Melissa Etheridge Refuses To Pay Taxes

Melissa Etheridge has declared that she’s not paying income taxes to the state of California because it passed Proposition 8:

Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen.

I have been vocal about my opinion about gay marriage. I don’t care about it. I think its odd and weird, but I can’t find a truly sound reason to deny it that isn’t based on some religious precepts. So whatever, I don’t care, marry up. But I think those who support gay marriage deeply mis-read the beliefs and opinions of those who are against it. Melissa Etheridge believes that 51% of her fellow Californians think that she’s a second class citizen, and I would be willing to bet the half-a-million dollars that she’ll be paying in income taxes that she’s dead wrong about that. I think we’re all civilized enough to recognize that there are no “second-class citizens” in America. I do think that every decision we make – the lives we choose – have some consequences and we have to be able to withstand those consequences. Living as ‘wife and wife’ is going to have some consequences, but so what? Lesbians, gays, blacks, white women, redheads, Enron lovers, whatever – you shouldn’t live for what other people think. Follow your own directives and let the chips fall.

Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

I yi yi. As an American citizen and you have the right to marry whomever you wish. Your choice of spouse does not exempt you from taxes.

Connecting “full citizenship” to your choice of lover is a stretch at best.

Okay, cool I don’t mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We’re gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that’s not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won’t have to pay their taxes either.

Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.

This is another idea that just has no basis in reality. Nobody wants to get rid of gay people or legislate them away.

Oh and too bad California, I know you were looking forward to the revenue from all of those extra marriages. I guess you will have to find some other way to get out of the budget trouble you are in.

She has a point there.

When did it become okay to legislate morality?

Ask the right, who is trying to cut down on the number of abortions. The left screeches, “you can’t legislate morality” when we try to stop 14 year old girls from having a third trimester abortion. And besides, if being gay is genetic, it’s not a morality issue.

I try to envision someone reading that legislation “eliminates the right” and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, “Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today” and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say “I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me”? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California?

I don’t think its twenty percent. The most valid numbers put gayness between two and seven percent of any given population. Still, to address her point more directly. The quip about “eliminating the right” simply isn’t correct. In the first place, a “right” can not be eliminated or granted by any other person or entity. It’s not a right to have universal health care because it would require forcing others (everyone, in this example) to sacrifice for that “right”. There is no “elimination” of the right for gays to marry because the right simply never existed organically.

I know when I grew up gay was a bad word. Homo, lezzie, faggot, dyke. Ignorance and fear ruled the day. There were so many “thems” back then. The blacks, the poor … you know, “them”. Then there was the immigrants. “Them.” Now the them is me.

Fear of gays? Seriously?

And by the way, there will always be “thems” because we will always group ourselves. To Melissa Etheridge, I am a “them” because I’m hetero.

I tell myself to take a breath, okay take another one, one of the thems made it to the top. Obama has been elected president. This crazy fearful insanity will end soon. This great state and this great country of ours will finally come to the understanding that there is no “them”. We are one. We are united. What you do to someone else you do to yourself.

Did you feel that away about George Bush? I don’t know if Melissa personally advocated the assassination of George Bush, or if she hung him in effigy, or if she called Condi Rice an Aunt Jemima like so many of her compatriots on the left. That’s not exactly acting in unity.

That “judge not, lest ye yourself be judged” are truthful words and not Christian rhetoric.

My brain just exploded.

Today the gay citizenry of this state will pick themselves up and dust themselves off and do what we have been doing for years. We will get back into it. We love this state, we love this country and we are not going to leave it. Even though we could be married in Mass. or Conn, Canada, Holland, Spain and a handful of other countries, this is our home. This is where we work and play and raise our families. We will not rest until we have the full rights of any other citizen. It is that simple, no fearful vote will ever stop us, that is not the American way.

Come to think of it, I should get a federal tax break too…

Gay Marriage Available In California For A Week…Yet Society Continues To Survive

After a week of gay marriage in California, I feel pretty secure in saying whew! We survived! Humanity has not devolved; heterosexual marriage has not eroded into irrelevance, and except for a few shameful protests at the Supreme Court, almost nobody even noticed that gays were getting their matrimony on.

This is the way it should be.

One thing that always bothered me was the legal definition “domestic partnership” or “civil union.” These silly phrases existed for the sole purpose of reserving actual marriage for the people who had the good sense to grow up hetero. Way back, many years before I was born, there was another phrase that sort of tried to accomplish the same thing: “Separate but equal.”

Domestic partnerships, civil unions and other awkward seperate but equal phrasing demeans us all, even the hetero white girls like myself. I’ve read that many gays don’t want to get married, and I have to wonder if they don’t want to be “married” as most of the United States sees it: engage in these not-quite-marriage marriages whose rules nobody quite understands. Saying “I’m married” means something very definite in our society. Saying “I’m in a domestic partnership” means that the person listening needs a law degree to have a conversation with you.

One of the issues under domestic partnerships, and one of the most convincing arguments against gay marriage, is the issue of children. I don’t think that two gay women or men are the ideal parents, but I also don’t think single women, or single men, or even an intact, loving heterosexual marriage produces ideal environments for children. There’s no such thing as the ideal parent, any more than there is an ideal person.

Since the government is not in the business of deciding what ‘ideal’ means, it should be compelled to issue marriage licenses to whomever is of legal age and wants them. The argument that gay marriage degrades all marriage doesn’t make sense to me. Nobody’s marriage makes my relationship any more legitimate. What my neighbors and friends do is nobody’s business but their own; this is what I mean when I say I’m radically neutral. It shouldn’t be an issue. I shouldn’t have an opinion on it any more than I would anyone else’s relationship. To do so seems very presumptuous. If you don’t have something nice to say about my relationship, keep your mouth shut. And do the same for Adam and Steve.

My Thoughts On Gay Marriage

Since yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling striking down the ban on gay marriage, I have been trying to figure out what, if anything, I want to say on the subject.  I just don’t care very much about gay marriage, either for or against.   I can not find a good argument to support a ban on gay marriage, and that, more than anything else, indicates to me that we must allow it.

I know that many of my right wing peers might look askance at me.   But I believe that if we are serious about freedom, we must strive to bestow it to as many people in as many ways as possible (sorry, Lefties, that means staying in Iraq, too).   It doesn’t matter that some don’t agree with their lifestyles.   They’re not hurting anyone, and they’re not asking for anything more than the legal recognition of their union – the same as hetrosexual couples.

I’m not advocating gay marriage.  Truth is, it makes me uncomfortable.  I agree with the theory that once homosexual marriage is available, the path to polygamy and other forms of marriage becomes more clear.   At which point does marriage no longer look like marriage?  At what point does America no longer look like America?  At this point I’m willing to say that we should open up the definition of marriage to include two people of either sex, but not more than two.  That’ll pacify me.  If those who object to gay marriage believe what they say, they’ll acquiesce  this point too.  If we take that element out of the argument, we have the bias component (which is fine, be biased; just be honest about) and the legal component.   The legal is apparently working itself out from the coasts inward. 

The only other arguments I’ve heard against gay marriage are based on religion – not on the historic influences of religion but on modern Christianity.   This too makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t really mind living in a land where Christianity rules right now, but my rationale for not tolerating religious laws in general is this: I do not want to live under any Islamic laws.  If we accept the premise that religious law is a normal, fair, correct American way of life,  one could make the argument that since Christian laws are okay, Islamic laws are just fine too.

That’s just not a real estate that I want see up close and personal.  So I don’t feel that using religion as an argument is valid or particularly effective.

That means I have to do what grown-ups do: put my own personal preferences aside, realize the world is not under any obligation to take my feelings into consideration, and accept that freedom is a gift for us all, not just some.

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