A bill to protect marriage equality passed in the U.S. House recently and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is raring to get it passed in the Senate. Which would be nice! (And which would also be more likely if senators would stop getting Covid).
For some reason, someone asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) what he thought about the bill and his response was that it was a “stupid waste of time.”
Forgive me if I do not think that my marriage and the protection it affords me, and my family is a “stupid waste of time.” That’s pretty offensive, actually.
And it turns out a lot of the people who are threatened by the right-wing Supreme Court and radicalized Republican Party’s obsession with undoing marriage equality are also offended.
One of these people is Transportation Secretary and married gay Pete Buttigieg.
Buttigieg told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union on July 24th, “If [Rubio]’s got time to fight against Disney, I don’t know why he wouldn’t’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine. But this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me.”
Of course, we know Rubio’s dismissal of marriage equality has nothing to do with time constraints and everything to do with him being a spineless cheerleader for Christian extremism and an apologist for a failed president who famously said that Rubio had a small d*ck on national television.
Buttigieg then began to describe how he spent his morning giving breakfast to his twins and allowing his husband a small break.
“It was one of those days where the tray table wasn’t quite fitting into the highchair and I’m trying to make sure that they’re busy enough with their little cereal puffs to give me enough time to chop up the banana and get the formula ready,” he said. “And it just, I don’t know, that half hour in the morning had me thinking about how much I depend on and count on my spouse every day.”
It brought me back to when my son was a baby. Those early days, my wife and I were SO TIRED because having a child (let alone twins) is exhausting. It’s wonderful, sure, but it’s so, so much work. Having a spouse who is a good co-parent means everything. My wife and I will have been together 25 years as of Sept. 1. That’s a lot of years. And we’ve been through a lot together. Committing to being there for someone you love through the inevitable ups and downs of life is hardly a waste of time.
“Our marriage deserves to be treated equally,” Buttigieg continued. “And I don’t know why this would be hard for a senator or a congressman. I don’t understand how such a majority of House Republicans voted no on our marriage as recently as Tuesday, hours after I was in a room with a lot of them, talking about transportation policy, having what I thought were perfectly normal conversations with many of them on that subject, only for them to go around the corner and say that my marriage doesn’t deserve to continue.”
Of course, we all know why this is hard for Republicans. It’s because they have made vilifying and dehumanizing LGBTQ+ people a campaign strategy because they do not have any policies to address things like inflation, gas prices, climate change, gun violence, poverty, public education, and on and on. They have NOTHING. This is not a party of ideas. This is a party of obstruction. And a party of pain in that cruelty is the point. It’s what they do best. Even better when they can pretend, they’re doing it in the name of Christianity.
And if Republicans are so concerned about “time,” Buttigieg said, “they can vote ‘yes’ and move on. And that would be really reassuring for a lot of families around America, including mine.” Rubio responded to Buttigieg via a video in which he said, “I’m not going to focus on the agenda that [is] dictated by a bunch of affluent, elite liberals and a bunch of Marxist misfits who, sadly, today control the agenda of the modern Democratic Party.”
Never mind that the Republican party is dominated by white supremacists who consider it their Christian duty to seize power over this nation by any means necessary. There’s a word for that. And it sure as hell isn’t “misfits.”
There are a lot of things that are a waste. But protecting LGBTQ+ families is not one of them.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.