I heard last week on Michigan Radio that Michigan’s Attorney General, Mike Cox, is one of nine state Attorneys General to request that the California Supreme Court delay the effective date of its ruling on gay marriage until after the November election. Reason being, California voters will likely decide a ballot initiative on the matter in the election, and Cox hopes they will follow our voters’ regrettable lead and adopt a constitutional ban.

(Yes, we do have an anti-gay-marriage amendment, which from what I understand is even stricter than most because of wording to the effect of “or similar union for any purpose,” which outlaws civil unions and domestic partnerships–and I am deeply ashamed of my fellow voters who felt moved to ensconce this intolerance in our state constitution, where it will presumably serve as a reminder to future generations of exactly how fearful and parsimonious Michigan voters were back in 2004. I certainly hope I see the day when the amendment is overturned. But the voters’ action does not excuse Cox seeking out opportunities to compound and worsen the bigotry.)

I saw this entry on the topic, which reminded me that I had intended to write about it here, at Blogging For Michigan today. BFM has a perspective that I appreciate, decrying instances of Michigan state legislators and officials focusing on divisive issues that are important to fringe interest groups, not actual voters. I agree wholeheartedly; in this case, first of all, I believe that it is morally wrong to deny gay couples the same rights that I enjoy as a straight married woman. But even if I didn’t, I would still feel that pandering to the religious right while our great state faces real problems is a ridiculous waste of time and money.

I love living here. I was on a routine drive a couple of weeks ago, taking I-696 home from Royal Oak, and just drove along with a dumb grin on my face, reading the names on the exit signs and remembering how fortunate my husband and I were to be able to move back home 6 years ago. I take so much pride in our state’s history, culture, industry, great cities, gorgeous scenery, agriculture, you name it. Hell, I even love my and my fellow Midwesterners’ silly flat nasal accent. It hurts and angers me every time I hear something like the conversation I overheard in Kohl’s a few weeks ago (two acquaintances, a young man and a middle-aged woman who appeared to be the mother of one of his friends, were catching up, bemoaning the economic situation here, and I heard the young man say “Oh, I’m getting out of Michigan as soon as I graduate”).

I need our legislature to quit fucking around and work for me, and not even really for me–FOR OUR STATE, which I would hope we have a common interest in uplifting. I am tired of our economic problems being either minimized or (more frequently, in my opinion) exaggerated in legislative sound bites, never mind if the floodgates bleeding residents to other parts of the country are opened that much further as a result of the rhetoric, to score political points. We still have great jobs (though I am certainly not minimizing the situation of the many individual Michiganders who cannot find work, good jobs are still out there in a lot of fields), great places to live and vacation, great universities, and a great work force with a solid technical base. It’s time for our elected and appointed officials to start taking some fucking pride in themselves and the state they claim to love and serve.

On a related note, this is an interesting report on Michigan’s present and future economy.