Monday, April 17, 2006

On charming Easter traditions

With two, you get eggroll.

Okay, so depending on your source, you might get very different ideas about what went on today at the White House. If you're a fan of the Washington Post, you read this morning that "rain can't dampen [a] White House tradition" and that, despite the crappy weather, Laura Bush was happy to host the annual White House Easter egg roll and pose for pictures with the invited guests and children of White House employees.

If the New York Times is your paper of choice, you might have read last Monday that "the egg roll (again!) becomes a stage for controversy" as 200 gay and lesbian families decided to attend the egg roll, with nothing more than a rainbow-colored lei to distinguish them from the numerous heterosexual families that usually attend. Apparently outrages at the use of such garish colors at what has always been a pastel-toned event, conservatives are decrying such a political act as appearing in public with a symbol designating your sexual orientation. Mrs. Bush's press secretary did not address whether heterosexual couples would be required to check their wedding rings at that gate and refrain from public displays of affection throughout the event.

Readers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, though, read Sunday that Bush may skip egg roll, but gays won't. As of Sunday, the White House had yet to make any statement as to whether President Bush would be in attendance. The AJC speculates that "delaying the egg roll could allow the administration to get a handle on how much of a presence the gay and lesbian parents will have," but is it be irresponsible to speculate?

It would be irresponsible not to.

For instance, it may or may not be significant that, for the first time ever, ticketing procedure changed so that families waiting for days at a time to get tickets will not be allowed in for the opening ceremonies. Tickets handed out to those patient parents were stamped for 11am entry, three hours after the start of the event as quoted on the White House press release and, conveniently enough, just the exact moment that the president was scheduled to attend an event in Sterling, Va.

It also may or may not be significant that Laura Bush hung around, kicked off the ceremony, and posed for pictures, but managed to be gone before any of the riffraff - also known as the voting public, her husband's employers, human beings, and people who'd waited in line for freaking ever to get tickets - were allowed in for the party, among them a few begarlanded homosexuals and their children.

It also may or may not be significant that Bush has thrown his support behind a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, since it's in "society's interest" to define marriage "as between a man and a woman," and he's also said that "children can receive love from gay couples" but "studies have shown that the ideal is where a child is raised in a married family with a man and a woman."

My only question is this: What kind of parents are you people? You're bringing your children to roll Easter eggs with a man who thinks their parents are more of a threat to our country than Osama bin Laden? Katrina victims, you're bringing your kids to meet the man who hung out in Texas for five days playing the guitar while you stood on the roof of your house, waving a bedsheet and begging for help, whose mother saw you in the Astrodome and thought that things were "working out very well" for you? Not really making an argument for responsible parenting there.

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