he was in favor of gay marriage. He probably has been all along but politics is a repressive mistress. And yesterday North Carolina, where I lived 5 years, decided overwhelmingly to include a ban on gay marriage in its constitution. I do not even have the heart to call my friends there who have been together for more than two decades.
Be the occasion good enough for some worthy considerations. Even though I have just reached 13 years with the S.O., we have never considered marriage. It is a non issue for us unless eventually some insurance benefit would be required. Since I am French, we can consider using the French PACS system if necessary because of course in revolutionary bolibananarian Venezuela there is no provision for gay rights. But does it matter?
The problem that we face here are of a much more worrisome nature. Our right to expression is limited. Our right to information is even more limited now that Internet quality is decaying fast in Venezuela. Let's not discuss our right to life which could be exerted against us any time soon, by just going out to buy a loaf of bread. Our property rights are now limited and even threatened since we cannot rent our property, nor can sell it because there is no use for the money we could get out of such sale.
Our right to free association is limited greatly. First by insecurity which limits our gathering places. But our political right of association are also limited. After all, because of the Tascon list I encountered unexplained delays in some of my legal paperwork. And the S.O., being a public employee could be fired if it ever were known that he associates with people of my ilk, for chavismo a much worse offense than being gay I suppose.
Our health care is dismal as both of us must resort to private health insurance, even if he is a public employee. Of course, forget about any form of joint tax declaration for exemptions. And never mind that if either one of us gets sick, not only the other one will have no power to take decisions, but I am pretty sure that in many circumstances even our families would not be allowed to make medical decisions: if we are sick in a public hospital, well, by the time a decision can be made we may well be dead already......
I can keep going on with more examples on how rights are eroded in Venezuela, from the mere right to go out of the country for a vacation to the ones of buying the type of products I like, which does not mean at all that the restrictions in these rights I used to enjoy has expanded the rights of those that supposedly did not have them before Chavez. And I do not need to bring here domestic or gender related violence cases or beating up of transexuals which do not even seem to make it into statistics anymore.
The point that I am trying to make here is that when I look at the battle for gay marriage in the US I cannot help but think that it is a luxury battle for a country which has basically everything else taken care of. Here, in Venezuela, my battle is now for essential, basic, day to day rights. A sobering perspective, no?
But one thing is certain, be they the conservatives, like Tami Fitzgerald of North Carolina, who used to vote for racist Jesse Helms when I lived there and now attack gay rights, or be the chavistas in charge that even today have no problem emitting homophobic insults that in any civilized country would results in their immediate dismissal, they are one and the same. They are afraid of rights, any rights, because they perceive them as a threat to any power they hold or think they hold. Be they Gary Bauer or Nicolas Maduro, they are the same creeps.