« Howlers | Main | Whew »

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.

Yup.

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.

Engaged
    Engaged.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4f1553ef00d83457e1f069e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Sadness to Joy:

» tab1 from At My Knits End
"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... [Read More]

» A Knitted Wedding Dress Indeed from CursingMama
To honor their commitment to each other I'm re-posting something I wrote back in November to let them know that I'm not afraid and I'll gladly help them fight for their rights to live together as a family. [Read More]

» tab1 from At My Knits End
Bossy Little Dog on the Gov't Funded Amusement Park called NASA: "And the commercials - it's the commercials for the space center that freaking KILL me - the place is actually promoted as a theme park. We are bombarded with... [Read More]

» tab1 from At My Knits End
Bossy Little Dog on the Gov't Funded Amusement Park called NASA: "And the commercials - it's the commercials for the space center that freaking KILL me - the place is actually promoted as a theme park. We are bombarded with... [Read More]

Comments

The only good I see coming of these hateful marriage-banning, rights-stripping initiatives is that they might force people to decide what's right and not sit on the sidelines if it doesn't affect them personally (which it probably does, but they don't know it does).

ANYHOO, you both have my heartfelt congrats. I think Lala might have to change the name of her blog to make it 'woman' singular. You know, just to be a respectable married lady.

xoxo Kay, Respectable Married Lady. (Hamsters Love Me, Naughty Children Fear Me)

Congrats to both you and LaLa. I think that it is fabulous. My aunt is married also (here in Canada) and has two kids (its all very cool) ... You never know what life is going to bring your way, but its so phenomenal to see someone embracing it.

Also, if God didn't want it, then he wouldn't have 'allowed' or 'made' people have yearnings towards the same sex. Its great to see you proud and happy.

Can't wait to see the ring and the dress!!

You both are beautiful!!!

Congrats to both you and LaLa. I think that it is fabulous. My aunt is married also (here in Canada) and has two kids (its all very cool) ... You never know what life is going to bring your way, but its so phenomenal to see someone embracing it.

Also, if God didn't want it, then he wouldn't have 'allowed' or 'made' people have yearnings towards the same sex. Its great to see you proud and happy.

Can't wait to see the ring and the dress!!

You both are beautiful!!!

Congratulations to both of you.

I remember in college when I said something along the lines of "God is God whether you call him/her Jesus, God, Allah, Vishnu, or Fred. It's all the same principle of loving and accepting one another with a good and gracious heart." I was accused of making others doubt their faith. My response is that if my thoughts can make you doubt your faith than it is your faith is lacking, not mine.

God's and everyone else's blessings upon you both. Best wishes for a long, healthy, happy and loving life.

To quote Mr. Rogers, "A person can grow to his or her fullest capacity only in mutually caring relationships with others,"

OMG.. I leave the blog world for a few weeks and SOOOO much happens.
Congratulations to both of you!!!! I'm thrilled for you both!

And hey, you absolutely know where to get your wedding flowers! Just say the word and I'll be there with armloads of them!! Truly!

Congradulations!

The world can be very harsh some times, it makes me sick inside to think of all the wrongs that are happening that we have very little say about. (I normally just read, not reply.)

Congratulations again, dear Rachael. I am appalled to hear the terrible news you have posted about, and I am sorry you have to deal with such horrific nonsense in your state and country.

Hello, I found you through Kaffienated Knits blog and jsut had to comment. This post brought tears to my eyes, indeed I had not heard this story, and my stomach actually hurts just thinking of it, how could such a cruel thing take place?! And intollerance just seems to be spreading, I don't understand it. Congatulations to you, what an exciting time and thank you for sharing this!

Shut UP!!?!

That last comment was, like, a VERY loving OMG and Congratulations... In case anyone thinks I'm being an insensitive, uh, thing.

And Rach, hun, I hope this isn't just an excuse to move again?

Infuriating, inspiring, devastating, eloquent post. Congratulations and much love to you and LaLa.

Fitting that comment # 212 should be from a New Yorker, yes? (It's our area code!) Anyhow, CONGRATS. My eyes are all moist and misty after reading that. Wowwowowowowwow, that's so wonderful, for both of you, and the cats and dogs and whoever else ends up being lucky enough to be part of your family. Yay!!!!!

The thoughtful Sandy J. suggested this post to her readers... With good reason.

Congratulations, you two. That is absolutely beautiful. :]

Holy crap, where the heck have I been? I know I'm very late in this, but congrats to you and Lala! That's wonderful!!!!!
And, I don't know if you've heard, but good ole Rosie O'D was in my fair city on her cruise, being greeted by our mayor and expressing her joy at the friendliness of our citizens. Ahem. Just sayin', you know, if you need a honeymoon locale!

I'm late to this party, I see. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am for both of you! Felicitations to BOTH brides! I'm jealous that you're marrying a banjo player.

congrats to you and lala! wishing you both lots of love and happiness!

Very very nice to read something so wonderful - tho belated. All the best wishes and heartfelt congratulations from another lurker.

My friend Johnny is a gay man from Iran. He told me once, "There are no gay men in Iran. They are not allowed to exist. If we hadn't left, I'd be dead by now." I cannot comprehend such a culture.

It's the people who go so far to justify that their lifestyle, their decisions are right that scare me. That self riteousness is one of the most destructive forces in the universe. It induces division and hatred. It tears the very fabric of love. There's no way that is right.

So count me in on this fight. I stand behind you and every couple that stands up and proclaims their intention to love each other forever, within the bonds of marriage. And I do so with great love and joy.

You know how I adore you and Lala. I'm so happy for you.

that's just... wow. it's amazing. i can't think of enough ways to describe how happy i am for you both. but trust that, as i type, i'm a bit misty-eyed. viva you two!

Go away for a vacation and look what you miss!

Fabulous news, I'm so happy for both of you. Your joy radiates through your writing and your images. When it's the right person, it's time! Can't wait to see the wedding pics.

De-lurking to add my congratulations to you and yours ... that's wonderful news, all best wishes for a wonderful life together.

My best wishes to you both. I'm so happy for you!

What a wedding (and life together) you two will have! There's nothing like a party in the name of LOVE! So glad to hear the great news (even if preceded by some horrific news). I didn't know I could go from tears to smiles so quickly. Thank you for spreading the word, both awful and wonderful.
CONGRATULATIONS!

I was out of town, so...

Belated Congrabulations!!!!!

I read your blog but have never commented. Just a quick word to say I wish you every happiness and joy in each other, and long and fruitful lives. Loving someone is never wrong. Virtual hugs from me to you both.

awww!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! that soo awesome!!! yaay!

Horrid about the Iranian boys. simply horrid.

yay, it's public!

the lover and i have decided we will not seek a "legal" union in this country until it is available and legal to everyone. but what will we do for iran, the countries in our beloved africa? we will start and not stop.

we will stand, teach children to stand and stand, always in love, with you.

congratulations, precious.

Congratulations to you both! How very exciting! :)

And you're right, I hadn't heard about the awful situation in Iran. How very terrible and sad.

I am severely behind in blogland, but I wanted to add my congratulations, and also to thank you for having the courage to get political. Rock on.

And don't ask me why my computer just filled in my last name without me noticing, but there it is. :)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

subscribe

Subscribe to Rachael's mailing list

knitting projects

DSCN13632.jpg Email me