treat one another, they'll be looking back at you, wondering how the hell you could have let something like this happen, and ... uh ...

Uh ... I don't want to break the train of thought here, but did I forget to tell you what this column is about?

By golly, I did. It's about that damnable HJR-2, just like last week. See, I got myself so het up doing last week's column that I just kept scribbling away, scribbling away ... even after it was out on the newsstands and a done deal. Had I been thinking ahead--which, in a large way, is what this week's column is about--I'd have titled last week's entry "Living in Sin?-Part One." But I didn't know then what I know now, that there was a "Part Two" stewing in the pot. If you have one of those symmetrical, obsessive minds that is pestered by the idea of a "Part Two" when there isn't a "Part One," then I suggest you find a Sharpie, go dig last week's issue out from under the parakeet, and write in "Part One" just below the title of my column. And while you're doing that, I'll explain to anyone who missed it what it was about.

Last week, I suggested the constitutional amendment HJR-2 (House Joint Resolution No. 2, for those who insist on knowing what acronyms stand for) can--and if I'm right, will--affect the way nontraditional couples, be they gay or straight, are allowed to conduct their lives. I based that on what I see as the Religious Right's never-ending crusade to force everyone in America to submit to their concept of morality, and I argued that these sanctimonious sorts are never satisfied with an obvious victory (the quashing of homosexual marriages, say) when there is even one person around who is doing something they don't think he oughta be doing (shacking up, say).

Unfortunately, I hadn't the time last week to address the question of why the backers of this amendment feel we need a description of acceptable marriages in the state constitution--particularly since there's already an Idaho law that insists a marriage shall consist of one man, one woman, and nothing else will do. So why does it need to be carved into the highest authority a state can have? And furthermore, why are these same busy bees trying to put the U.S. Constitution into the marriage-definition biz?

Ah, that's because they're thinking ahead, you see--plotting beyond what voters are today, to overrule what voters will be years from now. But before I explain, I ask you to indulge me once more, just as you did for last week's column, and pretend you're a studly rodeo hunk living out o' wedlock with that li'l gal o' yorn just like ya'll been doing since she got out of the nail polish academy, and as far as you and she be concerned, whatever bad happens to them queers ain't bad enough since'n they ain't a bit like yous two, anyhow. (Feel free to drop the "living out o' wedlock" part of the pretense because that's not relevant to this column. It was crucial to last week's argument, but for our purposes here, let us focus on the phrase "since'n they ain't a bit like yous two, anyhow.")

So, are you in character yet? No? What's the matter, Tex? Don't you hate homos any more? You used to. Why, I remember when you wouldn't have allowed a gay bar in your town, a gay teacher in your schools, a gay entertainer on your teevee set. I remember when you could tell a hundred fag jokes in a row, and never once feel a twinge of guilt. I remember a time when, if news got out of the brutal murder of a guy like Matthew Shepard, you would have thought, "that'll teach 'im." You used to hate them plenty. So what changed?

C'mon, cowboy, admit it. You changed. You aren't nearly the stone-cold homophobe you used to be, are you? Truth is, except for a die-hard handful of terrified faith-based idiots, nobody is. In two generations, we have gone from "The Love that Dares Not Speak It's Name" to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Now, it should be noted gays, too, have changed. Like repressed peoples throughout history, they've had enough and refused to hide anymore. The reason you didn't actually know any gays back in your gay-hating hey-day was because they didn't allow themselves be known as gays. They were afraid of people like you, and for good reason.

But that's all done with now. Gays are through with hiding and, for the most part, Americans are through with wishing them harm. It's likely you even know some. It's possible you're even related to some. And because your hateful illusions have been eroded, so have your hateful attitudes. You can't hate them anymore, not like you used to, because now you know, in all matters but one, gays and you are the same.

Don't worry ... it doesn't mean you're turning gay. It just means you're growing up.

The Religious Right knows what's happening, oh yes. The Religious Right (aka, the "terrified faith-based idiots") realize it's simply a matter of time before you, or your kids, or your kids' kids, wise up enough to get off homosexuals' backs, once and forever. The Religious Right is dumb, no doubt, but that doesn't mean they can't read the writing on wall.

And they're also cunning enough to know a state law can be dropped, just like all those Jim Crow laws were dropped back when we grew up enough to acknowledge the injustice of segregation. But a constitutional amendment, now ... that's a whore of a different color. Once it's in the constitution, it'll be decades before the law catches up with the enlightenment.

Get it? The amendment is their malicious gift that keeps on giving. They want to lock it in, so that come that glorious day when you turn into a real Christian--with all the compassion and wisdom that involves--you can't take back the evil you will have done by voting for HJR-2.

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