I wrote yesterday about two progressive Domestic Violence laws ratified by the General Assembly this week. Many of you were touched by the issue as a whole. I was trying to shine at least a dim light on the people who help women get out of destructive abusive or violent relationships.
In recent weeks, others here at blueNC have written eloquently about the outlandish and discriminatory 'Defense of Marriage' laws and constitutional ammendments currently being pushed by mindless dogmatic radicals like Called2Action and Fred Smith.
Those are two issues, mildly related, but independent enough that one couldn't overlap the other.
Today these two issues, Domestic Violence and Defense of Marriage, fell all over each other in Ohio.
The short story is this: Because a young woman was never married to her abuser, Ohio's Domestic Violence laws no longer protected her. Why? Because Ohio's Defense of Marriage law now disallows that protection to unmarried couples.
I wanted to come here and point folks to two posts at Daily Kos about this insanity. I'm not meaning to discuss either issue in detail today. I'd just like to shine a wider spotlight on the sort of unintended consequences we strap ourselves and our communities with when fear of being called bad names shuts us up ... citizens and legislators.
This is what happens when we allow the radical right to bully and run roughshod over our legislative process:
Bad things happen to innocent people.
[If any of my fingers are pointing, trust me, they are all pointing directly at me alone.]
In the fight to discriminate against gays and lesbians by barring them from legal marriages, Ohio voters approved a DOMA law which was then enacted in 2004. Ohio's constitution now reads:
"This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."
The separate, unequal treatment of domestic violence in Ohio means that women will die - as Alicia was murdered -- simply because they did not have a marriage certificate, a piece of paper.
And from Got a Grip comes this diary; a story about a woman, her life, her choices, her successes, her mistakes, her victories and her demise.
A young woman will be buried today. ... Her children have lost the mother whom they loved and depended on. ... A terrible tragedy has occurred, .... And the most tragic thing of all is that it need never have happened, it could have been prevented.......