Dan Weaver is Wrong!

This is for Dan Weaver of the Upstream & Downtown blog who for reasons unknown to this writer, has not posted my response to his inflammatory blog entry grilling Alderman Wills for supporting Marriage Equality:

How dare you turn this into a political debate? This issue is about civil rights and equality. Politicians have used Marriage Equality as a poker chip for too long now. It is time that we pass this resolution and if local government can show its support, why shouldn’t they? What better marketing tool can the City of Amsterdam have than to say we care about the civil rights and equality of our residents? This is the kind of marketing that needs no budget.

It is easy to say this is someone else’s issue, but in reality, it’s everyone’s issue. It is time that we deal with this issue as unpleasant as it is for some. It is not whether your religion agrees or does not agree with the principal of same-sex marriage, for religions will be free to discriminate as they have for hundreds of years. This is about our State Government holding true to the non-discrimination laws they have in place, to afford the same State rights to same-sex couples as they do heterosexual couples. This is a goal of Governor Cuomo who asks everyone to stand up and urge our Legislators to support Marriage Equality.

Before 1967, it was illegal for interracial couples to marry in the United States. People used the same religious and moral arguments to fight against legalization. In the end the rational majority prevailed.

Alderman Wills was bold enough to stand up and accept my challenge to support Marriage Equality and I am proud of him for doing so. He was the only member of our City Council that even responded to my request. After comments from Troy City Councilman Ken Zalewski, Mayor Thane also added her support.

Note: Dan Weaver has expressed his opinion about gays on his blog 6/20/2009:

“The fact that I oppose homosexuality does not necessarily make me a bigot either anymore than the fact that I oppose drug addiction makes me bigoted against drug addicted people, nor does it mean I hate homosexuals or drug addicts.”

With this statement Dan suggests that homosexuality is somehow a choice like taking drugs, sorry Dan, it is not.  That is why New York State instituted anti-discrimination laws to protect sexual orientation from people who oppose it.  Comparing gays with something as negative as drug addicts is a tactic used by bigots to support their irrational opinions.

I oppose bigots but that does not mean I hate Dan Weaver.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Media, Politics

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10 thoughts on “Dan Weaver is Wrong!

  1. Alayne

    Some folks just don’t get it Jerry. Don’t let these people get you down, you are better than that.

  2. I try not to, but I have had to deal with discrimination and bigotry all of my life. The support Resolution for Marriage Equality was pulled prior to tonight’s Common Council Meeting because of a lack of support from the Aldermen. The pastor and two other members of The Family Bible Church came to the meeting spewing hate and bible thumping. One even suggesting Same sex marriage would lead to bestiality.

    I really thought Amsterdam was more progressive and forward thinking than what I witnessed tonight.

    What most people don’t realize is that same-sex marriages performed in Canada, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington DC and Iowa are recognized in New York State as valid marriages per directive from Governor Patterson to all State Agencies. This directive has held up in court. When this issue is no longer politicized, maybe it will become a reality. When people realize that religion and government are indeed separate, we will be a more tolerant Country.

    • Alayne

      Just so you know Jerry, Diane H. had some very kind things to say about you after you left.

      • A big thank you to Diane Hatzenbuhler!
        There is a difference between expressing your opinion about a resolution and hate speech in the name of religion designed to denigrate a class of people.

        • Diane

          You are welcome Jerry. People must be accepted for who they are, and when that happens then we can move forward.

  3. Bill Wills

    Gerry once again I apologize for our inaction on your request. We often send these type of resolutions to our Legislature and Governor in support or not of items on their agenda. However, I too was surprised of the out cry by some apparently blinded by the issue itself. It is an equal rights issue. Our ForeFathers were very smart in trying to achieve a separation of Church and State as was not apparent at last night’s meeting. Some of our beliefs in the faith we profess do contradict what our Government allows or not. However, Government has to look at issues like this one from a broader stance so as not to discriminate unfairly groups and/or individuals that have different feelings. We are not a one faith nation. We are a nation of different and diverse faiths. Our country is based upon freedom for all which is why former Vice President Dick Cheney concluded that marriage equality is about freedom. Acceptance of opposing views, beliefs, and opinions is what we are all about here in America. That is why we are so strong as a nation because when the time comes to defend this country of ours there is no discrimination in the ranks of our fighting men and women.

    • I appreciate your effort Bill and understand the position you were in. Government should not be influenced by any one particular religious group, just as they should not be influencing government. Religious groups that lobby government to push their discriminatory and hateful agenda should have their tax exempt status pulled.
      Too many Americans are not familiar with the provisions of the 1st Amendment which states that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. We are not a christian nation as many believe nor are we “one nation under god” as was illegally added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. The Original Pledge was written in 1892. As individuals in a free nation we are free to choose any religion or none at all. We are all equally American whether we believe in God, Allah, Buddha or no religion at all.
      All Americans should be free to love whomever they choose and be entitled to all the rights and benefits governments choose to bestow.

  4. Pingback: Over before it starts | The Venner Vox

  5. Dan Szabo Jr

    You’re half right. It is NOT a political issue for a CITY COUNCIL. It is certainly a political issue for our state government. And their are 11 Million Christians in NY that would agree it is a religious issue, as well. C’mon Wills, stop the political grandstanding. You’re campaign should be based on your accomplishments.

    • I’m not debating religious groups Dan, they have no place in government. They remain free to discriminate however they see fit, in their places of worship. When they infringe upon my rights as a taxpaying citizen, then there is a problem. This issue is much larger than Alderman Wills campaign.

      A very wise politician from Troy had this to say:

      Hi Jerry,
      I am so sorry to hear that Amsterdam’s elected officials could not find the courage and conviction to stand up for what is right and just.

      Did any of them watch the speech by Senator Savino, where she made the case for same-sex marriage in such a simple and straightforward manner?

      The “Family Bible Church” folks seem to have forgotten what love is really all about. They might want to visit Troy, where several of our churches have come out in support of marriage equality. These religious leaders and congregations understand that stable, loving relationships are the foundation of a strong society.

      There is a lie that the bigots continue to perpetuate: That same-sex marriage will somehow “destroy the sanctity of marriage”. Most intelligent folks laugh at that sentiment. Marriage has been under attack for decades now – but not from the gay community. Domestic abuse, infidelity, gold-digging, divorce, and so on – have chipped away at the institution long before gay people wanted to have a shot at it. The fact that LGBT people want to participate in the institution of marriage will only strengthen it. But the “one man one woman” folks don’t want you to know that. It doesn’t suit their political purposes.

      We’ve heard all the tired and refuted logic before: “Gay marriage will destroy the sanctity of marriage.” “Gay marriage does not result in procreation, so it shouldn’t be sanctioned.” “Gay marriage is not allowed in the bible.” “Gay marriage leads to bestiality.”

      I don’t need to explain why these arguments are without merit. Any person with a functioning brain can figure this out.

      A final note that might bring you some solace. There WILL be a day in our beloved country when all couples, regardless of their gender, will be able to have their relationship officially recognized by their government as a marriage. It might be next year, or ten years from now, or twenty years from now, but it WILL happen. The world is not waiting for the U.S.A., as gay people can get married in several countries around the world (even Argentina!). But we WILL catch up, because the march toward equality never moves backwards.

      At that time, you will be vindicated, and the short-sighted folks on your Common Council will have to face the truth that they were on the wrong side of this issue.

      I would not want to live my life knowing that I supported the denial of civil marriage rights to decent, loving human beings, only to be proven wrong years later.

      But that’s just me.

      -kz

      Ken Zalewski
      Councilman, District 5

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