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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

I love it when someone agrees with me. -- Const. adm't # 1 court challenge: No more kicking this gift horse in the mouth or biting my friendly hand.

This morning I did a post entitled "Constitutional amendment # 1. In politics -- & const. amendments involve politics -- to get along, sometimes you must go along. For the court challenge, thanks for nothing." This post concluded:

Based on the reasoning of my 11-06-04 post, I think it is obvious that the rewards of successfully challenging the Nov. 2 vote on amendment #1 are minuscule compared with the risks of having the amendment back on the ballot in 2006 when the governor's office is at stake, not to mention state House and Senate races.

If a battle is won in the courts on this issue, the war the gay community risks losing may be far bigger and different from the one identified above.

In politics, to get along, sometimes you have to go along.

I am proud of having taken a stand in trying to be of assistance in getting people to vote "no" on the constitutional amendment. My only wishes are that I could have done more, and that my attempts to help had produced more fruit.

But to those in the gay community responsible for bring the lawsuit, I hereby go on record as saying that what you did on Tuesday in filing the lawsuit -- given Georgia's unique situation involving 2006 -- represents a very shortsighted and selfish act on your part, and one that ignores the expressed wishes and desires of many of us in the non-gay community who have stood by and with you in the past.

For myself and others wishing to join me in saying so, I say thanks for nothing, including what could prove to be both a fleeting and Pyrrhic victory.
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Shortly after publishing my post, someone emailed me that the persons responsible for filing the lawsuit -- the known and likely 2006 consequences be damned -- really didn't care who won in 2006. Rather they just wanted to be in our faces.

I don't know whether I agree with this conclusion, but I do know I am disappointed in the persons who filed this lawsuit, and in the failure of leadership in the gay community that could have had cooler heads prevail. Disappointed is the wrong word. I am sorely you know what. Close even to being mad.

Last week when I pointed out in my 11-06-04 post entitled in part "Let's accept the "no" vote for now," I showed that because:

(1) there is no statute of limitations on a constitutional amendment being declared unconstitutional; and

(2) while we have said that passage of the amendment may hinder companies from attracting employees looking for tolerant and diverse workplaces, representatives from some of the state's largest companies, including United Postal Service and Coca-Cola, have said that approval of the amendment would not change their domestic-partner benefits programs,

there is no rush to go to court now, and given the reality of the situation being that having the amendment declared unconstitutional now will play into the GOP's hands in 2006, putting the Party ahead of our own desires temporarily is for the common good and cause.

(Of course the second reason noted in (2) will disappear once the constitutional amendment is cleared up and does not have the civil union part in it.)

After posting this email I got several emails strongly supporting the logic of my position, a typical one being from my friend Rusty who posted the comment saying "Sid, you're 100 percent right. We have much bigger fish to fry in 2006."

Such supporting emails notwithstanding, I was still concerned that my post of this morning saying that "[i]f a battle is won in the courts on this issue, the war the gay community risks losing may be far bigger and different from the one identified above," might represent an unreasonable position on my own part, ignoring the good counsel my mother always taught me that two wrongs don't make a right.

The implicit risk in my morning email -- whether or not apparent -- was that in pushing the issue at this particular time because of 2006 elections, the gay community may be risking losing the support of the non-gay members of the Democratic Party on this issue.

Having been born colorblind, raised in a Christian family, brought up to respect the rights and feelings of others and to try to live by the Golden Rule and follow the words of the Master and Greatest Teacher of all times who tells us in Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that ye not be judged," not to mention my having several gay friends, I very much resent the gay bashing that constitutional amendment #1 represents.

As I said in this morning's post, this summer when I was asked how I felt about the amendment, I would say that I was going to vote against it not because I am a good Democrat, but because the amendment was nothing but gay bashing, and that someone's perference for life styles was his or her business and not my own. When explained this way, many would nod is seeming agreement.

My concerns of my feelings possibly representing an unreasonable position -- and knowing some would construe my message as a thinly disguised threat or offer for a quid pro quod to the tune of you powers that be drop the lawsuit or risk losing the support of the non-gay members of Party of the People -- disappeared late this afternoon.

My concern disappeared when I came across the following words of advice from a man who was wise beyond his years when he was years ahead of his Party in advocating justice and equality as editor of The Red and Black at the University of Georgia, and gained there a reputation for wisdom and foresight that he continues to enjoy today as the Dean of Georgia Politics and Journalism.
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The following is part of one of Bill Shipp's columns for this week entitled:

Guidelines for reviving the donkey party

* Homosexual activists need to bow out of the spotlight. To almost no one's surprise, the Georgia electorate voted overwhelmingly in favor of banning gay marriages. Some gays have vowed a court challenge to the marriage amendment. They are likely to win. Ironically, a legal victory for the gays would enrapture the religious zealots, who insist on meddling in people's private lives. The nut jobs would make certain the marriage measure reappears on the 2006 ballot to once again galvanize right-wing voters. The marriage amendment should not be treated as the exclusive property of GOP preachers and priests. Democrats, Libertarians and even some Greens also believe firmly in the wisdom and legality of conventional wedlock.

(Oddly, much of the anti-gay-marriage clergy in the South has had little to say about pressing issues of sexual morality in their own calling.)
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Thanks Mr. Shipp. You make me feel less guilty (if that's the correct word, but you know what I mean) about the message of my morning post.

If the lawsuit continues, this gift horse has spoken his piece about the gay bashing, etc., that the constitutional amendment as it appeared on the ballot in Nov. 2004 and as it will once again appear on the ballot in Nov. 2006 represents.

My response, if asked, will be that the people of Georgia have spoken.

Earlier today you read where I quoted from today's PI that had as one of its titles "One more reason to think about your legacy each time you tap out an e-mail."

The topic of the PI piece was just one email that the sender wishes now he had not sent. With this blog I recognize that everything I write is for eternity, for better or for worse. That's fine. You won't find me writing anything that I do not believe is true or in which I do not believe.

Thus my feelings are an open book. And while I might be asked how I feel about constitutional amendment #1 in 2006 (and oh yes, that will be its number again, count of it), I will reply, the people have spoken.

Maybe if you get me off in a group and worked up, you might hear me say how I really feel, about how it is gay bashing against fellow human beings, etc., but for the record, my response will be, the people of Georgia have already spoken on this matter, and thus I am not going to discuss it.

I have always said that if you do the right thing in the wrong way or at the wrong time, it becomes the wrong thing to do.

I just wish we had been able to convey this point of logic, this obvious truth, to those responsible for bringing the court challenge to the amendment.

Not only have the people of Georgia spoken, but -- in the words of the Dean -- I too believe firmly in the wisdom and legality of conventional wedlock.

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