Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Study in Contrasts

There are two big stories about the gays in the New York Times today. The first, which you're probably more aware of, is about the possibility of more victories on the gay marriage front due to the recent excitement in Iowa, Vermont, and to a lesser extent, DC. Here's a key portion, although the entire article is definitely worth reading:

New York, New Jersey, Maine and New Hampshire are among the states where such proposals have gained legislative support in recent months.

“This is a reminder to those legislatures that they should finish the job,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a national advocacy group based in New York. “Contrary to the claims made by the opponents of equality, it’s not just judges, it’s not just the coasts, and it’s not just going away.”

This is truly very exciting, and even though it's all very Northeast-based at the moment (Iowa excluded, natch), it's still very heartening to see this all happening (and so quickly!). However, I then flipped over to this article about how openly gay men in Iraq are being systematically murdered:

In the past two months, the bodies of as many as 25 boys and men suspected of being gay have turned up in the huge Shiite enclave of Sadr City, the police and friends of the dead say. Most have been shot, some multiple times. Several have been found with the word “pervert” in Arabic on notes attached to their bodies, the police said.


“I don’t care about the militias anymore, because they’re going to kill me anyway — today, tomorrow or the day after,” said a man named Sa’ad, who has been taking estrogen and has developed small breasts. “I hate my community and my relatives. If they had their way, the result would be one gunshot.”

I suddenly felt really guilty for caring about getting married. I know I shouldn't, but it's hard to get excited about my theoretical husband when there are people in similar situations getting killed for their openness. I don't mean this as a buzzkill, though; by all means, let's all get gay married! Let's just not forget what's going on elsewhere.

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