Why does anyone with a choice live in Texas? This last week has vividly illustrated all the reasons I would resist such a fate with every fiber of my being (which is a lot, because I put Benefiber in my morning coffee).
On Tuesday, when the Supreme Court struck down one of the key clauses of the Voting Rights Act, Texas acted within two hours to restrict access to its polls.
So, if I’m not white in Texas, I can be asked for my papers before I can vote.
That same day, Wendy Davis successfully filibustered against a restrictive abortion law. Her success was inspirational, but will most likely be short-lived. Governor Perry is expected to start the process over as soon as possible.
Mike Gold has already illustrated the rank stupidity of some of the law’s proponents. He missed my personal favorite. The law requires women’s health clinics to have doctors with privileges at a local hospital and to upgrade their facilities so that they might be classified as “ambulatory surgical centers.” According to at least one Republican (and I apologize for not being able to find the link, but since I can’t remember his name, I can’t Google him, so I can’t find out his name), this is to protect women’s health. I can only fear for the men of Texas, who are able to get vasectomies on an out-patient basis. Their lawmakers don’t care about those un-upgraded facilities.
So, if I’m a woman in Texas, the government considers me too stupid to be able to judge my local health-care options. And if I’m a man in Texas, nobody in the statehouse cares about my balls.
If I’m queer, the government considers my relationships to be less than those of my straight colleagues. I can’t get married. I do not have equal protection under the law. There are 13 states where my marriage is recognized by the statehouse (and now 50 states where my marriage is recognized by the federal government). Why wouldn’t I choose to live in one of those?
If I’m a parent of a school-aged child and I live in Texas, my child’s education is restricted by the same ridiculous state government in the way it purchases textbooks. Rather than striving for books with the most recent discoveries, the most proven pedagogy, in Texas they worry about what is most conservative and politically correct. There have been times when they have looked for books that will actively discourage students from being curious.
If I’m starting a business, I don’t want to be in Texas. The people applying for jobs have been educated with those horrid textbooks. Hardly the cream of the employable crop.
There are lots of states that don’t, at this time, allow marriage equality. There are lots of states that use the same textbooks as they use in Texas. There are lots of states that restrict women’s access to health care. I don’t want to live in them, either. But none of them — not even Kansas – has the same toxic mix.
As Americans, we often have a choice of where we want to live. And we should make this choice with the knowledge that, with freedom comes great responsibility. Which we should use to fight back against those who would take it away.
Media Goddess Martha Thomases also wouldn’t live in Florida, Utah and definitely not Arizona. To the best of her ability, she also doesn’t vacation there.