Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Heartless bastard

There’s really no word or expression severe enough to adequately convey the contempt in which some politicians ought to be held. Such politicians are actually beneath contempt, which is probably why the task of finding just the right epithet is so difficult. Rhode Island’s Governor Donald Carcieri is precisely that kind of despicable politician.

Carcieri is virulently opposed to same-sex marriage, so much so that he signed up with a national anti-gay front group for the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches. He also spoke before an anti-gay hate group in another state that opposes civil unions/domestic partnerships as well as same-sex marriage. Carcieri is, of course, a Republican and strident Catholic, all of which plays into his anti-gay stance.

Today Carcieri vetoed a bill to allow gay people to make funeral arrangements for their deceased partners. Yeah, he’s that kind of homophobic, heartless bastard.

In his veto statement, Carcieri declared:
“A one year time period for any relationship is not a sufficient length of duration to establish a serious, lasting bond between two individuals to supplant the surviving individual over traditional family members relative to the sensitive personal traditions and issues regarding funeral arrangement, burial rights, and disposal of human remains. Many casual relationships last for longer than a year.”
He’s right: One year isn’t very long. One slight problem with his twisted logic: A heterosexual who knows their partner for one minute can get married to another heterosexual of the opposite gender and instantly get the benefits that Carcieri thinks gay people in a relationship shouldn’t ever have.

Carcieri also declared:
“…it is uncertain how it would be ascertained in many circumstances whether couples had been in a relationship for a year. There is no official or recognized form of domestic agreement in Rhode Island. What constitutes a domestic partnership agreement or ‘relationship contract’ is vague and ill-defined.”
Golly! Rhode Islanders must be especially dim. I guess no one in that state would ever think of getting a will, a power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a living will—no, it’s impossible—clearly impossible—to determine if two people of the same gender are in a relationship.

Finally, and most tellingly, he preached:
"Finally, this bill represents a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage, which is not the preferred way to approach this issue. If the General Assembly believes it would like to address the issue of domestic partnership, it should place the issue on the ballot and let the people of the State of Rhode Island decide."
Carcieri wants a referendum because he believes that he and his extremist religious cronies can lie, cheat, defame and smear their way to victory. As it happens, the Rhode Island legislature is working on a marriage equality law, which Carcieri has, of course, sworn to veto.

So, let’s review: Donny Carcieri so hates gay people that he doesn’t even want to let gay couples have a smidgeon of dignity during the most terrible time the surviving partner will experience. Because to Donny, it’s far better to treat gay Rhode Islanders like sub-humans.

Let’s put a human face on Carcieri’s abomination: In 2008, Ron Hanby took his own life. His partner of 17 years, Mark Goldberg, tried to show officials "our wills, living wills, power of attorney and marriage certificate [from Connecticut], but, of course, "no one was willing to see these documents.” Instead, under state law that Carcieri ensured remains intact, officials had to search for real relatives (by blood or heterosexual marriage only).

The medical examiner waited a week, then advertised looking for relatives, then waited another week before finally notifying other state agencies that they had an “unclaimed body” (remember, under Rhode Island law, Goldeberg couldn’t claim the body of his partner). Finally, four weeks later, a state employee "took pity on me and my plight—reviewed our documentation and was able to get all parties concerned to release Ron's body to me," and only then could he finally claim his partner’s body.

It wasn’t over: He couldn’t get Hanby cremated—not a real relative, remember—so he had to take his partner’s body to Massachusetts to finally carry out Hanby’s wishes.

Okay, Carcieri, maybe you can explain this to me: How can you hate gay people so much that you condone that inhuman treatment? How can you claim to be a good Catholic, yet be filled with such anti-Christian attitudes? Better yet, answer just this: How can you live with yourself?

Carcieri isn’t fit to for any elective office in any civilised country. Rhode Island almost got rid of him in the 2006 election. I suppose the positive is that they’ll soon be rid of this sanctimonious, self-righteous and heartless bastard. His ignominy will live on, however.

And for those who still don’t get it, this is why marriage equality in America matters.

A tip o' the hat to Joe.My.God where I originally found the veto story.


Anonymous said...

This makes me so angry yet grateful that I live in New Zealand. Hoepfully the States can catch up with us. Good post Arthur - Sue

Roger Owen Green said...

Bastard is right. Idiot would do as well. Not to mention my favorite curse, a**hole.

Arthur Schenck said...

Apparently, this guy has now said he's willing to consider supporting domestic partnerships, like Washington state's recently voter-upheld "everything but the name" marriage equivalent. This is despite earlier suggesting voters should decide on whether gay people should be allowed to have rights or not.

Personally, I don't believe he means it: He attended a fundraiser for New England's vicious anti-gay hate group (named as such by the Southern Poverty Law Center), MassResistance, based in Massachusetts. So, I don't believe for a second he really means it.

And yes, Sue, I'm glad to be living in a country where we just don't have this nonsense. And Roger, I did use that epithet in the filename for the photo.