MARRIAGE BY ANY OTHER NAME

Here’s an email that’s well worth reprinting:

I’m a straight male nurse. I guess once upon a time that was kind of an oxymoron; of course it no longer is, as nursing has become widely regarded as the desirable profession which it is.
Anyhow … I work in an ICU in Florida. Recently had an admission, a Canadian fellow about my age (I’m 59) who was vacationing with his partner. Very very sick. For some reason not known–his kidneys suddenly failed. Without the ability to make urine, fluid built up in him and eventually filled his lungs. He’d entered what we call MultiSystem Organ Failure (his kidneys, his lungs) and thinking that the origin of his problem was gangrene in his bowels, he’d had surgery on his belly.

Andrew, I’ve been in this business 25 years. I’ve seen families that do well and families that don’t. Believe me – this gentleman and his partner were a family that did well. The emotional connection that comforted and strengthened my Pt was as strong as any that I have seen in my career. The responsiblity that his partner took in dealing with ‘power of attorney’ tasks was wonderful.

With the strength of love behind him, he has made a wonderful recovery. Of course, dialysis and modern medical care worked their magic. But I know the difference that love makes, too. And he had it. These two gay men were so completely “married” that it was inspiring and beautiful to see. It made me want to pass on to you this story. It made me want to add my voice to yours, that “gay marriage” denied is a terrible injury done by our society to a significant group of our brothers and sisters. A decent society would not tolerate withholding recognition and blessings on these unions.

Yes: a decent society. It’s here, but buried beneath fear, prejudice and misguided faith. But it is emerging, and will triumph.

YOO INTERVIEWED: He says his legacy of legalized “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” in the war on terror was essentially ratified by the election of 2004. Money quote:

We had a national presidential election in the middle, right in the middle of all of the disclosures of this, in the middle of this war. And people could have elected Bush out of office if they thought this was improper and that the costs outweighed the benefits. They could have replaced x96

Gillian Findlay: DO YOU THINK THAT ELECTION WAS A REFERENDUM ON THE TORTURE POLICY?

John Yoo: x85 it was certainly a referendum on the war on terrorism.

Gillian Findlay: SO YOU THINK HIS VICTORY VINDICATES EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENED?

John Yoo: No. I’ve used that x96 if people disagree with that policy, they certainly could have voted him out of office and voted the Republicans out of the House and the Senate. And there’s no doubt the war on terrorism was front and centre, the primary issue that was being debated in the presidential election. And I’d point out that Senator Kerry could have raised this issue if he’d wanted to and attacked President Bush about it, as some you know some other people did. He certainly chose not to. I think if the people didn’t approve of the policies x96 that’s what elections are for.

A vote for Bush was, in Yoo’s eyes, a democratic ratification of the end of America’s adherence to humane treatment of military detainees. And Kerry was complicit. That latter point is certainly indisputable.

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