Gay Marriage

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I used to think that the gay marriage issue didn’t belong to me. It wasn’t my fight, I’m straight. I used to think that it didn’t matter if it was called a civil union or marriage. To me, it was all semantics. I privately thought that the citizenry was probably doing gays a favor by not allowing them to marry. Don’t more than 50% of marriages end in divorce now, anyway?

Then Proposition 8 was put on the ballot in California in a year where I was paying attention to politics closely. Earlier in the year, the California Supreme Court overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage citing that the state’s Constitution protects the fundamental right to marry. Afterwords, thousands of same sex couples married. Then in November, the California electorate stripped that “right” away by changing the state’s Constitution to say that marriage is between a “man and a woman”. And then last week, the same Court that affirmed gays’ right to marry only a year earlier, upheld the same sex marriage ban imposed by Proposition 8, stripping their rights away.

Now, some will say that same-sex couples in California shouldn’t complain because they still have the right to civil unions. It is equal to marriage. The problem is that civil unions only protect same sex couples under the law in the event of a death. In other words, if one partner were to die, then the law protects them in property rights and in the receipt of insurance benefits. Same sex couples aren’t afforded about 1400 legal rights that are given to married couples. That may be separate, but it is not even close to being equal. Gay marriage should be legal and recognized–not just in California, but by all 50 states and the federal government.

I know that the majority of Americans don’t agree with me. A recent Quinnipac poll showed that 55% of Americans oppose same sex marriage in their states. But I find it odd that the majority of Americans think that same sex couples should get social security death benefits if their partner’s die, should be allowed to openly serve in the military, and should be allowed to adopt. Also, it surprised me that a majority of Americans disagree with the notion that same-sex marriage is a threat to traditional marriage. So what’s the beef with allowing them to marry, then? I don’t get it.

To me, it seems that the people are opposed to same sex marriage just to oppose it. To disallow one group of consenting adults the right to marry is discrimination. That is just wrong.

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Must Be Consistent

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This post is more to convince myself than you, so just humor me ok?

My son has been consistently slacking off this year at school, making sure his grades are barely passing, if we’re lucky enough for that at all. Since March the boy has only been allowed outside sparingly on the rare instance that all his grades are passing or a milestone was accomplished. When we found out he passed the TAKS test was one such occasion.

However, despite the rule in our house being “Failing grades = no outside/freedom/tv/fun” this child is unfazed. I vowed to him over a week ago that if he didn’t pass all of his classes at the end of the year he would be grounded the entire summer and have to do manual labor around the house, such as scrubbing baseboards, cleaning cabinet doors, and other tasks I can think of that are completely unnecessary and totally obnoxious so maybe we won’t repeat this lazy attitude towards school next year. He’s on track to fail one class for the entire year I’m sure of, but Social Studies, Science and Language Arts are all failing grades for the final six weeks of this school year. But as the summer for him draws closer (next week) the more I feel bad about having to take away his summer in this way.

I always keep my promises though and that is something I’ve been very diligent about throughout my son’s life so the poor child is going to find out what life is like for those that don’t try hard enough to succeed. Manual labor, doing a job he does not like or want to do.

It’s so hard to be consistent when you really don’t want to exact the punishment you promised in anger.

Any suggestions?

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Working Again

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I’ve only got a few minutes for you because I have to get ready to go to my new job! I’m very excited, I think this is going to be a fun job, with fun people. The various environments I’ve been in throughout my working career have made for some very interesting memories, to include the people I’ve worked with and interacted with. There’s nothing like real life to give you character. 😉

Last night I spoke with my cousin Rebecca, whom I wrote about a little on Sunday, I told her I’d written about her and my uncle and that she should read it when she’s ready. She asked about the job, and last she knew I was working at home and very excited, we saw each other on my birthday. It’s funny how much things can change in such a short amount of time. Between you and me…I’m not sure working at home is for me.

I’m so much more social than I ever realized, I’d find myself craving interaction. I enjoyed being here when my son got home, that was a definite positive. I’ll be getting home later now, but it’s all good. I’m not upset about that, I’ve never worked 9 to 6 but it can’t be all that different than any other shift. Hopefully it’ll allow the worst of the traffic to die down both ways for me. Hopefully.

I can’t tell you much about my job, but what I can tell you is that I’ll do it well, once I know all of the aspects of my position. I’m to understand it’s a created position, so really that’s all the more reason for them to see that job as mine and no one else’s. That’s my mission anyways. Being unemployed incited feelings in me that I don’t care to revisit, however I look at it I feel I could have and should have avoided it still, but I do realize that maybe this had to happen to get me out of the job I was in.

I enjoyed most of the people that I worked with there, but I can honestly say I have never worked in a more hostile environment in my life, only one other time in my life can I compare that experience to, and I ran from that one too. I remember roughly a week before I found that “job” I had told a coworker that I was taking the first train out of there. That’s what I did, sadly that train derailed come payday, but lessons learned…water under the bridge…yada yada yada.

We’re on a new page, it’s a new day and you know what? I’m excited.

Have a good day everyone!

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In Dire Need of Good News

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I am a news junkie, but I must say I have to search and search for some happy headlines. They are few and far between. While some say there are glimmers of hope, I am seeing more and more despair. I’m having a hard time finding that silver lining, and the pit I feel in my stomach is getting bigger.

For example, in California the state is facing a huge budget deficit after voters rejected $6 billion in funding measures (i.e. tax increases). Arnold is making the “tough decisions” on what to cut, and the cuts are affecting primarily the poor. He is planning to eliminate the CalWorks and Healthy Families programs, which provide cash aid, employment services and health services to the state’s poor. Overnight, California would go from one of the most generous states to one of least generous in aiding the poor. Sure, it would save the state about billion dollars this year, but the result would be hundred of thousands of poor people left out on their ass with nowhere to turn. That is just plain cold and callous to me.

It isn’t like the poor in California have much opportunity, either. In some counties, unemployment is around 25%. It is in the double digits in just about every other county. It’s not like the poor are going to be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make a go of it.

It isn’t just California, though. Currently, 47 states face budget shortfalls. Most of them are making cuts to health care and education to fill the gaps. This means, though, that there are more job losses, which is turning the recession into a bigger one. The really sad thing is, the more job losses there are, the more demand there is for social services like public healthcare. Unfortunately, many desperate people will be turned away the one and only time in their lives they need help the most.

I’m starting to understand what the Great Depression felt like, and why they called it that. It wasn’t just about the economy. It was the feeling, too. That feeling is here today. For those of us out of work, the prospect of finding another job is slim. Once the unemployment runs out, there is nowhere to turn except to the charity of neighbors and friends. Those of us who manage to keep our jobs, are living in fear of losing them with the understanding there might not be another to replace it. We put up with more from our employers and work harder for less money.

It’s starting to feel bleak. We all need a little good news. We need a silver lining.

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