Archive for category GLBT issues
I’ve written about the ways in which many conservatives seem to yearn for yesteryear. This morning, historian Stephanie Coontz offered a fascinating and compelling article in the NY Times on the dangers of nostalgia:
In society at large, however, nostalgia can distort our understanding of the world in dangerous ways, making us needlessly negative about our current situation.[snip]
Happy memories also need to be put in context. I have interviewed many white people who have fond memories of their lives in the 1950s and early 1960s. The ones who never cross-examined those memories to get at the complexities were the ones most hostile to the civil rights and the women’s movements, which they saw as destroying the harmonious world they remembered.
Read the whole thing, it’s worth it.
Over the weekend, the D-News linked to yet another article opposed to gay marriage (this one published in Provo Daily Herald). Written by Jenet Erickson, of BYU’s School of Family Life, the article begins:
One of the most painful parts of the same-sex marriage debate is the accusation that those who oppose same-sex marriage must be blinded by bigotry . . . marriage involves more than just the adults who marry. Because marriage involves children, society has a deep and abiding interest in how it affects them.
You’ve had all of recorded history to come up with arguments against gay marriage and the best you’ve got is “Oh, won’t someone think of the children?!” You wonder why people think you’re a bigot?
Snark free: I get that it must be difficult to be accused of bigotry when the person being accused truly believes they are without bias. At the same time, Erickson’s entire argument hinges on the notion that gay people marrying is a threat to children; infertile couples, couples who cheat on each other, couples who never plan to have children, none of these couples seem to bother her, only gay couples. That’s why she and other people who oppose marriage equality get accused of bigotry.
The more I think about it, the more I’m seeing nightmare scenarios with regard to the Supreme Court tackling gay marriage in a “no big rulings like Roe v Wade” kind of way.
One nightmare scenario is a couple legally married in California or New York gets in an accident in Utah. Utah refuses to recognize their marriage. Since they aren’t legally married, one partner cannot make medical decisions for the other. The state contacts the injured partner’s estranged family which promptly gets a restraining order and bars the spouse from doing anything, even having contact. Another scenario: a legally married couple in one state can’t get divorced because they’ve moved. Imagine millions of Americans in bizarre legal limbo – married here, not married there.
From Noah Feldman:
If the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down DOMA depended on finding that states have an inherent right to define marriage in which the federal government cannot infringe, then the home states’ policy would probably be upheld. The result would be couples who are both married and unmarried for purposes of the same tax returns, mortgages and hospital visits. Each of these conflicts would be brought to the courts. State and federal courts would probably render divergent conclusions — across all 50 states and 13 federal circuits. If this isn’t legal chaos, nothing is.
The motivation to avoid a gay marriage Roe is based on the idea that a sweeping decision would result in a bitter continuation of the culture wars. Of course the next Democratic Congress will repeal DOMA which means even a do nothing approach by the court would only delay not prevent the kind of legal chaos Feldman envisions. Rather than allowing the political process to sort out the question, the court would find itself deluged with legal cases.
The court’s supposed motivation to avoid declaring a general right to same-sex marriage is to allow the political process to take its course, and not impose a unified federal solution before everybody’s ready to accept it. Those with this cautious view like to cite Roe v. Wade as an example of a federal constitutional right that was granted before its time, creating a major backlash. Some would even go so far as to say that Brown v. Board of Education came too soon, as evidenced by Southern resistance to desegregation — this despite the court’s infamous declaration that its mandate should be implemented “with all deliberate speed.”
But this theory relies on the assumption that even a messy political process would be superior to judicial fiat because it would leave the courts out of the equation. A partial or split decision on same-sex marriage would have the opposite effect. Instead of promoting what the great Alexander Bickel called the “passive virtue” of judicial prudence, it would put judges front and center on the issue for the foreseeable future. From the court’s perspective, it would be easier just to do the right thing.
I’m not a lawyer or professor of law, but I can imagine of host of scenarios in which personal tragedy becomes even more devastating as there’s a patchwork of state laws about marriage. We’re not talking about some sort of clean legal outcome. A great many Utahns may hate it, but a sweeping decision striking down all anti-gay marriage laws might be best for eveyrone in the long run.
Did they run out separate drinking fountains?
A group of Indiana-based parents, teens and even a teacher is fighting for a separate “traditional” prom that would ban gay students.[snip]
Medley was just one of several parents, students and others who reportedly met Feb. 10 at the Sullivan First Christian Church demanding that gay students be barred from attending the dance. “We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,” one local student is quoted as saying.
And what a great way to show you love! We love you so much we’re going to exclude you. The world could do without much of that kind of love.
Dan Savage has some choice words for Medley and her fellow travelers:
Let’s pause here to grieve for all the special education students in Sullivan, Indiana. Students with learning disabilities have it hard enough without getting stuck with a mentally challenged special ed teacher.
You know else has it hard enough? I imagine queer kids growing up in Sullivan, Indiana, population 4,249, have it hard enough without having to watch shit like this on the evening news.
The anti-gay haters at Sullivan High have a facebook page: 2013 Sullivan Traditional Prom. One of the organizers of this hate group would like us to know that “this is not a hate group.” 2013 Sullivan Traditional Prom is just a group that has been organized with the sole purpose of creating an alternate prom that excludes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and to achieve that end the group’s members are calling LGBT kids “offensive,” sick, and sinful. What’s hateful about that? Besides, you know, everything?
There’s no way to stop the haters at Sullivan High School from holding an independent prom for the
specialbigoted kids. But here’s what we can do: we can make a noise so loud enough that all the queer kids at Sullivan High School hear it. Those kids need to know that there are people—a lot of people—who think this shit is wrong.
This shit is wrong.
I was going to write something about this atrocious video but Chrislove at Kos beat me to it.
Ruth Institute head Jennifer Roback Morse, who now appears to be sporting a 40-pound cross hanging around her neck, took to YouTube a few days ago to warn of this gay conspiracy to take over college dorms. No, I’m not even exaggerating. Morse actually appears to believe that gays are conspiring to take over dorms. You know, so they can host drag parties and make fundamentalist Christians uncomfortable.
FWIW, Roback Morse’s video is a rightwing hit parade – the gays are after your children, college is dangerously liberal, and Christians are the victims here, dammit!
The Democratic platform included a plank sepcifically endorsing marriage equality. In a more explicit way, I believe every speech I saw at the DNC included a positive reference to marriage equality and glbt persons, but also to quality and tolerance as primary values. Read the rest of this entry »
The Inclusion Center of Utah, formerly NCCJ Utah, hosts an annual adult residential retreat known as the Inclusion Summit. I had the opportunity to attend this year’s summit, at Camp Tuttle in Big Cottonwood Canyon east of Salt Lake City. What follows is a description of the shape of the gathering, some of the contents and my reflections on the experience.
So much history in one life. A courageous man.
At Americablog. The Four Big Points:
Rules for managing an Effective Progressive Coalition
1. No constituency in the Coalition takes a backward step to advance another’s cause. (I call this the Cruickshank Rule; see below.)
2. Members of the Coalition have each others’ back. No constituency under attack stands alone.
3. The Coalition serves the Coalition, not the Democratic Partyor any other group or goals.
4. The Coalition preferences political action to discussion. (This is the No Dithering Rule.)