hey todd a!

nathan-bedford-forrest-statue-nashville-tn

It’s not just the Confederate Flag

29 June 2015

(1) Franklin, Tennessee

Last winter, my girlfriend and I visited my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee and toured a few Civil War battlegrounds and cemeteries south of town. We stopped in a store that sold children’s toys dedicated to the Civil War: Confederate and Union army caps, toy troops, et cetera.

Back at my parents’ house, we talked about the day with my mother. We brought up the fact that my girlfriend, a Californian, had not been taught much about the Civil War (and certainly, not anything about the South’s remembrance of it). My mother shed light on why the South remembers the Civil War so much: because the war obliterated the South. (more…)

Marriage is so gay

26 June 2015

IMG_20150626_084215Eleven years ago, the Tennessee legislature was voting to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. So fragile was this institution of heterosexual marriage that it required the force of the state to defend it. Seven years ago, I moved to California and watched the state go through the same thing with Proposition 8.

I railed against Tennessee’s manuevers in 2004 and the conservatives defending the move to ban gay marriage and I wondered how much money was involved in fighting gay marriage in California in 2008.

So the Supreme Court’s striking down of state gay marriage bans today is a relief. It is also relevant in a week when discussion over removing the Confederate Flag has brought up that terrible concept of “state’s rights” again. There are no “state’s rights,” only individual rights.

And though I have no faith in judges and politicians to uphold individual rights, I am relieved that I don’t have to argue for gay marriage again anytime soon.