Tag Archives: California

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Straight Eye for the Proposition 8 Guy

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Categories: Politics, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I, for one, hope that the ban on gay marriage in California remains overturned. I’m really looking forward to getting gay married. I’ve been straight married for almost six years now, and it’s been great, but I bet Tiffanie and I would be even happier if we were gay married.

In all seriousness, Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision should be celebrated by all Americans. As the judge noted, the Constitution of the United States of America indicates

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

I’m no lawyer or scholar of Constitutional law, but I’m pretty sure that means that if one group of people has a right to do something, all groups of people have that same right.

Social conservatives may not like it, but gay Americans are still Americans, and are thus entitled to equal protection. It doesn’t matter if homosexuality is a choice or biologically preordained. It doesn’t matter if one’s religion views it as abhorrent or not. It doesn’t even matter if it’s called marriage or civil union.

What matters is that a tyranny of the majority was struck down. The Federalist papers foresaw something like this happening over two-hundred years ago and railed against it. Yet today Maggie Gallagher, chairwoman of the National Organization for Marriage, thinks “our Founding Fathers… would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution.” Really, Maggie? First, California’s Supreme Court ruled that the original ban on same-sex marriage violated California’sConstitution. Second, because Prop 8 revoked a right homosexuals already had, it became a federal matter under the proviso of Amendment XIV. I think the Founders would have been thrilled to see the system they cobbled together work exactly the way it was supposed to. You forget, Mags; the Framers were notorious libertarians and state’s-righters.

I had to laugh this morning when a spokesperson for the Proposition 8 supporters encouraged people to read the Constitution, where they would find nothing about same-sex marriage rights. Interestingly enough, there’s also nothing in there about hetero marriage either, probably because it’s not the federal government’s fucking [pun intended] problem.

I applaud the Governator for not sending California’s Attorney General to defend Prop 8 in court. You know you’re on the wrong side of history when a conservative, lame-duck, Republican governor with nothing to lose won’t back you up on banning marriage between consenting adults.

Remember, kiddies, it’s supposed to be by, of, and for the people. Especially the “for” part. Here’s to one little victory.

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From Bitterness To Joy

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Categories: Family, Father's Day, Holidays, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Father’s Day used to be a source of bitterness and resentment for me. I was not born hating Father’s Day. I learned to despise it as a celebration of something I thought I never had.

My biological father, David Allen Duncan, has never been a part of my life. He left my mother and me before I was even a year old, so I have absolutely no memory of him. From what I understand, that’s probably for the best: most stories that I’ve heard about him paint a picture of an abusive, manipulative piece of shit. I don’t judge Mr. Duncan based on those stories, however. I judge him based on the things that I’ve experienced, the injustices he’s visited upon me personally.

Witness, wherefore, that this cocksucker never paid even the pittance of child support he was ordered to pay by the court in 1980. Behold, this asshole fled to Tennessee to escape his meager obligations as a father. Consider, this douchebag sired another child who bears his name but seven months after me. (Not that I’m particularly bitter. It’s really just the principle of the thing. Traditionally, the first-born son would carry the father’s name. I happen to love my first name. Being a Dave would be so blasé.)

Obviously, my actual father was not a source of happiness and love on Father’s Day. My erstwhile step-father was not much better.

My mother’s ex-husband, Erico Santiago, was, in some ways, a worse influence on my life than my absentee father. Whereas Allen was not present to love me and nurture me, Eric was available physically, but completely stonewalled emotionally. He came into my life when I was about five years old.

As a child, I tried every way I knew to make Rico love me. I was rewarded with indifference for my efforts. When I behaved in ways expected of me, I was met with silence. When I misbehaved, I was rewarded with physical abuse and neglect. I could fill an entire post with the blatant and subtle ways in which this man hated me, but there’d be no point to it over than to play upon your sympathies in a self-serving attempt at garnering your pity.

In time, I gave up trying with Eric. He had taught me, along with the absence of my actual father, that seeking validation from without was as pointless as seeking rain in the desert. I learned that the only sustainable sense of worth came from within.

On the other hand, my grandfather, Ed McCaskey, was one of the few men who showed me unconditional love and compassion when I was younger. His deep, booming voice comforted me when I needed it and corrected me when I needed that too. He made me understand that despite my flaws and errors, I was worthy of love and forgiveness.

My grandpa is also directly responsible for my enduring love of sci-fi. One of my earliest movie memories is watching the copy of the Star Wars trilogy he taped from TNT or TBS. My grandpa is also a Trekker from back in the day, and while I prefer the Next Generation, there is a certain fondness in my heart for Kirk, Bones, Spock, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Checkov et. al.

In a charming bit of serepidity, I became an ice hockey fan as a teenager; my grandfather is also a huge hockey fan. (He’s got season tickets to his local team, in fact.) As a kid, I never knew of his love for the sport, though it doesn’t surprise me. He’s from South Dakota. There’s not much to do there in the winter except for hockey. I only mention this to illustrate two points: 1) I regret that I didn’t spend more time with my grandpa before he moved to California, and 2) I may be more like my grandpa than I previously knew. That would make me very happy.

>>>2 paragraphs redacted to reflect my new reality<<<

My Grandpa McCaskey taught me that hard work is eventually rewarded. I’ve learned from him that one must stand up for what they believe in and that one cannot simply run away from one’s problems: they must be confronted and overcome. He’s taught me that one can be better than one’s past says they should be.

So yesterday’s Father’s Day was filled with joy in place of bitterness. Thinking about the father figures in my life, I reflected on the lessons I’ve learned from them. I hope to take what my past has taught me and raise my daughter to be strong, compassionate, hard-working, peaceful, geeky, persistent, and considerate.

I hope that when my daughter reflects on her childhood, she’s happy that I was her daddy.