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Call It Love, But Please Don't Insist on Calling It Marriage

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But that is what I predicted before the first failed closure vote on DADT Repeal, and I see no reason to change that. We'll all be looking at what happens to DOMA, of course.

But none of that would have mattered if a comprehensive, properly written bill covering same-sex domestic partnerships had been presented to Congress in 2009.

I prefer to call such a partnership a civil union. After all, both of my straight marriages have been just that! (My 1970s gay marriage was necessarily unofficial...)

I don't want to get married again. My long-time man and I strongly agree that we will only have an official partnership if it is the law of the land, and pragmatically speaking, the way to write a comprehensive federal civil-rights legislation is to not call it marriage.

But cutting back to the unpleasant political present, we have the problem of the Republican Party making serious efforts to hijack the gay Democratic vote. Shills like one inhabitant of our discussion board pseudo-named "Trent," a supposed gay in Washington DC, a Republican disinformationalist posing as a gay activist (or else he is really so conflicted he actually believes what he is saying). Trent bashes Democrats, especially Obama and Eric Holder, and supports now-declared Republican candidate for President Fred Karger, and others are working to both depress the Democratic turnout and get gays disgusted enough with the not-do-enough Democrats to cut their uh-huhs off to spite their faces and vote Republican in 2012.

Those who act in haste are condemned to repent at leisure, my mother told me long ago.

As I said in my recent OpEd News column (The Real Significance of DADT Repeal: Not A Victory!), it is a measure of these disinformationalists' success that there is any debate whatsoever about which Party does or does not (however lukewarmly it may seem) champion the interests of gay people.

I will repeat this encomium of political pragmatism until I pass, and I hope my old mentor Dr. Howard Zinn is listening: it doesn't matter what you call a comprehensive bill of civil rights. What matters is that you get the rights, not that you get to call it what you want to.

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My name is William Perkins Homans the third, but probably more people know me as the bluesman (and artist) Watermelon Slim.

Please visit my website, www.watermelonslim.com, and especially you writers will be interested in checking out my blog, which I've been doing regularly for more than five years now.

A lot of it is writing from the musical trail for my fans, but there's a whole bunch of other stuff, including a lot of politics, because I am that Watermelon Slim who played "Taps" at the December 16 action, in the blizzard, and at the recent civil disobedience. I was arrested at both.

I've been in the fight against war, fascism, injustice and inhumanity for 40 years. I was at MayDay, and at the moratorium March the week before. I was one of the leaders of the Great New Jersey Turnpike Stall on my birthday, April 25, 1971.

I bear the scar on my left shin from a neoNazi jackboot, when I was one of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War who bounced the NSWPP from Flamingo Park at the Republican National Convention of 1972. My father fought the Nazis in the North Atlantic and Anzio, and I met their spawn in Miami.

My formal education has been first-rate. I wouldn't trade my degrees for Harvard ones. I was raised in the finest private Catholic and Episcopal high schools.

Elementary School: Gibbons Hall, Asheville, North Carolina

High Schools: Asheville Scholl for Boys, Asheville Country Dat, Lenox School for Boys. Graduated with honors 1968.

College: Middlebury College, 1968-DNG; ended up in Vietnam by August of 1969 after failing, dropping out, enlisting in the Army and volunteering for Vietnam deployment.

I came back to the USA in 1970, rank private E-2, with a general discharge under honorable conditions for having naively told my company CO that I had missed a formation because I'd been sleeping with a fellow GI (I am bisexual). I was just ashamed I missed the formation, and wanted the captain to know why.

I was way, seriously naive. I appealed for my retention, but it was not to be.

But I was already living way outside the box. I was incompletely trained by the Army. I was an experimenter, and I suppose LSD was among the greatest experiments. LOL.

The combination of my exposures to LSD and to the writings of the English evolutionary existentialist philosopher and prolific author Colin Wilson, plus a lifelong interest in psychology, are among the bases of the phenomenology which I have practiced as a lifelong psychological discipline.

In addition to being a phenomenologist, I would say Iwas undoubtedly what the author D. Edward Williams termed a "Dionysian."

1984-86: University of Oregon, B.A., Journalism and History, Departmental Honors in History, 1986.

I CLEPed out of my entire freshman and sophomore years. I was a well-read revolutionary and outlaw who was creating his own educational curriculum in learning what he loves the most-- the English language, all styles of it. My mentors at U of O: Daniel Pope and W.Gordon Rockett, both Emeritus now.

I was also captain of the U of O bowling team, 1984-1986. High game 299.

1997-2000: Oklahoma State University. M.A., History, 2000, plus the school-teaching curriculum. Mentor: Dr. Ronald Petrin.

This was my second great self-reinvention attempt. In both, I got the degrees, but neither worked. After both, I went back to truckdriving and the blues. and now the latter makes my living. I just am not a button-down enough fellow ever to be a schoolteacher or general-purpose news reporter.

However, as a man turning the corner of 50, I refined (I shall not say finished) the process of becoming (with no intent to boast) a master of the English language.

I have visited Shakespeare's birthplace twice now. Just day before yesterday I visited Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West, and played the blues in the legendary Green Parrot where he hung out. I quoted "For Whom the Bell Tolls" from the stage.

Afterwards, I went fishing off the Keys, beyond the color change. I know The Old Man was there, but we came home with nothing but snapper and grouper...




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When your allies perceive that it's Republicans an... by William P. Homans on Thursday, Apr 21, 2011 at 3:44:50 PM
As you point out what matters is equality of contr... by June Genis on Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 10:42:04 AM
We all make our political points, both internally ... by Al Rodbell on Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 8:43:33 AM
Do you just agree with Frank that antigay sentimen... by William P. Homans on Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 11:27:35 AM
Marriage is an important legal contract allowing m... by Walter Barton on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 3:59:40 PM
is that civil unions-- which you and I agree is th... by William P. Homans on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 5:06:02 PM
The gay marriage issue is very complicated. There ... by Walter Barton on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 8:17:24 AM