For all the talk during the campaign about the importance of electing someone with extensive experience in middle management and outsourcing to the US Senate, it seems Senator Daines is less interested in working to improve the economy than he is in imposing his narrowminded, bigoted moral view about the rights of LGBT Americans. Hell, he’s so committed to the idea of punishing LGBT people for the crime of being in love and wanting to spend their lives together that he’s even willing to raise their taxes—and deny gay members of the military the right to benefits enjoyed by all service men and women.
Daines signed onto “Calgary” Ted Cruz’s State Marriage Defense Act, which would, according to David Badash take out all federal guidelines and laws that recongize gay marriages and encourage some rootin’ tootin’ nullification in the event the Supreme Court recognizes that LGBT Americans are human beings entitled to equal rights and deserve to be able to marry:
First, redefine marriage at the federal level to remove from hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples the federal government’s recognition of their marriages, and thus, any corresponding federal benefits they are afforded, now or in the future. And second, should the U.S. Supreme Court not find a right to marriage for same-sex couples, encourage states that do not wish to recognize those marriages to potentially nullify them.
Conservatives know they are on the wrong side of history on this issue and recognize that they can only scare older voters with the specter of gay marriage for a few more cycles, but are hellbent on using it to gin up support from gullible bigots for as long as they can. They use gay marriage the same way televangelists bilk their audience, by invoking terrifying images of human love and offering the salvation of symbolic, bigoted legislation.
Daines should be ashamed of himself, and not just because he’s fighting on the wrong side of march towards human equality, but because he has to know that this crusade is as nonsensical as it is wrong. In his press conference, Cruz called for a defense of “traditional marriage,” which even if you believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old, means a lot than protecting heterosexual marriage. Just a few generations ago, “traditional marriage” meant that whites could not marry blacks; a few generations before that, it meant that women could not divorce, except under extraordinary circumstances; a few hundred years earlier, it meant children marrying, and in Biblical times, it meant polygamy. Cruz and Daines are hardly defending “traditional” marriage; they are defending their religion’s current version of marriage—and nothing else.
We have a long, sordid history in this country of conservative bigots using the mantra of states’ rights to impose their hateful views on the rest of us. What Senator Daines is endorsing here is no different, just worse because the rest of society has evolved (sorry, Steve!) so much.