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This article from The Houston Chronicle struck me: Texas lawmakers remember Sally Ride as an inspiration and a role model

I don’t remember news accounts of Sally Ride going into space (I was only five when she took her first space flight) but it was because of her that when young women who were in school with me asserted that they wanted to be an astronaut they were encouraged instead of being told that space is not women’s work.

America entrusted Dr. Sally Ride with an amazing amount of responsibility. Not only bearing on her shoulders the watchful eye of being the first woman in space, but because of her intelligence and dedication she was the only person to serve on the panels that investigated the Challenger and Columbia disasters.

Sally Ride was in every sense an American hero, and she deserves the accolades that have poured in following her death from pancreatic cancer. And it was in her passing that the world learned that the professor, astronaut, and glass-ceiling shatterer had been in a relationship for twenty-seven years with her partner Dr. Tam O'Shaughnessy, whom Sally Ride’s sister Bear described “as a member of the family.”

The Houston Chronicle
article describes how Texas Republicans were quick to extol Dr. Ride:

Taking to his Facebook page Texas Representative Pete Olson (R-Sugar) wrote, “Heartfelt condolences to the family of Sally Ride, the 1st female astronaut who inspired a generation of American women to reach for the stars!”

Representative Kevin Brady echoed this sentiment tweeting: “Dr. Sally Ride took us all along on her adventures into space and her story continues to inspire children — including my own sons — at Sally Ride Elementary in The Woodlands. Thank you Dr. Ride for your lifelong advocacy for science.”

I whole-heartedly agree with their statements, but these Republicans are talking out of both sides of their mouths. They are praising Dr. Ride while their party condemns her.

The Texas Republican Party platform asserts:

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.

Dr. Sally Ride was a leader, a hero, an icon, and a lesbian. Like a tapestry, a person is the whole of the small parts that make them up—and it is impossible to praise the woman who Dr. Ride was while condemning the fact that she loved another woman.

Even though Dr. Ride was able to literally reach for the stars and the United States trusted her to answer questions on two tragedies, the woman who she loved will receive no federal benefits, even though if Dr. Ride had married a man he would have received thousands of benefits from the federal government.

Either Sally Ride was inspirational or she tore at the fabric of society. Maybe it is time for someone to ask Representatives Olsen and Brady which statement they stand by.

Originally posted to SacDanny on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 09:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republished to TexKos (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, David54, craigkg, raincrow

    I saw that article too, glad to see you built a diary around it. Have not yet heard anything from Annise Parker, Houston's openly lesbian mayor, who would no doubt have something constructive to say.

    Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

    by cassandracarolina on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 10:02:02 AM PDT

  •  Houston, you have a (Republican) problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, raincrow

    Or perhaps that should read 'Austin' since thats the capitol.
    Really glad you didnt get a shuttle. Because at this moment you really don't deserve one, for ever so many reasons. This being one of them.

    •  uh, yes we her know the problems (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimene

      but thanks for the gratuitous Texas-bashing while you were scoring points defending Sally Ride and giving the GOP in this state its due gigging.  I suspect there a lot of folks out in Clear Lake at NASA who worked on the shuttle program who genuinely would take offense at that dig about Texas not getting a shuttle.  I dunno, I won't speak for them - - ask them directly.  Oh, and not every single one of them is a Republican, I'll also wager.  So: why do you hate Texas Democrats? (see what I did there?)

      But thanks for painting every one of 24 million of us all with the same brush, as if we all adhere to the GOP state party platform.

      I am a precinct chair, state Democratic delegate and a Texan.  And we know the problems, we're working to chage things, and you can help, move out of the way and we'll do it ourselves, but the sniping is unbecoming and counter-productive.

      Come to Dallas and I'll buy you a beer (or other beverage of your choice) and we'll talk.

      Peace.

      Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 12:49:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Houston we have a problem"... (0+ / 0-)

      do you understand how silly that comes considering houston is the ONLY city in the top 20 citys, per capita, in the united states with a mayor who is GLBT?

  •  What's the surprise? If people don't know you're (0+ / 0-)

    ...a lesbian, then Republicans behave differently towards you than you were out.This helps to partly explain the seemingly self-hating folks that continue to pop up in sad situations in that party.

    Sally Ride deserves every bit of praise she is getting even though her sexual orientation isn't part of that praise from the bigots.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 11:57:04 AM PDT

  •  First AMERICAN woman in space. (0+ / 0-)

    The first woman in space was a cosmonaut - Valentina Tereshkova.

    And having been there a fair few times, I'm fairly confident that it's Sugar LAND. Odd name for a town, if you ask me.

    Factual accuracy is a good thing.

    I'm one of those lucky homos in a bi-national relationship - at the age of 49, all I had to do was give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my aging, diabetic mother, my family & friends and move to Europe. Easy peasey!

    by aggieric on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 03:27:09 PM PDT

    •  are you an aggie from a&m, ric... (0+ / 0-)

      who doesn't know that sugar land is one of the largest areas of sugar production in the US?

      imperial sugar (that craft paper colored sack of sugar store in the grocery) is headquartered in sugar land.

      •  Yes, a Texas Aggie. (0+ / 0-)

        But I grew up in Colorado, where Holly Sugar is king, Colorado being one of the largest areas of sugar production in the US.  ;-)

        I'm one of those lucky homos in a bi-national relationship - at the age of 49, all I had to do was give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my aging, diabetic mother, my family & friends and move to Europe. Easy peasey!

        by aggieric on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 01:53:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  uh, you're talking cane and beets here, (0+ / 0-)

          agieric.  Cane in Sugarland, and beets in Colorado.

          In 2003, the Imperial Sugar Company refinery plant and distribution center was put out of operation, but its effect on the local economy was minimal, since Sugar Land today has much more of a reputation as an affluent Houston suburb than the blue-collar, agriculture-dependent town it was a generation ago. However, the company maintains its headquarters in Sugar Land.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

          by tom 47 on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 06:01:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I know. Having grown up in the Colorado (0+ / 0-)

            Springs area, with the Holly Sugar building as one of the city's iconic structures, and having relatives (and fellow Texas Aggies) in Sugar Land (hence my original "having been there a fair few times" comment), I'm aware of the competing claims re: cane sugar vs. beet sugar.  And that "Sugar Land" is a suburb of Houston and "Sugarland" is a country music duo.

            I'm one of those lucky homos in a bi-national relationship - at the age of 49, all I had to do was give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my aging, diabetic mother, my family & friends and move to Europe. Easy peasey!

            by aggieric on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 08:12:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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