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The Nose Cutters

Photo by quinn.anya

Photo by quinn.anya

By now most of you have probably heard about Constance McMillen, the lesbian student who wanted to take her girlfriend to the prom, and her high school’s Solomon-like solution to this embarrassing dilemma:

With the backing of the ACLU, McMillen fought an Itawamba County school board to be able to take her lesbian partner and wear a tuxedo to the Itawamba County Agricultural High School prom….

The school board responded Wednesday by announcing they were canceling the entire prom, scheduled for April 2.

Yes, that’s right – rather than accommodate one gay couple by allowing them to have the same prom experience as everyone else, the school took prom away from everybody.  But hey, it’s only prom, I’m sure most students don’t care about it at all.  It’s not a big deal like, say, health care…

Employees at Catholic Charities were told Monday that the social services organization is changing its health coverage to avoid offering benefits to same-sex partners of its workers….

Starting Tuesday, Catholic Charities will not offer benefits to spouses of new employees or to spouses of current employees who are not already enrolled in the plan. A letter describing the change in health benefits was e-mailed to employees Monday, two days before same-sex marriage will become legal in the District.

Phew!  That was a close one!  Fortunately, they were able to prevent gay spouses from sharing employee health benefits by simply not offering spousal coverage to anyone who doesn’t have it.  As Teddy pointed out to me, this is not an entirely new trend:

In order to keep the East High Gay-Straight Alliance from meeting, the school board ultimately banned all non-curricular clubs at public high schools. The board then began to re-define selected clubs as “curricular” in order to allow them to meet.

The Salt Lake City school board was clever enough to find a loophole, but their initial reaction was full nuclear bannination of everything, just like Itawamba and Catholic Charities.

It’s amazing and sad.  These social conservatives are so full of spite, they hate gays so much that they would deprive everybody rather than let Teh Ghey have even the tiniest scrap of what everyone else has – or see our military start recruiting at Supermax prisons rather than let gays serve openly.  Hell, it’s probably only a matter of time before the religious right tries to ban sex and marriage just to allay the nagging suspicion that somehow, somewhere, a homosexual might be having a good time.

Sadly, this spiteful streak is not limited to homophobia.  Remember the fight over Obama’s stimulus bill, when Republicans were up in arms because it had all this money for stuff like unemployment insurance and food stamps?  Never mind that those are far and away the most effective ways to pump money back into the economy.  No, God forbid we should ever give money to those people that they haven’t earned with the sweat of their brow – like derivatives traders.

Or how about when Republicans claimed that undocumented immigrants would benefit from the health care reform bill?  Or S-CHIP?  Or the stimulus?  All lies of course, but the same sick mindset: It’s better to let everybody suffer than to do something good for those people.

As I said back at my place a couple of months ago:

It’s sad, really.  If you told America that for every dollar it gave to a homeless guy it would get two dollars in return, it would still walk right by him and tell him to get a job.

It’s not just “I’ve got mine, fuck you” that’s dragging this country down; it’s also “I don’t care if I get mine, as long as I get to say fuck you.”

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