The Arizona immigration law

Maine doesn’t get a lot of immigrants. Some groups from Mexico come up in the summer to (mostly) pick blueberries, and a lot of people from Quebec find themselves working on the coast around the same time, but there just isn’t a big foreign population in Maine, even when considering migrant workers. That said, it’s obvious even from all the way up here that there are some serious issues with Arizona’s new immigration law.

Under the new Arizona law, immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. That is a significant escalation of the typical federal punishment for being here illegally – deportation.

1) People can just lie and claim to be native. Police can do nothing.
2) If another crime has been committed, however, and the person lies about being an immigrant (even a legal one), that is another charge that can be brought against the person. When natives lie to the police, however, the ramifications are significantly less.
3) Freed black people in the 1860’s had to carry documentation showing that they were no longer slaves.

More immature sexuality from a Christian

Immature sexual views are rampant among the religious. One of the worst is that sex is only for marriage. That ignores the fact of how important sex ought to be in a relationship. It need not be the most important connection between a couple – and that will vary, I suspect with most preferring a close emotional relation first – but it is plainly silly to claim that it isn’t an important enough aspect for couples to physically explore before making a commitment as legally serious as marriage. It’s fortunate that more and more people are moving from this childish point of view, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others who hold immature views on sexuality.

As I said, sometimes sex is just sex; it’s what you do when you are married. Just like cleaning the toilet is what you do to keep your house clean…and I bet you don’t have this great desire or huge emotional connection to scrubbing the porcelain! You do it because it needs to be done and that’s the way it is with married sex… it does need to be done! It’s the glue that God gave us to bond us to one another. The bible is very clear that it is your responsibility as a spouse.

Got that? The Bible says that even if sex is like scrubbing a toilet, you ought to do it. Life isn’t about being fulfilled; it’s all about the procreation. Even though the only procreation allowed must occur under specific guidelines.

Totally makes sense.

Obama expands rights for all

I’m not sure how I managed to miss this story, but Obama has expanded visitation rights in hospitals that will primarily benefit gay couples.

The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night.

Administration officials and gay activists, who have been quietly working together on the issue, said the new rule, once in place, will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding, a move that covers the vast majority of the nation’s health care institutions.

While those who irrationally hate gays because they think homosexuality is all about sex (and that’s just icky!) are going to paint this as special rights for gays, it is an expansion of rights for all.

Obama’s memo to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius orders the development of new rules to ensure that hospitals “respect the rights of patients to designate visitors” and to choose the people who will make medical decisions on their behalf.

This is common sense. Even with legal documents in place, gays and some unmarried straight couples still face horrific discrimination in hospitals. Specifically, this recent memo is in response to the case of Lisa Pond and Janice Langbehn.

Ms. Pond had filed a living will, a binding legal document, that appointed Ms. Langbehn to make medical decisions for her should she become too ill to speak for herself.

But even after copies of that document were faxed to the Florida hospital where Ms. Pond was dying, nurses refused to allow Ms. Langbehn and the couple’s three children into the room.

It is difficult to imagine that a heterosexual couple — even an unmarried heterosexual couple with a similarly long-standing relationship — would be treated the same way.

In another case (from the same link), a couple had designated each other as the person in charge of medical decisions should the other become ill.

Like Ms. Pond, Ms. Ritchie had a living will that designated her partner to make medical decisions for her. But hospital officials wouldn’t provide Ms. Reed with any information on her partner’s condition. Without that information, she couldn’t possibly make informed medical decisions, as Ms. Ritchie had intended.

Things like this are the successes of bigoted voters who go to the ballot box thinking they’re protecting some institution. This isn’t about abstract social constructs. It is about human beings. This goes beyond the petty narrow-mindedness that pervades so many; the happiness of others is what matters. Equal rights for all will increase happiness while not affecting the currently privileged one bit.

What is so damned hard about this? Institutions matter only insofar as they protect people.