Hardball's Chris Matthews Eggs Prez Hopeful Allen's AntiGay Bigotry On
I was rather insulted by your tee-heeing response to Sen. George Allen's foundationless assessment of how Mr. Jefferson would regard equal access to civil marriage for same-sex couples if he were alive today.
While Mr. Jefferson's views on gay people are appalling when viewed through the lens of today's knowledge of human sexual orientation, they were based on the best science he had available to him at the time and were the most progressive views of his time. Mr. Jefferson's pursuit of the best scientific knowledge never ceased to the end of his days. He was, in addition, a champion of the rights of the individual and was the author of the document that is foundational to the penumbral rights of the Constitution. He was, as well, this nation's most critical legal foe of the mixing of church and state.
There is thus no basis in fact to believe that Mr. Jefferson would not hold the most scientifically sound, psychosocially and legally progressive views on the subject if he were alive today and would thus recognize that denying same-sex couples equal access to laws regarding civil marriage -- especially in the oft-proven absence of those things necessary for the government to block such equal access to this long recognized as fundamental a right -- is unconstitutional and anti-Jeffersonian.
The organizations of Mr. Jefferson's descendants -- both those that recognize Hemings descendancy and those that do not -- do recognize the life-partners of gay descendants as Jefferson family members, including those life-partners who are domestic partners, those who are religiously married to the descendants in lieu of civil marriage availability, and, most recently, those who have availed themselves of civil unions and civil marriages in Canada, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
I expected ignorance-and-partisan-fueled bigotry from Sen. Allen. I did not expect chuckling encouragement of it from you, who ought to know better. In so doing, you have insulted me; my wife (religious of twenty-five years and civil of nearly three); my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Mr. Jefferson; and the rest of my family who value the rule of law as well as the bonds of love and family so amply displayed in my marriage and the unions of our many other gay cousins (despite that some of our family have failed in the latter where our Hemings-related double-half-cousinhood is concerned).
Please do not make this error of historical analysis in the future.
Mrs. Marla Jefferson Randolph Stevens