Monday, June 29, 2009

PA State Sen. Eichelberger: "We're allowing them to exist."

From John Morgan at The Pennsylvania Progressive:

"State Senator John Eichelberger says 'we're allowing [gay and lesbian couples] to exist' in a recent radio debate. Today twenty of us confronted him with petitions asking for an apology and he steadfastly refused and ducked behind security so as not to answer questions. The story with video:

"This is an important story we need to get viral. This is as outrageous a homophobic statement as anyone can say. He implies he and the state also have the right to deny our existence. Sen. Eichelberger has introduced legislation writing discrimination into the state constitution by denying the right to marriage and equal rights for GLBT people."
Pretty rad. I'm intrigued. Who's "we"? The PA House? The PA Legislature? The Far Right in PA? In the USA? "We" hets? Who? Exactly who does he mean when he says "We're allowing [gays and lesbians] to exist"? I mean, I think I have a right to know. I do have a pretty big dawg in this fight.

I want to know, because I've long taken seriously the fact that the US Constitution applies to me. Whatever else I am, I am an American. I have certain inalienable rights. Until and unless I am convicted of a felony, I have all the rights enumerated in and implied by the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights.

Predicating this argument on my queerness evades the core point that I am an American. Still more fundamentally, most fundamentally, it evades the core point that I am a human being.

Force a shift in this argument. This isn't about whom I love. This is about who I am.

Seen in that inescapable light, Senator Eichelberger's comment becomes, "we're allowing her to exist." This is both a direct existential threat and an act of treason against the United States Constitution. It is both an implicit promise of violent extermination if his mood changes, and a violation of the one set of principles that makes an American an American.

The reality is that we're allowing Eichelberger to govern. That's profoundly disturbing.


jobsanger said...

You're right. That's as evil a statement as I heard in a long time. By stating he allows certain humans to exist, he's also saying that he doesn't have to allow them to exist. This sounds like a threat to me. He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.

By the way, it's great to have you back!