Michigan Representative Joel Sheltrown
Roll out the red carpet – or, rather, the scarlet letter- for this week’s Creep: Rep. Joel Sheltrown (D-West Branch).
Inspired by the Terri Schiavo case, Rep. Sheltrown is introducing legislation that would “prohibit the spouse of a person who is unable to make their own medical decisions from denying food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain life if the spouse is involved in an adulterous relationship.”
Terri Schiavo’s husband, who is her legal guardian, has a relationship and children with another woman. This has resulted in much scorn from the right – never mind that he moved on with his life with the blessing of Terri’s parents.
Folks like Sheltrown apparently think the government should be involved in the most personal parts of our lives. Hey, Michigan’s sodomy laws are still on the books. We already have the government telling us who we can and can’t marry. Why not weed out adulterers, too? I haven’t yet read the legislation, but I’d like to personally lobby for a stoning provision.
This legislation raises serious questions. If Jane Doe gets hit by a bus and ends up on life support, at what point does John Doe’s sexual history get laid out for examination and by whom? What if Jane’s folks dislike John and claim he’s been cheating because they want, like Terri Schiavo’s parents, to keep her body alive no matter what?
And what about same-sex couples who aren’t allowed to get married in the first place? This measure is all about punishing sinners in the interest of furthering the right’s “culture of life” political agenda (Sheltrown is a member of Democrats for Life and Right to Life of Michigan). I shudder at the implications it has for the same-sex couples conservatives refuse to afford any recognition of or protections to.
Geoffrey Fieger brought up this very concern on MSNBC’s “The Abrams Report” on March 24. He pointed out the slippery slope it would take us down. “How about if they’re gay? Where do we stop here? If they engage in any behavior we don’t like?” he asked.
“As the case in Florida has demonstrated, Michigan should act to strengthen its protections before we have a similar situation in our own state,” Sheltrown said.
Perhaps someone should point out to him that Michigan already has many similar situations where families make difficult and heartbreaking decisions involving life support – all without consulting politicians like him. Most sane people I know want to keep it that way.
Tell him what you think. Call him at 517-373-3817 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.