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Let Your Fag Flag Fly
July 5, 2009 10:25 AM   Subscribe


 
yet the stripes for the former colonies which do not support gay marriage remain...
posted by the aloha at 10:36 AM on July 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


ingenious. i think we should do this for all kinds of issues.
posted by ichthuz at 10:43 AM on July 5, 2009


That flag speaks to me. Clever and distinctive, even if it lacks international applicability.

The people voting in that second link are tasteless; gradiants have no place on a flag. Although the squares one isn't half bad.
posted by Lorc at 10:56 AM on July 5, 2009


Hey, ichthuz, here's another one.
posted by orme at 10:58 AM on July 5, 2009


History of the current LGBT Rainbow flag designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker.
posted by ericb at 10:58 AM on July 5, 2009


I wonder why this version hasn't caught on? I think it looks pretty cool.
posted by orme at 11:04 AM on July 5, 2009


I fear this symbolism may alienate and offend, more than anything else. I hope I'm wrong.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 11:12 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


NAMbLA's flag.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 11:16 AM on July 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


I fear this symbolism may alienate and offend, more than anything else.

Personally I'm hoping that bigots take as much offense as possible. Their ignorance and intolerance offends, alienates and is distinctly un-American. It also has the added effect of actually oppressing minorities instead of just colouring a flag.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:19 AM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


That equal marriage flag is awesome. So much gay graphic design is awful. Those other flags are hideous, particularly the Triangle Heart. The basic rainbow flag? Dated. The HRCF logo is OK, but too discrete. And I guess the Bear Flag is kind of nice. But we're a long way from the 80s radical design of ACT-UP.

I fear this symbolism may alienate and offend

"Alienated and offended" doesn't begin to describe how I feel after my neighbours voted to take away my right to get married. OK, OK, you're making a tactical point. But sometimes I get tired of sitting politely in the back of the bus. But yeah, some right wing asshats will get ahold of "desecrating our flag" and pretty soon they'll be voting away my right to have sex, too.

Adbusters is awesome.
posted by Nelson at 11:19 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


hey, it looks like the Big Dipper!
posted by By The Grace of God at 11:19 AM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm glad to have perhaps participated in getting one of those stars there since I did some emailing and phone-calling on the recent nail-bitingly close NH equal marriage bill. And I'm all for making the argument that denying marriage rights is unAmerican due to its violation of the principle of equal protection and various others. But this seems to me to hedge too close to just tossing around raw patriotic imagery to the point of diluting both the symbols and the message you're trying to convey, as Stephen Colbert lampoons so well.

Especially once you start in on cutting out stripes or if they did something like an Eagle clutching only four arrows or something. I hate it when Republicans do this sort of thing.
posted by XMLicious at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2009


I'm kind of amused that by "lighting up" the stars that were added for each state as it came into the Union, they're forming a checkmark. If I were less lazy, I could look up other states' dates and figure out which are clearly due to legalize gay marriage next.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:30 AM on July 5, 2009


i think it's pretty cool.

I wish there would be some impact of supportive non-gay and lesbian couples refusing to marry until gay/lesbian people can, but i can't think of one.
posted by djduckie at 11:35 AM on July 5, 2009


This flag is incredible.

I don't pretend to know, personally, the struggles and hardships faced by those seeking no more than to have their partnerships treated with the same respect as mine. But in my own babysteps into adoption and surrogacy, I've really become energized with compassion on equality in family issues and the real sanctity of life and family.
posted by bunnycup at 11:38 AM on July 5, 2009


Why so US-centric? And why so SSM-centric? There are other issues facing GLBT people than same-sex marriage.
posted by jiawen at 11:39 AM on July 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Why are the stars in the shape of a cock and balls?
posted by dingobully at 11:44 AM on July 5, 2009


If I were less lazy, I could look up other states' dates and figure out which are clearly due to legalize gay marriage next.

List of U.S. states by date of statehood.

Nate Silver (of FiveThirtyEight.com) has a model which predicts when each of the 50 states will vote against same-sex marriage bans.
"The model predicts that by 2012, almost half of the 50 states would vote against a marriage ban, including several states that had previously voted to ban it. In fact, voters in Oregon, Nevada and Alaska (which Sarah Palin aside, is far more libertarian than culturally conservative) might already have second thoughts about the marriage bans that they'd previously passed.

By 2016, only a handful of states in the Deep South would vote to ban gay marriage, with Mississippi being the last one to come around in 2024.

It is entirely possible, of course, that past trends will not be predictive of future results. There could be a backlash against gay marriage, somewhat as there was a backlash against drug legalization in the 1980s. Alternatively, there could be a paradigmatic shift in favor of permitting gay marriage, which might make these projections too conservative.

Overall, however, marriage bans appear unlikely to be an electoral winner for very much longer, and soon the opposite may prove to be true."
posted by ericb at 11:45 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why so US-centric? And why so SSM-centric? There are other issues facing GLBT people than same-sex marriage.

And why so GLBT-centric? There are starving children in Cambodia who this flag simply does not represent. And what about endangered freshwater coral? How does this flag do anything to protect the ozone layer?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:49 AM on July 5, 2009 [45 favorites]


Why so US-centric? And why so SSM-centric? There are other issues facing GLBT people than same-sex marriage.

Yes, and absolutely none of those issues is being addressed (and all are being ignored) by the US federal government.

I don't really think this protest "flag" is much of anything to write home about, but I respect the sentiment behind it.
posted by blucevalo at 11:53 AM on July 5, 2009


But this may be the single issue that when it is finally accepted by most, will open the floodgates of acceptance?
posted by notreally at 11:55 AM on July 5, 2009


wow, that's some really intelligent design.
see what I did there? me so funny.
posted by krautland at 11:57 AM on July 5, 2009


Not so wonderful; I think abandoning the rainbow element is a cop-out. And what you've got when you light up all 50 states stars is the regular old USA flag, no GLBT evident, no reference to inclusion or universality, as if to say that there is no GLBT human rights issue beyond marriage. As a flag for a single issue, ok, but that's rather short-sighted if it's being proposed as a permanent change.
posted by tula at 12:00 PM on July 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I wonder why this version hasn't caught on? I think it looks pretty cool.

That's actually the version I prefer when I have to replace the sticker on my car, which happens every couple of years or so. It's always somehow appealed to me over the plain rainbow stripes. It is, however, very US-centric...
posted by hippybear at 12:03 PM on July 5, 2009


As a flag for a single issue, ok, but that's rather short-sighted if it's being proposed as a permanent change.

I seriously doubt Studio 360 has any power to affect change on that level within the world-wide gay community, and I don't believe the point of the exercise was to try to replace the Rainbow Stripes as the recognized gay flag. Rather, as with many of these exercises, the re-envisioning is put before public eyes in order to stimulate conversation about exactly what the current symbols mean, and how thought is coursing as to issues and points of reference within the community.

To that end, I would say it has been extremely effective.
posted by hippybear at 12:09 PM on July 5, 2009


It's a nice flag. And I don't really like flags. But this one is nice.

Why so US-centric? And why so SSM-centric? There are other issues facing GLBT people than same-sex marriage.

Because this is a post about a same-sex marriage flag? Perhaps you could put together a post about one or more of the other issues facing glbt people. Honestly, if you don't like a post, criticize it for what it is, not for what you think it should be.

NAMbLA's flag.

Eponysterical, yeah, but can we have less of the hurf-durf homos are pedophiles thing? So old, so stale, yet still so offensive. Or did you actually have a point?

As someone who is gay married - got married in San Francisco in 2004, had that one annulled; got married in Canada, that one's still good; got married in San Francisco again in 2008 and now have "special rights" thanks to the CSC's ruling - I agree that there are other/more important issues facing glbt people in the U.S, but the marriage debate is one that touches on a whole host of other fights - the right to live and work where you like without being discriminated against, the right to keep custody of your kids or adopt kids if you're gay, and so on.

Just to be clear, all the gay marriages I've been in have been marriages to the same woman.
posted by rtha at 12:16 PM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


can we have less of the hurf-durf homos are pedophiles thing?

I guess I'm enlightened, because I didn't get that connection until you brought it up.

Or maybe I'm just slow.
posted by rokusan at 12:22 PM on July 5, 2009


Great design idea, but then again any gay iconography that doesn't lean on lazy-ass rainbows is fine with me.

Rainbows should be banished to, like, Steve Wonder tributes, Robocops on unicorns, and National Days of Refraction.
posted by rokusan at 12:24 PM on July 5, 2009


Why so US-centric? And why so SSM-centric? There are other issues facing GLBT people than same-sex marriage.

And why so GLBT-centric? There are starving children in Cambodia who this flag simply does not represent. And what about endangered freshwater coral? How does this flag do anything to protect the ozone layer?


Wow, clever, but the rainbow flag didn't especially specifically represent starving kids or coral or ozone either, but it does signify inclusiveness of all GLBT people regardless of nationality. That's why we're saying this new flag is excluding people the previous flag included, which seems like a bad move.
posted by tula at 12:25 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not so wonderful; I think abandoning the rainbow element is a cop-out.

Agreed. There is a significant history behind that emblem--though as rokusan points out, it is overused to the point of cliche.

I quite like the circle one at the 360 link, though agreed that gradients have no goddamn place whatsoever on a flag. Vexillollogists around the world are screaming in horror at that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:27 PM on July 5, 2009


I think the headline is misleading, in that it implies this should replace the more iconic gay pride flags. This is more a flag that sends a striking message on a contemporary issue. Change is happening so fast that this one can't be relevant for too long. California has shown that states can take away the right for gays to wed, and new ones are bound to legalize gay marriage, as well. It explains clearly that only a few states treat their citizens as equal.

I'd personally love this as a bumper sticker with a brief slogan explaining what it is. I think it's too unclear without the backstory, but it effectively explains how silly it is to withhold the right to marriage from people who are just as sincere and committed to long-term relationships (if not moreso) as their heterosexual peers. And I don't mind if it's US centric as a bumper sticker, because I want to change the hearts and minds of the people who will actually see my car, not everyone on Earth.

Also, re: alienating and offending right-wingers, I get the feeling the people who would claim ownership of the IP of the flag over other Americans are the same type of people who would never sway on opposing gay rights. I think a modified American flag is one of the most potent symbols of American liberty there is, as it says that Americans have free speech and that it's their nation, not a country controlled by a group of oligarchs.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:36 PM on July 5, 2009


can we have less of the hurf-durf homos are pedophiles thing?

I didn't take it to mean that either.

I though it was more of a "not supported in any states, so fuck you all, America!" sort of play on the Equal Marriage Flag. Probably would have been funnier without the "fuck you all".
posted by orme at 12:37 PM on July 5, 2009


That's why we're saying this new flag is excluding people the previous flag included, which seems like a bad move.

OK. I agree that replacing the global gay flag with this flag would obviously be a bad idea. I just think this is a good flag to use alongside it in some contexts.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:40 PM on July 5, 2009


effectively explains how silly it is to withhold the right to marriage from people who are just as sincere and committed to long-term relationships (if not moreso) as their heterosexual peers

If not moreso? LGBT people are just as fallible in long-term relationships as heteros. There's really no difference.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:40 PM on July 5, 2009


Interesting, particularly with the women's lib historical tie-in.
posted by arnicae at 12:44 PM on July 5, 2009


Changing hearts and minds via a bumper sticker? Seriously?
posted by c13 at 12:44 PM on July 5, 2009


NAMbLA's flag.

Eponysterical, yeah, but can we have less of the hurf-durf homos are pedophiles thing? So old, so stale, yet still so offensive. Or did you actually have a point?


Whoa, easy there buddy, my point was to make a joke. Replace NAMbLA with any association that proffers to legalize any despicable acts, be it disenfranchising non-native immigrants, death penalties, fucking children, or even outlawing gay marriage. Going down that list, fucking children is the funniest.

I'm sorry you've struggled with the issue of marriage and discrimination, but you can't be so myopic that you can't discern an obvious joke when it's presented.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:45 PM on July 5, 2009


Does this mean that Anderson Cooper is finally coming out of the closet?

Don't kill me for my feigned incomprehension, rabid fans...
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:48 PM on July 5, 2009


I happened to catch this episode of Studio 360 last week and thought the new flag design was interesting, but it also brings up at least one question (not mentioned during the broadcast): here in DC, we are theoretically one day away from recognizing same-sex marriage and are moving toward passing a law later this year to perform them here too. But we wouldn't get a star on the flag. How would DC's status best be symbolized?
posted by kittyprecious at 1:00 PM on July 5, 2009


Why are the stars in the shape of a cock and balls?

"Stars are arranged on the blue field in order of each state's admission into the union."

While I support their cause, I don't like the way this echoes the right's bullshit about "real" Americans and "pro-America" states. There are plenty of bigoted fuckwads here in Massachusetts, too.
posted by HumuloneRanger at 1:07 PM on July 5, 2009


I'm sorry you've struggled with the issue of marriage and discrimination, but you can't be so myopic that you can't discern an obvious joke when it's presented.

Yeah, it was an obvious joke and a cute execution.

But it's still a tired pairing, considering that there are people who (both in the past and present) seriously use pedophilia as a slippery-slope lubricant.
posted by CKmtl at 1:09 PM on July 5, 2009


It's a great American Gay-marriage flag. I really like the design, it is nice and striking and has a clear message.

It is not, however, a good Gay Pride flag as (unless I am misinterpreting that second link) it was intended to be. As mentioned earlier it is US-centric and SSM-centric - perfect if it is intended to represent the state of gay marriage rights in the United States, a little odd if it is intended to represent gay pride.
posted by arcticwoman at 1:19 PM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I dig the flag. I'm onboard with anything that shames the states where it's still thought okay to have full and partial citizens. I'm beyond embarrassed that not only has my dear Washington state failed to earn a lit-up star on this flag, but also that a bunch of local bigots are cooking up some hate legislation to undo what little respect homosexual unions are granted here.

You know what day I absolutely cannot wait for? The day when we stop calling it "gay marriage" or "same-sex marriage" and just, once and for fucking all, refer to it as "marriage," full stop.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:20 PM on July 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


But it's still a tired pairing, considering that there are people who (both in the past and present) seriously use pedophilia as a slippery-slope lubricant.

It's never crossed my mind to think about it in those terms. In any case, I apologize for my ignorance.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 1:21 PM on July 5, 2009


These colors don't run.

Yoga and mountain biking, sure. Running can be hell on the knees.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:27 PM on July 5, 2009


"Marriage Equality" is the operating term used in the LGBT lobbying organizations, EatTheWeak, and you are welcome to contribute to its widespread dissemination.
posted by PigAlien at 1:29 PM on July 5, 2009


PigAlien - Marriage equality? You got it.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:31 PM on July 5, 2009


Once my family was visiting my aunt and uncle (my maternal grandmother's sister and her husband) refrigerator was completely covered in magnets. Mixed in with all the kittens and American flags was a rainbow flag with a pink triangle in the middle. My grandmother caught me and my brother snickering and asked what was funny. Of course we said "nothing" but she could sense an opportunity to laugh at her sister, so she really wanted to know, so we told her not to say anything about it and we told her what it meant.

A little later, we left with our mother, but our grandmother stayed behind. Later we found out that, of course, she told them about it and they cut it up into a hundred pieces and threw it in the trash.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 1:36 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a "US same sex marriage" flag, it's brilliant. But as a GLBT flag in general (the original point of the contest)? I'm SO not comfortable at visually defining ourselves as "those who are excluded by the patriarchy and religious institutions." As if once this issue is resolved, everything symbolized by the US flag will be hunky-dory. Fuck that.

Besides, its a little too reminiscent of the kind of flag some nutjob militia group would make up. You might as well fly it upside down while you're at it.
posted by aquafortis at 1:47 PM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Going down that list, fucking children is the funniest.

I'm sorry you've struggled with the issue of marriage and discrimination, but you can't be so myopic that you can't discern an obvious joke when it's presented.


No, it's really not the funniest, when the right is still more than happy to conflate homosexual with pedophile, when states that outlaw adoption by gay couples are happy to use "But what about the children?" as their reason for doing so, when school systems all over the place object to anti-bullying programs that dare to include any message about homophobia being bad as an effort teach kids to accept homosexuality, when NAMBLA itself is more than happy to try to ride the coattails of a movement fighting for rights of consenting adults. And honestly? Jokes about fucking kids just aren't funny.

So, sorry if I'm coming across as a humorless bitch, but I've been in the glbt rights fight for long enough for this to still sting. I've known too many people whose siblings won't let them see their nieces or nephews because they think that the gay aunt or uncle will molest the kid. I've known people who were denied custody or visitation by the courts because they came out and got divorced, and the court or custodial parent thought that the child would be at a higher risk for molestation if they visited their gay parent.

As for struggling with the issue of marriage and discrimination...well, I don't even know what to say to a statement that's so incredibly condescending. At the very least, I can't think of anything that I wouldn't flag if someone else wrote it. And I don't feel like making the mods give me a timeout.

On preview: Thank you for the apology.
posted by rtha at 2:37 PM on July 5, 2009 [13 favorites]


Inca flag.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:45 PM on July 5, 2009


I'm sorry you've struggled with the issue of marriage and discrimination, but you can't be so myopic that you can't discern an obvious joke when it's presented.

Easy there yourself. Not everything that falls from your brain to your fingertips is a HI-LAR-I-OUS joke that we're all to militant or emotionally wrought to understand. Possibly your joke just sucked and was offensive to boot.
posted by desuetude at 2:53 PM on July 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


I like that the flag is cause-oriented, as a member of an opposite-sex couple unsatisfied with unequal and non-secular union options here in CA. I would fly this alongside the classic queer rainbow flag, since one's universal and one's so specific to the politics of time and place.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:07 PM on July 5, 2009


I have heard that the best submission that they got, that was inconvenient to present as a gay-pride/rights flag was an unaltered American flag.
posted by fuq at 3:40 PM on July 5, 2009


I know you didn't mean to offend anyone with the NAMBLA sight-gag, dude, but you did. I think it's a really unsavory addition to the conversation here and I'm flagging it. The good news is that afterward, I'm moving on.
posted by hermitosis at 4:25 PM on July 5, 2009


And honestly? Jokes about fucking kids just aren't funny.

Yes they are, they're hilarious.

My point being, I guess, that attempting to elevate your personal taste in something as subjective as humor to absolute truth through appeal to good taste or "why won't anyone think of the children" or whatever is pretty tired, and not a particularly good way to conduct a discussion.

posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:35 PM on July 5, 2009


NAMbLA's flag.

What're you, twelve?
posted by loquacious at 4:39 PM on July 5, 2009


I have never liked the rainbow flag, simply because it looks ugly to me. The full spectrum of colors is beautiful in an actual rainbow or prism refraction, but having certain hues isolated, segmented and stitched together I find less appealing. But I do understand that aesthetic taste is subjective. The symbolic idea behind it is of course admirable.

I like the symbolism of this flag as well, and look forward to the day that it will be indistinguishable from any American flag.
posted by trip and a half at 4:41 PM on July 5, 2009


I wasn't attempting to conduct a discussion about whether or not kid-fucking jokes are funny - I was expressing my opinion, tangentially, in a comment that was much more about the history and context of NAMBLA and the glbt movement. I guess I should've said "I don't think jokes about fucking kids are funny," to make it clear that it was a personal opinion.
posted by rtha at 4:50 PM on July 5, 2009




There are other issues facing GLBT people than same-sex marriage.

Would you mind elaborating this? So many rights, dignities, and protections flow from official recognition of same sex partnerships that it seems obviously the next in a line of the LGBT issues. That's the way most people I know see the issue. This goes back to the classic advocacy strategy. In other words, first we take on discriminatory state action (decriminalization and equal legal status,) then we take on discriminatory state INaction (through hate crimes legislation and better enforcement of existing laws,) and then we take on discriminatory private actions (protection from housing and workplace discrimination.)
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:18 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


(That said, I'm perfectly happy to work on all these issues at the same time! Is that the concern?)
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:18 PM on July 5, 2009


flagged.
posted by piratebowling at 5:44 PM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm all for equal rights, but I don't like the symbolism of this flag. By implying that states with policies you don't agree with aren't part of the same country, you're not really likely to win over anyone on the other side of the debate.
posted by WhySharksMatter at 5:51 PM on July 5, 2009


By implying that states with policies you don't agree with aren't part of the same country, you're not really likely to win over anyone on the other side of the debate.

I think it's pretty noxious, this suggestion that civil equality is achieved by being extra accommodating and compliant, as if it's the responsibility of the oppressed to make their oppressors feel comfortable enough to hand over the contested rights. Maybe it's good if people think that persecuting gays is a shameful activity that will leave them isolated and despised.
posted by stammer at 6:04 PM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Clever for making the point about gay marriage, yeah. Kinda awesome that it turns into a regular American flag when it's all legalized everywhere; that has a subtle "us fags are just like you straights, see?" message to it.

A while back I tried to come up with a transgender flag that is not all washed-out pinks and blues. I should revisit that sometime. Looking back at it I think the best iteration of what I have there is the white phoenix and flames on the rainbow ground, but it still needs work.
posted by egypturnash at 6:13 PM on July 5, 2009


stammer, it's not a matter of being accommodating and compliant. Using a flag like this to convey a message about GLBT issues has the appearance of communicating the plight of an excluded and unequally treated minority... by excluding a bunch of other people from the definition of what's American or by saying that they aren't American enough.

Everyone here knows that counting some states and leaving others out is just a matter of proudly tracking the hard-fought march towards equal rights. But people who are opposed to gay marriage often genuinely believe that it's all part of a wider cultural movement to attack and break down their way of life and exclude people like them from public life and politics. People paradoxically see the equal marriage movement as being all about them is a matter of changing the way they think and sometimes really seem to believe that it's not about civil rights at all but more sinister culture war conspiracy stuff.

Consequently taking the U.S. flag and using it for what looks symbolically like dividing the country between "us" and "them" is to some people going to end up meaning something like the very opposite of what the real message is, that we're all just people.

It's a short step from that to "get your own damn country." Maybe that is what you'd want to say, maybe it's not. But if you want to say that a flag like this is not the best way to avoid it.

There are lots of harsh, in-your-face things that can and should be said about this issue but I think the ones that should be put furthest forward are the things that force people to look inward, and examine for example what it really means that they're willing to put a rifle in a gay or TG kid's hand and send them off to Iraq or Afghanistan, but when everyone's back home, perhaps missing limbs or eyes and friends, tell them they can't get married. If you're looking outward at an "us versus them" focus it's much easier to ignore that stuff.
posted by XMLicious at 6:51 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Grr, that oughta be But if you don't want to say that a flag like this is not the best way to avoid it.
posted by XMLicious at 6:53 PM on July 5, 2009


And, arrgh, I meant to say "equal marriage" instead of "gay marriage."
posted by XMLicious at 6:55 PM on July 5, 2009


After looking at the link and re-reading the FPP (fancy that!), this flag isn't winning the contest so it's not "the new gay pride flag," but it has been posted here because it's an interesting "gay marriage flag." That's exactly how the FPP presents it, so it doesn't really matter that the origins of the flag are in a "new gay pride flag contest" that it isn't winning anyway.

This message was posted for my own understanding.
posted by Danila at 8:13 PM on July 5, 2009


I too should have said "equal marriage" since that is what the FPP says, not "gay marriage."
posted by Danila at 8:14 PM on July 5, 2009


I rather like the rainbow flag for what it is. It's weathered pretty decently as an assertion of diversity and inclusiveness plus identifier for supporters.

For the current rapidly-accelerating fight for equal marriage, the FPPed flag is an elegant statement. Agreeing with everyone that it is US-centric and marriage-specific.
posted by desuetude at 8:16 PM on July 5, 2009


Would you mind elaborating this?

No problem. Same-sex marriage is an important issue, I agree. But getting a trans-inclusive ENDA passed is just as important. Getting DADT repealed would be good, too.

It sounds a little like you're advocating that all the other stuff needs to wait for SSM to be legalized. I vehemently disagree with that sentiment.
posted by jiawen at 9:33 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's the SSM flag for Canada.

Hooray!

I think it's pretty noxious, this suggestion that civil equality is achieved by being extra accommodating and compliant, as if it's the responsibility of the oppressed to make their oppressors feel comfortable enough to hand over the contested rights. Maybe it's good if people think that persecuting gays is a shameful activity that will leave them isolated and despised.

I favourited that so fucking hard. What's depressing is how many otherwise intelligent people--on MeFi even!--advocate for this sort of appeasement. Go back 60 years and tell African-Americans they shouldn't be pushy. Gee, that's suddenly not such a great idea, is it? And yet a bizarre number of people think that us queers should be all quiet and docile and be happy with what crumbs we are given from the big kids' table.

No fucking thank you.


Would you mind elaborating this? So many rights, dignities, and protections flow from official recognition of same sex partnerships that it seems obviously the next in a line of the LGBT issues.


Legal marriage basically affects insurance, inheritance, divorce, custody, hospital visitation. Beyond that, it has very little bearing on the very real discrimination in terms of housing, donation of blood/organs/ sperm, adoption (unmarried straight couples can adopt, so marriage is a bit of a red herring there), and so on.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:10 PM on July 5, 2009


Why so US-centric? And why so SSM-centric? There are other issues facing GLBT people than same-sex marriage.

My guess is this flag was designed by an American.

And of course there are other issues but social change doesn't usually happen all at once, at least not here in the U.S. We're slow to respond, just think about how long it was after African-Americans got the right to vote in the U.S. that the government actually demanded that African-Americans be allowed to actually vote. I think this is a good issue to focus on given it's huge amount of media coverage in the U.S. And if the batshit-insane United States can get people to agree that gays should be allowed to marry we can't be far from other batshit-insane countries allowing the same.

That and the poster obviously like that flag, but it is not the one winning the contest currently, and several of the choices could have a more international flavor to them.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:36 PM on July 5, 2009


XMLicious:

Using a flag like this to convey a message about GLBT issues has the appearance of communicating the plight of an excluded and unequally treated minority... by excluding a bunch of other people from the definition of what's American or by saying that they aren't American enough.

You are drawing an analogy between the sexual oppression of gays and the potential hurt feelings of homophobes. This analogy is based on the idea that both involve "exclusion". But homosexuals and homophobes are not the same kind of thing, and to act as if the "exclusion" of one is the same as the "exclusion" of the other is to make a category error. Sex oppression should be excluded from politics; gays should not be excluded from the hospital wards of their loved ones. These are different types of exclusion, and to abolish the bad exclusion (the exclusion of minorities from leading full and free lives), you need to enact the good exclusion (the exclusion of bigotry from the range of legitimate policy options debatable in a democracy).

Consequently taking the U.S. flag and using it for what looks symbolically like dividing the country between "us" and "them" is to some people going to end up meaning something like the very opposite of what the real message is, that we're all just people.

I don't think that's the real message. I think the real message is that whatever virtues America may have that are worth symbolically celebrating in a flag, they are virtues that are derived from the revolutionary republican principles expressed at its founding, and that oppression of gays contravenes those principles.
posted by stammer at 11:12 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


...they are virtues that are derived from the revolutionary republican principles expressed at its founding,...
The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
posted by ericb at 12:02 AM on July 6, 2009


Thanks for citing the passage I mentioned above ericb. The Gettysburg Address is good for the principle of equality under the law too.

stammer: You are drawing an analogy between the sexual oppression of gays and the potential hurt feelings of homophobes. This analogy is based on the idea that both involve "exclusion". But homosexuals and homophobes are not the same kind of thing, and to act as if the "exclusion" of one is the same as the "exclusion" of the other is to make a category error. Sex oppression should be excluded from politics; gays should not be excluded from the hospital wards of their loved ones. These are different types of exclusion, and to abolish the bad exclusion (the exclusion of minorities from leading full and free lives), you need to enact the good exclusion (the exclusion of bigotry from the range of legitimate policy options debatable in a democracy).

So just to be clear here - I'm not arguing that this is a valid analogy, but it's an analogy that will be readily drawn by anyone who has any measure of sympathy at all for the other side. This way of expressing the rightness of equal rights is tailored for preaching to the choir; to someone who is undecided or in the middle (or on the other side) it's emphasizing divisiveness and is specifically dividing by invoking patriotism.

I know that to you they're just homophobes and people who are wrong. But they don't regard themselves as homophobes, of course, but rather as principled people. So all they'll see is that you're making proclamations about equality - in defense of something they're uncomfortable with and criticize because in their eyes it's morally wrong, criticisms which are dismissed - and deriding them as not being American enough because of what you say is morally wrong.

In their eyes it's not just hurt feelings and crying over spilled milk, it looks like a double standard and fighting dirty. And so they'll develop a grudge and bide their time and wait for some point when they can sucker punch their ideological opponents the way they feel they got sucker punched. I think that this is a good part of the reason why Bush was able to get elected (along with the election fraud, of course.)

The GLBT community and cause don't bear any part of what's happened in the past and should be firm and unyielding in pursuing rights. But at this point things are looking pretty optimistic, on the equal marriage front at least, and so I think twisting the knife in the other side's gut with hyperbolic commandeering of patriotism is unnecessary and probably unwise. It's just making a bitter pill all the more bilious for them, which feels good but like I said they'll remember it and we all really do have to live together in this country and political system.

With your talk about "the good kind of excluding people" it seems to me like you might really believe in saying "go get your own country" but without any real possibility of that happening (and with having seen how Pakistan-India has gone, anyways) I think that's a bad road to go down.

I don't think that's the real message. I think the real message is...

You're not getting what I'm saying; I'm not talking about the real message, I'm talking about how it will be interpreted by anyone who isn't the choir being preached to. Yes, this is a great achievement and a victory for traditional American values and that can be expressed in soaring prose and quotes from the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg address that no one can disagree with. (And they can't - believe me, it often leaves them speechless and sputtering.) But commandeering the flag and re-appropriating it to illustrate the divide between the Americans it's bad to exclude and the Americans it's good to exclude is going to leave much deeper scars because at that level it's not drawing on common ground and so lacks that salve.

And one last thing - I'm not saying that the GLBT side of the issue is obligated to give these guys an easier landing as they deservedly get knocked on their asses for acceeding to what has been an entirely unAmerican oppression of basic rights. But because harshness will beget more harshness somewhere down the line it would be virtuous to hold back from the same sort of flag-appropriating excessive display stuff that the Republicans and other conservatives have so often engaged in.
posted by XMLicious at 1:34 AM on July 6, 2009


It sounds a little like you're advocating that all the other stuff needs to wait for SSM to be legalized.

It seems intuitively obvious to me that the federal government won't protect a group from discrimination by a third group so long as it actively discriminates against them itself. So the checklist I outlined is a strategic prioritization rather a moral one. I mean: safety ought to take precedence over equality or legal normalization, but it's clear that effective protection from hate crimes will be a long battle that required us to get decriminalization of sodomy done first.

Of course, the nicest thing about equal marriage is that it's a simultaneous strategy tailored to the federalist system: we can build support and outrage in California over SSM while working on adoption in Georgia, and still other issues at the federal level. I think it of it like women's suffrage: clearly rape and domestic violence were the most important issues facing the women of the day, but they didn't immediately launch Take Back the Night campaigns or petition for better police procedures. Instead, they fought for a boring procedural right, and only after they had flexed their political might and secured a lasting institutional foothold did they go back to working on all the other more pressing issues.

At the federal level, a repeal of DADT (as well as DOMA) may well be the most important next step. Since there are lots of different states, though, working on SSM is a great way to achieve the groundswell needed to effectuate change on other fronts. It's certainly the best way I know to build sympathetic alliances outside of the LGBT community: it's an outrage-friendly issue, and wedding photos are a powerful guerrilla tactic.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:14 AM on July 6, 2009


*shrug*

This isn't a "Gay Pride" flag. It's a "Struggle for Marriage Equality in the USA as of Mid-2009" flag. Which is good and all, but let's not get the two mixed up.

Personally, the rainbow flag suits me fine. It's eye-catching, people know what it means, it's based on a well-established symbol of diversity and unity, but it doesn't tie itself to any one specific issue. Seems pretty hard to beat, to me.

People say it's a cliché: that's good. It's becoming entrenched in the public consciousness. The flags of every major nation are clichés. Changing the flag every 10-20 years to stay "fresh" is just throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
posted by teresci at 4:29 AM on July 6, 2009


Late to the party, but here goes. As someone who brought up children in a diverse and tolerant major urban community, I cannot overemphasize the power of that simple rainbow symbol in creating an atmosphere of tolerance among children. If you live in a place like Chicago, where every third car has a rainbow sticker, and the city itself puts up monuments and rainbows to signify an entire neighborhood, your kids are seeing that flag and that symbol everywhere well before they have any understanding, or need to understand, its political significance. By the time they get to that, the symbol and its ubiquity are so entrenched that acceptance doesn't even feel like acceptance. It just feels like the norm. Plus it's a rainbow-- a pretty, fun rainbow. Everybody likes rainbows! Rainbows are good. Kids associate things associated with rainbows with goodness and bunnies and candy and mother love. This is a powerful powerful piece of positive propaganda folks, don't mess with it.

Powerful symbols should be "overused." They should be overused to the point where when you see it you don't even register it on a conscious level, you just absorb the statement-- freedom: important, MIAs: remember, gay rights: normal. It's not a fashion statement.
posted by nax at 5:34 AM on July 6, 2009


Legal marriage basically affects insurance, inheritance, divorce, custody, hospital visitation. Beyond that, it has very little bearing on the very real discrimination in terms of housing, donation of blood/organs/ sperm, adoption (unmarried straight couples can adopt, so marriage is a bit of a red herring there), and so on.

I was reading this thread and sticking stuff in the copy buffer until I came to this, which basically says 90% of what I was going to say. SSM is absolutely awesome, it's true, but there's a large number of LGBT people who are fed up with the fact that it seems to consume the majority of LGBT attention these days, when issues of housing, violence, and more basic human dignity will have an arguably greater effect on queer quality of life, as a whole. Compare the incredible amount of media attention paid to Proposition 8 and its aftermath to the coverage and mindspace given to, for example, the problems many queers of colour have with housing, or the sickening number of trans women of colour who are murdered every year; and compare the amount of effort and money expended by major Gay and Lesbian organisations on these same issues.

Many people feel that the pursuit of SSM above and beyond all other concerns is a middle-class, cis obsession that is leaving poor queers, less assimilated queers, queers of colour, trans queers and many other people significantly worse off because it is diverting money and public attention away from their needs.

Hence, of course, the complaints in this thread that the Pride flag chosen is SSM-centric.

I am sympathetic to this point of view, but I should point out that I do not live in on the American continent so I have no direct experience here, either way; just passing on what I've seen be said.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:52 AM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can't see why conservatives would have an issue with this. We mostly fly the 15 star flag here in Baltimore, because there were 15 states during the War of 1812 (when we kicked Brit tushie).

Nice design, even if I could care less about the issue.
posted by QIbHom at 8:28 AM on July 6, 2009


Many people feel that the pursuit of SSM above and beyond all other concerns is a middle-class, cis obsession that is leaving poor queers, less assimilated queers, queers of colour, trans queers and many other people significantly worse off because it is diverting money and public attention away from their needs.

The pursuit of same-sex marriage, for me, is not "above and beyond all other concerns." But it makes a lot of difference for me and many other people who now live as second-class citizens whether we have the right to wed, or have a civil union, or whatever an acceptable legal equivalent to marriage is.

I don't think my interest in that issue excludes a passionate and committed interest in all of the other issues that you mention, including ending housing and employment discrimination, passing hate crimes legislation, and getting rid of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." All are equally important, and having a primary interest in same-sex marriage does not imply that those issues are not crucial. However, the main issue that is on the table in the media in the United States (I don't know about the UK) relative to gay rights in 2009 is same-sex marriage, like it or not. That is the main battleground, and I'm not the only person who believes that. Simply wishing it would go away is not going to change that, nor is diminishing it going to make any of the other battles any easier.

The original 2008 California Supreme Court decision that led up to the fight over Proposition 8 contains the following passage: "These core substantive rights include, most fundamentally, the opportunity of an individual to establish -- with the person with whom the individual has chosen to share his or her life -- an officially recognized and protected family possessing mutual rights and responsibilities and entitled to the same respect and dignity accorded a union traditionally designated as marriage." (Emphasis mine.) If that's not a cogent summation of the rights that gay people (and transgendered people, for that matter) need to have in the United States before any other rights are won, I don't know what is.

Beyond that, it has very little bearing on the very real discrimination in terms of housing, donation of blood/organs/ sperm, adoption (unmarried straight couples can adopt, so marriage is a bit of a red herring there), and so on.

Untrue. It has very concrete bearing on all of those issues. Do you think an unmarried gay couple is going to have an easier time confronting housing discrimination than a couple whose committed relationship is sanctioned by law? I know for sure that if my relationship were protected by the law it would be far easier to visit my partner in the hospital if I needed to, and not be confronted by some hospital bureaucrat telling me that I am not next of kin.

As for unmarried couples adopting, that is not the case. One example: Arkansas' adoption law, passed in 2008, forbids all legally unmarried couples, including heterosexual ones, from adopting. So, no, it is absolutely not a red herring.
posted by blucevalo at 9:05 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


dirtynumbangelboy, your "rights" as a gay or lesbian person become much more pressing when you're in a same sex couple. Being half of a binational gay couple forced the issue(s) for me, because even in 1995 (when my partner and I met), the legal position for gay couples in Canada was indescribably better than that in the US, especially in Alabama where I was living at the time. I could have tolerated keeping a low profile as a gay man in Mobile. But having to surrender so many of our rights by having my partner emigrate to the US was out of the question. As a SINGLE gay man my concerns about, say, employment protection was an abstract issue- I'd never met a gay person, even in Alabama or in Kentucky whence I'd moved, who'd actually, literally lost a job for being gay. I'd never met a single gay man or lesbian who's ever had a problem securing housing, at least not for being gay. On the other hand, EVERY SINGLE GAY COUPLE I'D EVER MET IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, in the US, had been "discriminated" against, and constantly so, because they had all been systematically and cruelly denied all of the rights and perquisites of marriage. Our rights as couples are at the CORE of our equality. "Gay rights" become an issue for you, you personally, when you're "gay" WITH somebody.

If I were single, I'd still be living in the US.

I don't consider my not being allowed to donate blood a "rights" issue incidentally.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:58 AM on July 6, 2009


because there were 15 states during the War of 1812 (when we kicked Brit tushie).

Would that be before or after we sacked and burned Washington DC?

Do you think an unmarried gay couple is going to have an easier time confronting housing discrimination than a couple whose committed relationship is sanctioned by law?

I think it's utterly irrelevant to housing. You honestly think that the sort of person who discriminates against LGBTQ folks when renting to them will suddenly say "Oh, well if you're married then it's okay.." ?

I know for sure that if my relationship were protected by the law it would be far easier to visit my partner in the hospital if I needed to

That would be why I said: "Legal marriage basically affects insurance, inheritance, divorce, custody, hospital visitation."

One example: Arkansas' adoption law, passed in 2008, forbids all legally unmarried couples, including heterosexual ones, from adopting.

That law was more or less explicitly passed to prevent dirty homos from adopting. So yeah, still a bit of a red herring.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:58 AM on July 6, 2009


I don't consider my not being allowed to donate blood a "rights" issue incidentally.

Rights no, discrimination yes.

your "rights" as a gay or lesbian person become much more pressing when you're in a same sex couple

Being a gay person, and having (somewhere in the mists of time) been coupled at times, I'm well aware of what it's like, thanks.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:00 AM on July 6, 2009


I wish there would be some impact of supportive non-gay and lesbian couples refusing to marry until gay/lesbian people can, but i can't think of one.

I dunno, it broke me and an ex-gf up a while back - damn my moral stances!
posted by FatherDagon at 10:23 AM on July 6, 2009


You honestly think that the sort of person who discriminates against LGBTQ folks when renting to them will suddenly say "Oh, well if you're married then it's okay.." ?

No, but that person would have more compulsion to abide by the law, and he or she would have sanctions to answer to if he or she discriminated, whereas now that person has none or next to none. That's significant. So, yeah, it's totally and painfully relevant.

That law was more or less explicitly passed to prevent dirty homos from adopting. So yeah, still a bit of a red herring.

Why you think it's a red herring because it was "explicitly passed to prevent dirty homos from adopting" (I'm all too well aware of why it was passed, being that I live right next door, thank you) is beyond me, but you're free to believe whatever you wish.

That would be why I said: "Legal marriage basically affects insurance, inheritance, divorce, custody, hospital visitation."

That would be also why you made those rights and privileges sound like chump change (because they have so "very little bearing" on anything of significance in gay peoples' lives).
posted by blucevalo at 10:38 AM on July 6, 2009


You do know I'm gay, yeah? And that all this stuff affects me just as personally as it does you?

Why you think it's a red herring because it was "explicitly passed to prevent dirty homos from adopting" (I'm all too well aware of why it was passed, being that I live right next door, thank you) is beyond me, but you're free to believe whatever you wish.

Because do you really think that if gay people could get married there, the state legislature wouldn't pass a new law stating that gay couples can't adopt? That's why marriage is a red herring in that case.

No, but that person would have more compulsion to abide by the law, and he or she would have sanctions to answer to if he or she discriminated, whereas now that person has none or next to none. That's significant. So, yeah, it's totally and painfully relevant.

I somehow suspect they would find a way to discriminate anyway. And again, that's not an issue of marriage, it's an issue of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation... claiming it's about marriage would then create two classes of queers: married and unmarried, where it's (legally) okay to discriminate against one but not the other.

That would be also why you made those rights and privileges sound like chump change (because they have so "very little bearing" on anything of significance in gay peoples' lives).

If you're spoiling for a fight, by all means go ahead. But kindly don't base your fightyness on (deliberate?) misrepresentation of what I said. At no point did I say that there isn't real discrimination in terms of custody, property law, etc. What I did say, and you're getting all hot about, is that marriage has no bearing on discrimination that affects all gays on a daily basis. Discrimination in marriage rights only affects the queers that are or want to be married. The other things I mentioned affect everyone.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:45 AM on July 6, 2009


I'm not spoiling for a fight, and it's probable that I misinterpreted what you were saying. I apologize.

I disagree with your contention that marriage rights create two classes of queers. If you have any evidence that it has done so in Canada, where you live and where same-sex marriage is legal, I'd be interested to hear it.
posted by blucevalo at 10:50 AM on July 6, 2009


Apology accepted, and thank you.

No, it hasn't created two classes of queers here, but that's because we explicitly forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which covers everyone. You guys don't have that, which is why if we accept your argument of other rights flowing from marriage we must therefore see two classes of queers; I can decide not to rent to that fucking dyke, but I have to rent to the married couple. Etc.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:55 AM on July 6, 2009


Following on, I can see that becoming incredibly divisive in the queer community, particularly amongst those who think that marriage is kowtowing to heteronormative practices anyway. Obviously that group is a bunch of idiots with more radicalism than smarts, but we need to bring them into the community, not give them further reasons to push away.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:02 AM on July 6, 2009


I would love to see a federal anti-discrimination law passed here. There's one that has been introduced in every session of Congress since 1994, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and it has never had enough votes to pass. I don't see the work that is being undertaken by many committed gay people in the US to pass ENDA as being inconsistent with the fight for marriage equality. They go hand in hand, in my opinion.

I would perceive it as a moral failure if marriage equality became the law of the land without employment and other non-discrimination laws being also made the law of the land, just to make my position clear.

One reason that marriage equality means so much to me is that I and my partner traveled to Windsor 4 years ago just to have a brief moment of what it would feel like to have a ceremony and a piece of paper that legally validated our relationship, because our own country treats us like second-class citizens. That is part of the reason that I may seem overly emotionally invested in the topic.
posted by blucevalo at 11:05 AM on July 6, 2009


I don't see the work that is being undertaken by many committed gay people in the US to pass ENDA as being inconsistent with the fight for marriage equality. They go hand in hand, in my opinion.

I agree. The problem is marriage equality without equal rights across the board. That's where you end up with the two classes.

You got married in Windsor? My condolences. Awful place.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:21 AM on July 6, 2009


Thanks, but it wasn't so bad. It was close to Michigan, where we lived, it was near a nice park that looked out on Lake St. Clair, and we eventually got to see wonderful Toronto (that's where we picked up our license) in the bargain as well.
posted by blucevalo at 11:27 AM on July 6, 2009


I was (mostly) joking, Windsor isn't awful. But I'm from Toronto (aka the Centre of the Universe), so I'm obligated to mock any other city in Canada.

Well.. not Vancouver or Montreal. They have better weather and nightlife, respectively, but we don't like to admit that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:31 AM on July 6, 2009


I don't think the stars on the American flag represent specific states.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:19 PM on July 6, 2009


AFAIK they don't, it's just the number of them that is representative. But for the purposes of this flag they assigned a star to each state.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:51 PM on July 6, 2009


I can't argue about the glories of Toronto -- it's a breathtaking city in every way, and I wish I'd had more time there. Maybe some day we'll be able to return.
posted by blucevalo at 2:02 PM on July 6, 2009


There's a Big Gay Meetup being proposed for Septemberish, and of course the 10th in July..
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:14 PM on July 6, 2009


Speaking of big gay meetups... The National March for Equality, Oct 11
posted by hippybear at 4:10 PM on July 6, 2009


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