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Bad ranking? Depends how you look at it

For once, I am at a loss for words. (Listen to the cheers. You people really know how to hurt a guy.) I have just read a state ranking in which Georgia doesn't finish last for a change.

A coalition of gay rights and abortion rights activists have analyzed all the states on 25 laws ranging from abortions to same-sex relationships to contraception. Georgia, as you might expect, didn't fare too well.

But, for once, we weren't 50th out of 50. We were edged by South Dakota and Ohio at the bottom of the list, or the top depending on how you tend to view these things.

I don't want to sound defensive, but if we didn't have Atlanta sitting in the state like a wart on a bullfrog, we could have beaten South Dakota and Ohio like a drum. Atlanta always messes us up.

Georgia got cuffed around pretty good by the coalition for a lot of stuff. For one thing, we don't recognize same-sex marriages. That cost us 100 "penalty points" right off the bat. Ouch!

Vermont, of all places, got hit with 50 penalty points because they only allow civil unions. I thought that was good, but evidently it is not good enough for the coalition. Word is that the coalition was already mad at Vermont because some members got caught there in a snowstorm last August and all they could get to drink was maple syrup.

Neighboring Massachusetts, on the other hand, received no penalty points because the state will issue a marriage license to anything that moves except sheep and goats, and the state has promised to take care of that oversight immediately. That got a big round of applause from the coalition even though it also snows in Massachusetts in August.

Georgia was nailed with another 100 penalty points because we don't have an Equal Rights Amendment in our state constitution. That is so unfair. I have been personally leading the cause for the ERA for years, but the Woman Who Shares My Name says it will be a warm day in Vermont before she considers me her equal and to hush up and eat my broccoli.

You would think Georgia would at least get some credit for counseling young people to abstain from hanky-panky until they get married, but we got - you guessed it - another 100 penalty points.

The coalition says when you tell young people to behave themselves "it affects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people by promoting a social agenda that teaches that sexual activity outside the marriage is wrong and harmful."

Hmm. I thought God had already addressed that issue with the Seventh Commandment (or the Sixth, depending on your scorecard), but I'm not going to push it. The coalition seems to be in a really cranky mood because of South Dakota and Ohio, and they are liable to issue God a bunch of penalty points just for having created those two places.

New York and New Mexico both share the top spot in the coalition's rankings as attractive states for abortions and gays. New Yorkers were ecstatic. Whenever taxis blow their horns at jaywalkers, they get a "We're Number One" finger salute in return. Unfortunately, New Mexico has not yet learned of its accomplishment because no one can find the state.

When informed of Georgia's rankings, President Peanut blamed it on George Bush. When told how well New Mexico and New York had done, he blamed that on Bush, too. He also blamed Bush for tsunamis, deer ticks and the loud noise that chain saws make.

Except for getting beat at anything by South Dakota and Ohio, I doubt most Georgians are losing sleep over our ranking by the coalition weenies. Boys marrying girls and women birthing babies have pretty much been the norm in our state for a long time.

If the gay rights and abortion crowd find this kind of behavior objectionable, I would suggest they pack up their penalty points and head somewhere else like, oh, New York or New Mexico. But they might want to stay away from South Dakota and Ohio. I understand it snows there in August, too.

Contact Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139. Visit his Web site at www.dickyarbrough.com. His column appears on Saturday.