Homo Seriously, America, We’re Not the Enemy
posted by October 29 at 10:06 AMon
This NYT story about how the impact of the economic crisis on families in the small town of Manteca, California, pretty much broke my heart….
As the classified ads put it, everything must go. Socks. Christmas ornaments. Microwave ovens. Three-year-old Marita Duarte’s tricycle was sold by her mother, Beatriz, to a stranger for $3 even as her daughter was riding it.
On Mission Ridge Drive and other avenues, lanes and ways in this formerly booming community, even birthday celebrations must go. “It was no money, no birthday,” said Ms. Duarte, who lost her job as a floral designer two months ago. The family commemorated Marita’s third birthday without presents last week, the occasion marked by a small cake with Cinderella on the vanilla frosting….
When life’s daily trappings and keepsakes are laid out for sale on a collapsible table, sentiment is the first thing to go. “The cash helps a lot,” Constantino Gonzalez, Ms. Duarte’s neighbor, said of the family’s second sale in two weeks, in which he and his wife, Julia, were reluctantly selling their children’s inflatable bounce house for $650, with pump.
Since losing his construction job, Mr. Gonzalez, 43, has been economizing, disconnecting the family’s Internet and long-distance telephone service, and barely using his truck and the Jeep…. The inflatable bounce house is the children’s favorite toy, but the family’s $1,800 mortgage payment is coming…. “We need to eat,” Mr. Gonzalez tells his children about selling off their toys.
And then I got to this paragraph:
This is McCain-Palin placard country, where signs for the anti-gay-marriage state ballot measure, “Yes on 8,” pepper the landscape….
Okay, my heart still breaks for those kids in Manteca who’re having their tricycles and bouncy houses sold out from under them by their desperate parents. And I shouldn’t be surprised to learn, I suppose, that there’s a lot of support for Prop 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California, in some small town a million miles from anything. But that detail made me want to scream. The religious right goes on and on about the supposed “threat” that same-sex marriage poses to the family. They can never quite tell you precisely how families headed by married same-sex couples threaten the families headed by married opposite-sex couples. But these people fall for it. It’s not predatory lending or lax regulations or weakened unions or loose nukes or an immoral health care “system” that functions by denying health care to those who need that keeps them up nights, or has them gathering signatures, writing checks, and passing out yard signs. Nope, it’s these three that threaten the family:
Hello? Desperate and broke parents of Manteca, California? You’re being played for fools. Same-sex marriage is not a threat to you or your families. The GOP—with its mania for deregulation, its never-ending assault on unions and living-wage jobs, its opposition to a national health care system—is a threat to you and your families.