Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A man who strangled his wife to death while his children slept in the next room has more rights than I do

Sometimes all you can do is laugh – or cry.

Today the Lawrence Journal-World brings us news that Martin K. Miller is getting married this Saturday to a woman who testified for him at his trial. Miller is a former Christian-school leader who is serving a life sentence for strangling his wife to death while his children were asleep in the house.

Prosecutors convicted Miller after alleging that he killed his wife, a KU librarian, because he was having an affair. Apparently, he was afraid of how it would look to his fellow ultra-conservative Christians if he got a divorce. (Murder isn’t a problem? But I digress.) By the way, the woman he’s marrying isn’t the woman he had the affair with. If you’re confused, you’re in good company. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s who in these heterosexual affairs without having a scorecard.

Usually I try to keep a fairly civil tone on this blog. In many ways, this blog's manners are a bit too civil for the rough and tumble world of the blogosphere, but today, well, I just couldn’t stomach this.

Because Miller is heterosexual, he has the right to marry – no matter how he behaves and how many commandments he breaks. (Anyone want to do a count?)

Last April 5, the good voters of Kansas decided that I, as a lesbian, do not have the right to either marry or receive any of the “rights or incidences of marriage” because, well, I’m bad.

You see I’m bad and awful and hurt people and undermine society because I’m a woman who loves a woman. It doesn’t matter how I live, what church I attend, how long we’re together as a couple. Heck, I could be Mother Theresa in all ways except sexual orientation, and I still wouldn’t have the right this murderer has.

When will this society wake up and understand that it’s not the orientation of a person’s sexuality that counts, but how that person acts? Sexual orientation is morally neutral. What we do with it is not. By passing unfair laws and castigating people for their orientation – instead of focusing on people’s behavior – we send a message to the world, and our children, that you’re an OK person as long as you’re straight. Doesn’t matter who you are or who you hurt, just sleep with the opposite sex.

And we wonder why marriage is seen as being in trouble in this country? As a lesbian, I cannot do half the damage to the tradition of marriage that a Martin Miller can.

Should Miller have the right to get married? I have no idea, but given that it's totally legal in Kansas for this heterosexual to engage in marriage, I would like to make a recommendation to his bride-to-be: You might think about going in for some serious counseling.

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