The leader of a state or the nation should analyze the decisions they make as if they impact their own family. That is why it is most apt to ask the following question, in light of the news today.
How would Governor Scott Walker act if one of his sons were gay?
Governor Walker announced that Wisconsin should no longer be defending the state’s domestic partner registry. While it is one thing for a Governor to make decisions about tax policy, or wind farms it is something else entirely to make judgment calls that strike to the heart of who people are, and who they love.
The news from Walker could only be more hurtful to gay people if we had not been down this road so many times, in so many different ways over the past decades. After all, next to people of color in this nation there is no more discriminated group than gay people. What would we do if someone were not actively seeking to undermine our rights, or reverse laws already on the books?
After predicting around the dinner table that it was only a matter of time before Walker struck out at gay people in Wisconsin, I am only surprised that it took this long to do so. I guess after going after teachers, unions members, the DNR, and recycling program the Governor needed a respite before tackling ‘the gays’.
So when I heard the state no longer wanted to defend the state’s domestic partner registry in court I blinked once, told James the news, and then continued with a household project.
Look, to be honest there are no more slights or slurs about gay rights that stun me anymore. I suspect that most of my fellow gay citizens feel the same. We are wired to deal with disrespect, and have grown accustomed to always needing to fight for basic ingredients of justice that so many in society just simply take for granted. Somehow I think our DNA has been wired for political combat. Lord knows if we did not come wired that way, we learn it fast enough.
Governor Walker stated by his court action that he really could care less about a gay couple having visitation rights in the hospital. For someone who likes to remind us that he came from a religious family, Walker has a strange way of demonstrating it. After Attorney General JB Van Hollen did not have the cojones to defend the registry in court, Walker filed a motion citing a savings for taxpayers by not further defending the registry.
I find it most alarming that my rights, and those of my fellow citizens, have a price tag attached. I think a bedrock conviction from conservatives and liberals alike are that legal protections should not be something that can only be fought for if they come in under budget. That is just laughable.
In addition, Governor Walker stated that he thinks the registry violates the state constitution. I am wondering which of Walker’s college degrees allows him to come to such a conclusion. I was not aware that we have such a learned man serving in the East Wing!
There are a series of legal moves that all sides will try to play out in the coming weeks. As always, caught in the middle are gay people who get up in the morning, work hard and play by the rules, and hope for nothing more than to have the same rights and benefits that other citizens enjoy. Mind you, that was not the case with the state’s registry, as it only allowed for gay couples to attain some of the rights that heterosexual couples take for granted.
I wonder what Governor Walker might think of this matter if one of his sons were gay? Would the same wild partisanship over gay rights seem as appealing to Walker? Would Walker be able to look his gay son in the eye and tell him that his rights did not match up with some budget crunchers at the Department of Administration? Would Walker think his gay son should be treated as a second-class citizen based on who he chooses to love? Would Walker be able to label the registry “unconstitutional” if his son were negatively impacted?
How would Governor Walker act if one of his sons were gay?