Alexander Chee asks: Future Queer: Where is Gay America going next?
Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
The Republic of Ireland made history today by becoming the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage via popular vote. Ireland only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, so the country has seen an amazing turnaround on gay rights issues. And the omens are good.
Two years after Elizabeth and Mary Cheney publicly fought each other on marriage equality, another set of sisters, also named Elizabeth and Mary, write about their own challenging experiences:
I know that in this day and age many thousands, if not millions, of families find themselves in predicaments similar to ours. My desire is that our joint disclosure might help others begin to open their hearts and minds to one another. I hope that they can find both the courage and the charity to have those difficult but potentially transformative conversations that they, like we, have avoided for such a long time.
Katha Pollitt believes it's because, unlike gay marriage, "Reproductive rights are inescapably about women." Same-sex marriage is something men want. Lesbian couples account for the majority of same-sex marriages, but even the vernacular "gay marriage" types it as a male concern. That makes it of interest to everyone, because everything male is of general interest. Though many of the groundbreaking activists and lawyers who have fought for same-sex marriage are lesbians, gay men have a great deal of social and economic power, and they have used it, brilliantly, to mainstream the cause. [more inside]
Congressman Steve King of Iowa has introduced an innovative way of settling any marriage-related court cases that may crop up in the United States. Not all analysts agree with the approach, though.
40 years ago, a clerk in Boulder, Colorado let 6 same sex couples get married. One of them was a couple with an Australian national facing deportation. This is their story. Imagine falling in love and then being told that no, your relationship isn't good enough to qualify to keep your partner with you. Now imagine that this takes place 40 years ago and you're a gay man. This actually happened, and the decision from immigration was effectively 'f***ots can't have a real marriage.'
"In their youthful days, they took each other as companions for life, and... this union, no less sacred to them than the tie of marriage, has subsisted, in uninterrupted harmony, for forty years, during which they have shared each other’s occupations and pleasures and works of charity while in health, and watched over each other tenderly in sickness."
Speaking on behalf of HB 1371, "The Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act", State Senator Joseph Silk told the NYT: "[Gay people] don’t have a right to be served in every single store.... People need to have the ability to refuse service if its violates their religious convictions." State Representative Emily Virgin proposed an amendment with a powerful message to business owners who would turn away gay couples: Own your bigotry. Publicly. [more inside]
Shibuya, Tokyo to begin issuing certification to same-sex couples of "relationship equivalent to marriage."
Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.
Three Flordia counties are doing away with courthouse weddings. In response to the ban on the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses being lifted on Tuesday we've also seen county clerks threatened by the state while the Attorney General asks the federal judge to clarify that he didn't just mean the clerk named in the case.
Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs For Feminism (YouTube; NSFW), FCKH8's new video campaign, has gone viral - attracting both praise & criticism. FCKH8's campaigns have sparked similar mixed reactions before. [more inside]
"...there is no 'gay exception' to our U.S. Constitution's guarantees of liberty and equality for all, including the freedom to celebrate love, commitment, and family with the person of one's choice in marriage."
"Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental." U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman posts a ruling that Louisiana’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is constitutional. [more inside]
A federal judge has struck down Florida's state constitutional ban against gay marriage. Four state justices have previously struck down the ban, but U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle became the first federal judge to rule the Sunshine State's ban unconstitutional. [more inside]
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
Arkansas Judge strikes down gay marriage ban. And in a surprising move, didn't put the order on hold so people could appeal. [more inside]
At long last the College Of Arms has released offical guidelines on the effects of same-sex marriage on heraldry.
When Australian prime minister Tony Abbott paused on the lawn of Parliament House to engage a group of high school students in conversation, he may have been hoping to impress some future voters. However, the questions fired at him by the 14-year-olds - about asylum seekers, gay marriage and why he has appointed himself Minister for Women - seemed to take him aback (warning: camera is level with Abbott's crotch.) The students involved later participated in the March in March – a series of protests against current government policies which took place in 29 locations across Australia over three days. Despite over 100,000 turning out, the protests was little coverage by mainstream media – leading to criticism even from within the media’s own ranks.
More than 12,000 Catholics from five continents answered questions in a massive survey commissioned by Univision and conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International. Topics covered included all the issues most likely to generate lively discussion among Catholics all over the world. Here's how they responded. [more inside]
About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more. And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote. - Dan Savage reviews Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.
Following the state Supreme Court's decision in Griego v. Oliver [pdf], New Mexico has become the 17th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. [more inside]
A day apart, the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Australia respectively overturned the three-year-old 2009 Delhi High Court ruling and the five-day-old Australian Capital Territory same sex marriage law. For India, this means a return to laws dating from the British rule of India which criminalise sexual acts "against the order of nature", and for Australia this means a return to the "man and woman" 2004 Amendment of the Federal Marriage Act.
West Australian MP Stephen Dawson and his partner Dennis Liddelow have become the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Australia. But the High Court of Australia may declare the legislation that allowed them to get married — and thus their marriage itself — invalid next week. [more inside]
The NFL's Modern Man: How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.
New Jersey court to allow same-sex marriages. A stay was not granted to an earlier ruling allowing gay people to marry in New Jersey. Asbury Park and Newark are already issuing marriage licenses for couples to marry at the first possible time on Monday. This defeats a long-term move by governor Christie and conservatives to push a statewide referendum rather than go ahead with the court's ruling. New Jersey is now the fourteenth state to allow gay marriage.
Yep it's another proposal video. The woman being proposed to works for Washington Bus, a group which focuses on youth involvement in Democracy and was instrumental in helping get Marriage Equality passed in Washington state. SPOILER ALERT: She gets to take advantage of that law! [more inside]
This past Wednesday, the Doña Ana County County Clerk in Las Cruces, NM (my hometown!) started issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. The Attorney General of NM says he won't challenge the move. The Washington Times (I know, I know) has the story. So does the NYT, if you haven't used up all your free articles for the month. Two days later, a District Court judge ordered Santa Fe County to begin issuing licenses to same sex couples. Bit by bit, the 47th state is becoming the 14th state.
Archie Comics Gets Its First Gay Kiss, Takes On One Million Moms. A couple years back, Archie Comics introduced its first gay character, Kevin Keller. (previously) Since, he's become a normal fixture in Riverdale, and even gotten married in an alternate universe. But finally, Kevin gets an on-panel kiss for the first time -- in his own universe, even! The issue includes a riff on everyone's poorly-counting scolds One Million Moms. [more inside]
Badass Digest and the A.V. Club both have some choice perspective to offer concerning Orson Scott Card's public statement about the boycott of the "Ender's Game" film.
"For the last two years, the agency has kept a list of same-sex couples whose green card petitions were denied, the officials said, anticipating that the Supreme Court would eventually weigh in on DOMA. Those denials will now be reversed without couples having to present new applications, if no other issues have arisen." -- The US Immigration and Citizenship Services agency has issued the first green card to a partner in a gay marriage.
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatised parents.” The world’s oldest and largest ‘ex-gay’ organisation, Exodus International, is finally shutting down a year after deciding it was wrong. Previously. Previousier.
David and Jason are a married bi-national couple fighting the Defense of Marriage Act which denies gay Americans over 1100 federal rights. This includes preventing gay Americans from gaining green cards for their foreign born spouses. Since meeting in the Spring of 2007, Jason has returned to LA over a dozen times for expensive lengthy visits but is now being warned he will no longer be allowed to visit as a tourist.
The French Right Marches against Gay Marriage. Last month, France became the thirteenth nation to recognize same-sex marriage. A large religious and political movement continues to protest loudly against the Socialist government's "Mariage Pour Tous" (Marriage For All) law. [more inside]
18 arguments made against gay marriage in the House of Lords, England, during debate of the Governments proposed Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill
Today, at noon (central daylight time) the Minnesota Senate will begin debate on a bill to legalize same sex marriages. The bill already passed the Minnesota House. As Reuters reports, the Senate will likely pass the bill, and Governor Mark Dayton has promised to sign it into law. [more inside]
When Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a gay marriage bill into law just minutes after its passage by the state Senate earlier today, Delaware became the eleventh U.S. state to legalize gay marriage. Gay marriages will become legal July 1st of this year.
With 71 votes from the Chamber of Deputies, Uruguay became the third country in the Americas to legalize gay marriage. From the article: While some countries have carved out new territory for gay and lesbian couples without affecting heterosexual marrieds, Uruguay is creating a single set of rules for all people, gay or straight. Instead of the words "husband and wife" in marriage contracts, it refers to the gender-neutral "contracting parties."
"Two women, Edna Knowles and Peaches Stevens, were wed in Liz's Mark III Lounge, a gay bar on Chicago's South Side, before a host of friends and well-wishers."--JET Magazine, October 1970 The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History offers a terrific post on the public rituals queer African American women have used to celebrate their partnerships since the 1920s.
How Ellen DeGeneres Helped Change The Conversation About Gays
"Ellen DeGeneres is ... almost a litmus test of where we have been as a society," [Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin] says. "When she first came out and really put the issue of same-sex partnerships on people's agendas, and I mean people who really wouldn't have thought about it, I think the country was still in a very different state."From her first stand-up performance on national TV in the US in 1986, the same year that the Supreme Court ruled that states have right to enforce code of sexual behavior, to 2008, when Ellen married Portia de Rossi, after California's Supreme Court ruled a previous ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional, Ellen's public life has mirrored the broader shift towards accepting homosexuality. [more inside]
Earlier today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the California Prop 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry. SCOTUSblog has a round-up of their analysis of today's arguments here. NYT article. LA Times article. [more inside]
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Issues A Smackdown The CEO of the hugely successful, not universally beloved coffee chain gives a brief statement on the intersection, or lack thereof, between economics and respect for diversity.
Conservative Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) came out in favor of marriage equality today, in an interview on CNN and an Op-Ed in the Columbus Dispatch. This reversal comes via Portman's son, who came out as a gay man to his parents two years ago. Reaction has been mixed.