Truth to Power

Just in case you thought you were human

“Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity”

George Eliot

Hospital visitation rights for same sex couples under threat in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) this week asked a judge if the state may stop defending a law that gives citizens in same sex relationships the right to visit their partner if they’re in a hospital.

Passed by Democrats in 2009, the state’s domestic partnership registry was meant to give same sex couples more rights. While it succeeded in doing so, rights for domestic partners in Wisconsin do not rise to the level of special rights granted by marriage.

It allows anyone to register a domestic partner with the state, who can then visit them in the hospital, make key end-of-life decisions and inherit property in the event of one partner’s death.

Gov. Walker contends that this is unconstitutional. According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examination of the governor’s legal brief, he claims that allowing partners these basic rights does not serve “the public interest,” insisting that the state should not have to pay attorneys to defend it.</em>

In a larger sense, Walker is right, the state shouldn’t have to “defend” the law- because there never should have been a law to begin with. The state has no business regulating the private actions of two people regarding anything that two consenting adults choose to do. It’s that simple. If they wish to wed, record it in a book and move on. If one wishes to die in the arms of their lover, who is so grotesquely swelled with power to think they have any input into that situation at all? We have a word for such people.


To inflict pain upon people for no reason save that you can, that is sadism. It is cruelty personified. It is an attempt to degrade and dehumanize another, simply because at some irrational, root level, you’re threatened by the very existence of someone different than yourself. Be it religion or environment, somewhere along the line ignorant, sadistic people got it in their head that they actually have an input into those most private of moments of other people, that somehow they are less than you.

Less than human.

Governor Walker has already proven himself nothing more than a corporate lackey, a whore to power who cares nothing at all for the people of his state, excepting those who installed him in power in order to rob the state blind and kill unions. And he’s been justly vilified for it, too. But here’s what I want Walker to do. I want him to visit any hospital in Wisconsin, find a gay couple, and I want him to sit with the partner who isn’t ill- in the waiting room, or the parking lot, wherever “such people” are “allowed” to sit, and I want him to listen to their pain. The pain they feel when a loved one is suffering. The pain of helplessness that grips us all when another is ill. And finally, to feel the pain they do when yet again, someone tells them that they aren’t quite human enough to merit dignity. Or love. Or, in the very least, tolerance. You sit there, Walker, and look in their eyes, and see their tears. I would hope it might change your notion of “public interest”.

It would help, I guess, if you were human.

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