Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Marriage and equal pay and hypocrisy

Obviously, gay marriage is an inflammatory subject right now. So much so that there is a move afoot to amend the Constitution to recognize marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman. The latest version of this idiocy is sponsored by two senators who are all about the sanctity of marriage. Yep, that's right--the amendment is being sponsored by Sens. Larry "Wide Stance" Craig and David "Diaper Boy"* Vitter. These two are not exactly poster boys for family values; why they feel that they should be the ones to get behind something like this makes absolutely no sense at all.

I also ran across this article about Obama and his support for equal pay for women.

I firmly believe that men and women should be paid equally for equivalent jobs. I do believe that gender discrimination exists. But, the wage gap measures inequality, and not necessarily discrimination. And there are many reasons that explain the wage gap that do not involve discrimination, such as family and time constraints.

Obama, according to the article, believes that there is a clear difference between himself and McCain on the equal pay issue. "Mr. McCain is an honorable man, we respect his service. But when you look at our records and our plans on issues that matter to working women, the choice could not be clearer," Obama told the audience in New Mexico, a voter-swing state. "It starts with equal pay. Sixty-two percent of working women in America earn half or more than of their family's income. But women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2008. You'd think that Washington would be united it its determination to fight for equal pay."

Yet, the article points out that Obama's female staffers are paid significantly less than the male staffers. This is completely opposite of what is found among McCain's staff, where the average pay for the 30 non-intern women on McCain's staff was $59,104.51. The 16 non-intern males in McCain's office, by comparison, were paid an average of $56,628.83.

Maybe there is a good reason why Obama pays the women who work for him less than the men, I don't know. He was speaking in support of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would extend the limit on how long an employee can wait before suing an employer for pay discrimination. As Obama noted, "Lilly Ledbetter's problem was not that she was somehow unqualified or unprepared for higher-paying positions... Her problem was that her employer paid her less than men doing the exact same work."

Well, I guess there's enough hypocrisy to go around today.

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