Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Richardson: Gay Rights, VTech Massacre Similarly Tragic

From the delighfully archaic Rep. Dennis Richardson (HD04), file his latest constituent newsletter under Most Shameless Use of Whiny Hyperbole Ever in History, In Any Universe:
A Tragic Week in Review
This past week has been like no other. On Monday the world witnessed the tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. On Tuesday Oregon witnessed the passage of Domestic Benefits for same-sex couples (HB 2007) and Civil Rights based on sexual orientation.
I see. So when we talk about grave tragedies, the opportunity for persons of the same sex to bond to each other in love is an unspeakable horror to Richardson, on roughly the same scale as the brutal murder of 33 people. And let's go ahead and pre-empt any weaseling out of this conflation, on the grounds that "I never said they were of the same tragic weight." When you say it was a tragic week and then mention two news items that occurred in that week, you are saying they are both tragic, and tragic enough together to be mentioned together. Otherwise it might say "...and to top it off, last Thursday I had a nasty case of acid reflux, and the Yankees got swept at Fenway over the weekend."

I could come up with any number of adjectives to describe this noxious juxtaposition--such as ignorant, hateful, paranoid, misinformed, calculating, neanderthal or just plain stupid--but let's just stick with "pathetic" and the more relevant "unworthy of an Oregon legislator." Do we really need to stand by and let him call out his colleague's partnership with another woman a tragedy? I say no. Even if you're not an Oregonian--but especially if you are--it's worth taking a moment and dialing up Rep. Richardson's office and telling him what you think of his vomitous characterization:

Session Address:
900 Court St. NE, H-392
Salem, OR 97301

Session Phone:

I'm frankly not sure who this insults more--the victims at Tech or our newly empowered GLBT friends. But it's fucking insulting all right, and I think he needs to answer for it publicly. There's more ridiculousness in the newsletter, such as his totally unsubstantiated claims that:
if violent killers, such as this madman, had no guns available to them, they would accomplish their vicious goals using some other means--explosives, deadly poisons, chemicals or otherwise. Such isolated acts of extreme violence are a sad commentary on the deprived level to which our society has devolved. [I think he means 'depraved'...!]
In Virginia it is illegal for students to be armed on campus; the only person with a gun was the shooter. If the madman had started shooting on a Utah campus, it is likely there would have been fewer casualties, and the shooter’s death would not have been by suicide.
but those are really just run of the mill NRA talking points. Feel free to complain about that too, although there he's really just wrong, not shameful. But gays and their allies should stand up immediately and repudiate Rep. Richardson for even THINKING up something so dumb as to compare a bloody massacre with the recognition of human rights. Do something about it.