Measured Against Reality

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More unbelievable anti-gay bigotry

Try reading this without having your blood pressure raised:

Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond had planned to take their three children on a family cruise. The Olympia, Washington couple had been together 18 years and with their children were looking forward to the holiday.

But just as they were about to depart on the cruise from Miami, Florida. Pond, a healthy 39-year-old, suddenly collapsed. She was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami with Langbehn and the children following close behind.

But once Langbehn and the children arrived at the hospital the hospital refused to accept information from her about Ponds's medical history.

Langbehn says she was informed that she was in an antigay city and state, and she could expect to receive no information or acknowledgment as family.

A doctor finally spoke with Janice telling her that there was no chance of recovery.

Other than one five minute visit, which was orchestrated by a Catholic priest at Langbehn's request to perform last rites, and despite the doctor's acknowledgement that no medical reason existed to prevent visitation, neither she nor her children were allowed to see Pond until nearly eight hours after their arrival.

Soon after Pond''s death, Langbehn tried to get her death certificate in order to get life insurance and Social Security benefits for their children. She was denied both by the State of Florida and the Dade County Medical Examiner.

If that had happened to a straight, unmarried couple, could you imagine the reaction? The backlash would be harsh and immediate. The staff would probably all be fired, or at least suspended. But just because they're the same sex, they have these impossible burdens to put up with. It's a crying shame.

I've posted this before, and I'll probably post it again, but it summarizes how I feel so perfectly:

In the late 1700s some people wanted democratic rule. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that the king ruled by God's will.

In the mid 1800s some people wanted to end slavery. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that God approved of slavery.

In the early 1900s some people wanted to give women the vote. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that God made women inferior to men.

In the mid 1900s some people wanted to end segregation. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved God wanted to keep the races separate.

When you look back at how your parents and grandparents dealt with these things, are you ashamed or proud?

Now some people want to allow gay marriage. Conservative elements of the church are pointing to the Bible and saying it proves God hates homosexuality.

When your children and grandchildren look back at how you deal with this, will they be ashamed or proud?

Granted, it's not entirely religious people who are anti-gay, but there is some correlation. We need to stand up to bigotry, and when its source is religion, call it out. And we should ally ourselves with the sensible, moderate religious figures who realize that gay people are people too.

We simply won't have justice in this country until all people truly are equal. I know we face many difficult problems, but rampant, institutionalized intolerance must be high up on the list.

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  • What a tragic story. It's amazing that this could happen in 21st century America, "land of the free."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:15 PM, February 23, 2008  

  • I'm tired of politicians using religion and Christianity to justify how they want to govern. There is a thing known of as "seperation of church and state," but I guess that we have to be aware of fredom of speech as well...a fine line I guess. I am a cinviced, believing Christian, but I am intelligebt about it.

    Most Christan (mostly Fundamentalists) are completely unaware of the historical context of the bible. They are just told what to believe, mostly by people who prey on them and have no theological training. Every theologian agrees on the importance of reading and understanding the Bible in its historical and cultural context. When considered in this way, the life of Jesus and everyone in the old testament is unimaginable in modern times, though the teaching of Jesus are beneficial when understood in our time in history. I am a convinced Christian and I don’t agree (call me conservative) with all of the fundamentalists that promote murder, polygamy, torture, incest, and idol worship. If you want to be a Fundamentalist and disregard the historicity of the Bible, then you agree with all that is in it and thus know that many sanctioned people of God in the Old Testament had several wives, had sex with their children, and killed their relatives (the poor kids that did not obey their parents). Oh wait, they probably don’t agree with that.

    It is convenient to use the historical argument for that, but not for the issue of homosexuality. Please worship God and follow Jesus out of love and devotion, rather than what is convenient for you.

    By Blogger Jos76, at 7:05 PM, March 05, 2008  

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