Sadness to JoyJuly 28, 2005
The rage doesn't get me often. In the face of all the world's sadnesses and atrocities and wars and genocides and stupid politicians making permanent black marks on the soul of the planet, I listen and wish and hope for the best. I'm political in my own quiet way: here, on this blog, with friends, in public when it's necessary.
But the state execution of the two gay teenagers in Iran has me seriously shaken. It happened a week ago today, and I bet you didn't even know about it, did you? It had me so upset that I tried to put it out of my mind, which I can't, and shouldn't.
Two teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari, 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, were held in prison for fourteen months (fourteen MONTHS), and were lashed 228 times. They were accused of having sex with each other and of raping another 13 year old boy. They did admit to having consensual sex with each other, but human rights groups believes they were coerced into these admissions, and there is speculation that the rape charge was fraudulent, an attempt to avoid international censure.
Iran's Sharia law calls for the death penalty for gay sex, and girls can be killed at age nine, boys at age fifteen. Unimaginable.
They were hanged, publicly, a week ago today. Babies, both of them. Their mothers watching. The whole country watching. Ten percent of Iran's population knowing that the same could happen to them if they ever admitted to their illegal predilection.
Ali Asgari, in a quote to the Iran Focus, said, "These individuals were corrupt. Their sentence was carried out with the approval of the judiciary and it served them right."
I saw still photos of them, being led out to the execution, crying. There aren't words for the horror of it.
And here, in much lesser but still shaking news, two days ago California approved a ballot initiative aiming to add an amendment banning same-sex marriage. Attorney General Bill Lockyer reworded the title of it from "The Voters' Right to Protect Marriage Act" to "Marriage. Elimination of Domestic Partnership Rights." That's right, Bill. Call it what it is.
The measure would void and restrict registered domestic partner rights from things like hospital visits. Adoption. Insurance benefits. Little unimportant things like these.
According to Seth Kilbourn, VP of HRC's Marriage Project, it would "strip away more rights from more families that any other proposal we have seen in any other state." It would permanently ban all legal protections. And two similar ballot measures are expected to get initial approval this week, also.
Lala and I had a conversation about this a while back. We knew that no matter what, no matter how we felt about it, we'd end up being political.
See, we're getting married.
Some of you already knew -- it's not like it's been a big secret, but we took our time telling family and friends, so I've taken my time blogging it. (It was decidedly delicious, those first few weeks, when no one knew, not even family. Such a lovely secret to carry around. And then I had the ring, the sweet gold antique ring from the 1880s, and just glancing at it gave me such a thrill. Still does.)
It's early, see, but we've known for a long time, since maybe month two or three, even though neither of us admitted as much to each other until month six. (No, we won't go into the proposal. It was mutual. She may have said the word first, but I was hot on her heels. Then we were terrified. In the good way.)
I never saw this coming. I never planned to be married. Wasn't important to me. Then suddenly, it was.
She's the one for me. She's smart, funny, and one of the kindest people I've ever been lucky enough to meet. She's hot. She makes me want to be a better person. I don't have to babysit her in a crowd. She knits. She's a kick-ass musician. And just sitting on the couch doing nothing with her is the best place in the whole world to be.
No one can tell me that's wrong. No one can tell me God thinks it's wrong, because He doesn't. A small-minded, bigoted person's small-minded lesser deity might think it's immoral, but who cares? I don't care about your tiny, wrathful god.
But let's fight for love, shall we? Isn't it good, finding it where we can? Who would stop happiness? Only someone terrified of what was in their own heart. But that's not us, is it?
Instead, we cross our fingers and look at stars and wish for forgiveness and acceptance in Iran, and we wish for the United States to realize that this is really about civil rights. We won't allow America to demote us to second-class citizens. We won't be pushed to the back of the bus. You'll help, right? You'll donate money to the right places, to the wheels that turn the cogs in the right places, and you'll speak out loud, even if you're scared?
Lala and I, who want to be together, to live our lives together, as a family, thank you.
Oh, and I'm knitting the wedding dress.