‘Just put yourself in that person’s shoes’

Smarter-than-I-thought people saying smart things: “Miley Cyrus on Marriage Equality and Christianity

Imagine finding someone you love more than anything in the world, who you would risk your life for but couldn’t marry. And you couldn’t have that special day the way your friends do — you know, wear the ring on your finger and have it mean the same thing as everybody else. Just put yourself in that person’s shoes. It makes me feel sick to my stomach.

When I shared a picture of my tattoo on my Twitter page and said, “All LOVE is equal,” a lot of people mocked me — they said, “What happened to you? You used to be a Christian girl!” And I said, “Well, if you were a true Christian, you would have your facts straight. Christianity is about love.” The debate resulted in a lot of threats and hate mail to people who agreed and disagreed with me. At one point I had to say, “Dude, everyone lay off.” Can’t people have friendly debates about sensitive topics without it turning into unnecessary threats?

I believe every American should be allowed the same rights and civil liberties. Without legalized same-sex marriage, most of the time you cannot share the same health benefits, you are not considered next of kin and you are not granted the same securities as a heterosexual couple. How is this different than having someone sit in the back of the bus because of their skin color?

“Just put yourself in that person’s shoes.” For this is the law and the prophets.

* * * * * * * * *

Tennessee Republican lawmaker threatens to “stomp a mudhole” in constitutents

Republican State Rep. Richard Floyd thinks it’s OK to threaten his constituents with physical violence as long as he limits that threat and that violence to a minority of his constituents.

That makes Rep. Floyd a bully. It also makes him a coward.

You know what’s even more disgraceful than a bully and a coward? A bully and a coward who thinks he can lecture the rest of us on morality.

* * * * * * * * *

“Just put yourself in that person’s shoes” — legislative edition.

Example No. 1, Jan. 27

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended to Include Testing Lawmakers

This was in Indiana. I just love that headline, which seems to suggest a promising template for political success. I would like to see a similar headline — “X bill withdrawn after amended to apply to lawmakers” — for many different values for X.

Example No. 2, Jan. 30

Virginia lawmaker tries to attach rectal exam provision to anti-abortion bill

Virginia state Sen. Janet Howell (D) thinks that if the government is going to force women to undergo medically unnecessary tests, then it is only fair to apply the same standards to men.

Republican lawmakers are pushing for legislation that would require pregnant women to have an ultrasound before terminating their pregnancy. In response, Howell introduced an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining erectile dysfunction medication like Viagra.

“We need some gender equity here,” she told the Huffington Post. “The Virginia Senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we’re going to do that to women, why not do that to men?”

I am eagerly anticipating Example No. 3 and hoping this trend continues.

 

  • http://harmfulguy.livejournal.com/ harmfulguy

    Ain’t no bigger coward than a bully.

  • vsm

    As the old saying goes, when tween pop sensations join your side, you know you’re getting close to victory.

  • Aine

    I have to say, I’d be a lot more worried about my legislators taking drugs than someone on welfare doing so…

  • Lori

    In this case, it’s apparently not just the tween pop stars. It’s their former country star, self-proclaimed redneck fathers too. The rest of the Miley quote is about Billy Ray:

      We all should be tolerant of one another and embrace our differences.
    My dad, who is a real man’s man, lives on the farm and is as Southern
    and straight as they come. He loves my gay friends and even supports
    same-sex marriage. If my father can do it, anyone can. This is America,
    the nation of dreams. We’re so proud of that. And yet certain people are
    excluded. It’s just not right.  

    She has a point. When you start getting the Billy Rays, you’re most of the way there. 

  • http://reshapingreality.wordpress.com/ Aidan Bird

    I just love these examples. 

    Keep at it folks.  We need more of these.

  • FangsFirst

    Feel free to ignore me, I’m about to be ego-centric (do I even need to announce that?)

    Imagine finding someone you love more than anything in the world, who
    you would risk your life for but couldn’t marry. And you couldn’t have
    that special day the way your friends do — you know, wear the ring on
    your finger and have it mean the same thing as everybody else.

    This is totally selfish and irrelevant, but it came at a time where the only window into my SGF’s world is to passively see what songs she’s liking on YouTube. It happens once a week or so. And about thee hours ago–around the time Fred posted this–it was, of all things, a Miley Cyrus song, “Stay.” Composed of generalities about a missing love, wanting them back and wanting to come home to them. And apologizing for things being as they are. Anyone who has read my rambles might notice how acutely appropriate such sentiments are (and she has made not to me that songs are never lyrically irrelevant with her).

    The coincidence appeals to my sense of patterns and comfort I find in them.

    But overall…I almost wished she’d go for another song that told me this, then admonished myself and hoped the absence of late meant she was happier without me around, at least happier than she had been. But apparently she’s not. And I can’t do a damn thing about it, yet I’m the only one who could.

    I guess in a way it’s a “shame” I’m already for equality. Coming home to a reminder that I can’t wear a ring and have it mean the same thing it does for others (the one I wear seems to mean more than wedding rings do to some people, but it doesn’t have the external weight behind it), not even for the one I would risk my life for and love more than anything in the world.

    By God coming home to a reminder of what that feels like would sure as hell set me off to the other side if I weren’t already here.

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Cyrus has pleasantly surprised me of late, she does a good job on a Dylan tune too, 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2wvaWTTmz8

  • Richard Hershberger

     I have long suspected her personal life would hold up better than the typical tween star, since she comes from a performing family which is likely to leave her better emotionally equipped to deal with the life.  I am very pleasantly surprised indeed to find she also has human decency, and even musical taste.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended to Include Testing Lawmakers”

    Kind of funny how all it takes to make some legislators behave decently is threaten to expose their OWN dirty little secrets.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Here’s example #3: Indiana Senator Vi Simpson de-toothed a bill to teach “Intelligent Design” in schools by amending the bill to include the origin stories of other religions. One of the religions she added was Scientology. 
    blogs[dot]villagevoice[dot]com[slash]runninscared[slash]2012[slash]02[slash]indiana_senate[dot]php

  • Anonymous

    Speaking as someone who has a very good transgendered friend, Rep. Floyd better not show his pinched rotten face around Northwest Kansas.

  • Anonymous

    Billy Ray may be a cheeseball, but he’s a really decent human being. 

    One of my girlfriends was a second engineer in Nashville for 10+ years, and worked with lots of big acts. She said most of them didn’t even acknowledge her existence, but BRC would always ask how she was doing, and really listen to the answer. She said laugh all you want at “Achy, Breaky Heart,” but he was the nicest guy she’d ever worked with. 

  • vsm

    Billy Ray’s been okay in my book ever since his portrayal of Gene the gentlemanly pool guy in Mulholland Drive.

  • Panda Rosa

    Funny how gays are so determined to marry even as the straights seem to think it’s not necessary anymore. Seems no one’s able to be content.

  • http://schweinsty.livejournal.com schweinsty

    Yeah. God knows why anyone would want the ability to file taxes jointly, adopt a child as a family, be allowed to visit one’s spouse when they’re dying in the hospital, not be treated like a second-class citizen, and have the choice to have one’s relationship be regarded as an established household by one’s government and peers, along with the hundreds of other bonuses that come with marriage.

    Oh, and btw? ‘Gay’ is an adjective, not a noun, and bisexuals exist too, as do transgender people whose identity is not recognized by the place they live in.

  • Baeraad

    I now feel slightly less ashamed at watching Hannah Montana and even kinda-sorta liking Miley Cyrus’ own music…

    Slightly less ashamed, I said! Slightly! Don’t look at me like that!

    Seriously, it’s a really great quote, downright Fred Clark-like in the way it expresses the kind of things that become self-evident once you make the effort to practice empathy. We’ll make a liberal out of her yet. ;)

  • Dan Audy

     I don’t think straights are deeming marriage as being unnecessary so much as they get almost all the benefits by default without taking any action through common-law marriage and if they need the additional ones they can typically ‘upgrade to the full version’ quickly and easily.   Despite all that over 50% of the adult population is married and since gay marriage is both quite new and regionally restricted the majority of those 50% are going to be straight.

  • http://www.metagalacticllamas.com/ Triplanetary

    I’m a Southerner who generally loathes the notion of “Southern hospitality,” not because I’m opposed to hospitality, but because “Southern hospitality” is a pack of big fat hypocritical lies.

    But your rednecks who are chill, tolerant, and genuinely friendly are some of my favorite people in the world. There’s more of them out there than you think, because needless to say, the bigoted, hateful rednecks are a lot louder. That is, until one of them paints a racial slur on the side of someone’s house, and the decent rednecks come out and paint over it free of charge. Then your faith in humanity increases a little.

  • PandaRosa

    You are right, of course. I’m more musing on how heteros do toss such ideas as joint taxation and hospitals aside, in favor of… what? Of just living together, sanctioned or un- ? I do tax work part time, and keep running into unmarried (hetero) couples who would gain so much by simply making a legal union. But they don’t, too much “leap of faith” involved, too much long-term legal argle-bargle, not loving or sexy at all, *sigh*
    The point I hope I’m trying to make is that so often one member of a hetero couple will say, “We don’t need a little piece of paper to prove our love!” or similar nonsense. Yet at the same time we have homo couples determined to brave legal and social abuse for that same “little piece of paper”, that little piece of paper that grants the respectability you spoke of. There’s an irony that homosexuals are anxious to pick up the very things heteros firmly want to set aside.
    Furthermore, I’ve often mused that it’s more than just love that makes a marriage. Certainly if two men or two women want to live together, love together, make a home together, there’s nothing stopping them save society head-shaking, a thing many people ignore anyway. Marriage simply makes the union legal, not the love, the old jokes about love vs marriage aren’t so far wrong. How many couples do you know who were mad about each other ten years ago and now don’t even speak to each other? To me, what be be interesting, as the Gay Marriage issue becomes more acceptable (I don’t care for it, but I am a realist) will be the eventual business of Gay Divorces. There will be couples who fought to be together, who later wonder if it was worth it. Why should we straights have all the fun?
    In terms of wishing to marry the person you love cut can’t, one of my cousins out in Missouri is deeply attached to a woman, has a child by her, would marry her without hesitation–save for her ex-husband, who has thrown up legal barrier after barrier against them. It isn’t just homosexuals who can’t be with the ones they love.

  • Donalbain
  • Tricksterson

    I’ve always liked Miley’s singing.  She has the slightly rough voice I prefer in women singers  Keep in mind that her earliest stuff was dictated by the Mouse.  As she matures so will her music

  • Tricksterson

    I knowat least one transgender, Maureen, formerly brian, who as a former SCAdian fighter could probably kick his bigoted ass from here to the corner.  Then hate herself for it because she’s a genuinely sweet person.

  • http://schweinsty.livejournal.com schweinsty

    My apologies for length. I get really wordy and long-winded when I get on this topic, but between this comment and the one I saw earlier about how same-sex marriage shouldn’t be allowed because it would infringe on freedom of religion and CLERGY EVERYWHERE WILL BE FORCED – FORCED, I SAY! – TO MARRY US ICKY QUEERS, OH, THE HUMANITY, I’m a bit ticked today.

    I’m more musing on how heteros do toss such ideas as joint taxation and hospitals aside, in favor of… what?

    Some straight couples don’t want to get married, sure. Some same-sex couples don’t want to get married either. This should affect those that do want to get married how, exactly?

    There’s an irony that homosexuals are anxious to pick up the very things heteros firmly want to set aside.

    Yeah – see – I live in Texas, where we don’t even have civil unions for same-sex couples? And I have been to a crap ton of weddings in the last couple years. There’s a reason bridal magazines remain firmly in print, and I promise you it’s not all us queer people flocking out to buy them. There are plenty of straight couples still getting married every day.

    Furthermore, I’ve often mused that it’s more than just love that makes a marriage. Certainly if two men or two women want to live together, love together, make a home together, there’s nothing stopping them save society head-shaking, a thing many people ignore anyway

    Yeah, sure, it takes more than love to make a marriage. Love won’t pay the bills or deal with the children or fix any arguments that come up, any more for a straigt couple than for a same-sex couple. And there are many many same sex couples who are perfectly well aware of that but would like to give marriage a shot anyway.

    As for ‘nothing stopping them save society head-shaking’? As I’ve mentioned before on here, I’m bi and have an on-off girlfriend. I currently am financially dependent on people – my family – who, if they found out, would most likely disown me and toss me out into the street. One of my friends, who is a lesbian, was harassed so horribly in middle school that she ended up dropping out and being home-schooled and is still traumatized by that treatment. Being allowed to marry wouldn’t be a cure-all, but it would be a step towards people seeing us as normal human beings; having the government say gender is irrelevant when it comes to marriage would help
    people see that gender is irrelevant when it comes to relationships.
    Furthermore, no, legally speaking there is nothing stopping same sex couples
    from cohabitating, but there are legal bars to our being
    granted the same rights – not privileges, rights – that so many of our peers
    enjoy without worrying and that so many of us would love to have. How is that fair?

    , the old jokes about love vs marriage aren’t so far wrong. How many couples do you know who were mad about each other ten years ago and now don’t even speak to each other?

    Quite a few? I mean, my parents just celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary, and they still not only talk, they hold hands and smile dopily at each other all the time. Marriage is neither a magical fix-it or a noose, regardless of the gender of the people involved. Some people get divorced. Some people don’t.

    There will be couples who fought to be together, who later wonder if it was worth it.

    Certainly! In fact, there already are. I know this, because I read of a lesbian couple in California who got married when it was legal and had a judge rule they couldn’t get divorced now that same-sex marriage is illegal there again. Good times. I’m sure it’s happened in Massachusetts and New York as well, or
    will sooner or later. I mean – do you expect same sex marriages to be magical, where things never go wrong? People fuck up all the time! Sometimes they marry the wrong people, sometimes they marry the right people at the wrong time, sometimes they get drunk and get married by Elvis*. Shit happens. But I don’t see people arguing that Brittney Spears or Kim Kardashian’s ‘marriages’ as reasons we should make it illegal for opposite-sex people to marry each other. Why must lgbt folk be held to a different (read: impossible) standard in order to be deemed worthy of entering into what is essentially a legal contract with each other?

    *Which is not to say that all people married by Elvis are drunk.

    It isn’t just homosexuals who can’t be with the ones they love.

    1. Look, that’s awful for your cousin. It really is. But there’s a big
    difference with his situation – where circumstance is interfering from his
    getting married – and the situation of lgbt couples, where the
    government
    has ruled marriage to be illegal. Sure, some straight
    couples can’t be with the ones they love. Hell, as far as bad luck goes, my girlfriend and I live roughly 2000 miles apart, so I can’t be with her either. The difference between us and a straight couple, though, is that if I were able to move over there or her here and we wanted to get hooked, we couldn’t. Whereas if your cousin’s girlfriend’s ex-husband stopped doing whatever he’s doing, they could. The situations are not comparable.

    2. And, honestly? You have to come into a conversation about
    how queer people are discriminated against by the government and turn it into a conversation about Oh, those poor straight people, some of them have issues too! Won’t anyone think of the straight people?!?!?!? That is not cool. Not cool at all.

  • Panda Rosa

    You speak to the legit points I want to make. To the rest, I respectfully disagree. Beyond that, I know I am not qualified to say. But never underestimate the power of Angry Stupid White Men in Large Groups. 
    My ex should have been one, woulda been one had he been able to choose his parents.

  • Anonymous

     Well, the one I know has some aikido training, but Aikido requires the opponent to attack first…

  • http://www.metagalacticllamas.com/ Triplanetary

    As long as marriage exists as a legal institution, then fuck yeah it should be extended to people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. But frankly, I really hope we can hurry up and win this gay marriage fight so that we can move on to the far more helpful fight of deinstitutionalizing marriage entirely. Seems like things would be a lot simpler that way.

    With a little revision of current laws, seems like you could get all the legal benefits of marriage, with greater freedom for people to decide for themselves what shape their life takes without asking the government to endorse it. You could just file your taxes jointly with whomever the fuck you want. I mean, it’d have to be mutual – and they could add additional safeguards like requiring both parties to have the same address – so it’s not like I could just put Warren Buffet’s name on my tax forms and take advantage of his 12% tax rate. A situation like hospital visitations strikes me as being similar – why can’t I decide for myself who’s allowed to visit me in the hospital? You can even restrict me to a list of 5 or 10 if you want to.

    Still, that fight’s of a rather different character. Asking our society to deinstitutionalize marriage is an uphill battle. Marriage is seen as normal, and as long as that remains the case, then it’s like schweinsty said – allowing non-cis and non-straight people to participate in it helps the rest of our society see them as normal people. Which is a good thing.

  • Tricksterson

    Would like to note, have have same sex marriage here in Massachusetts and we are, as a state, no more screwed up than we were before.

  • Tricksterson

    Oops, incomplete post.  Meant have had same sex marriage in Massachusetts for over 8 years now and etc.


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