Recently I attended a Quaker wedding. Having now introduced the subject of this entire post, the temptation is to add a sufficient qualifier. None of the most common phrases used sounds especially elegant. Same-sex marriage or its compliment, same-gender marriage, sounds pedantic. Gay marriage sometimes implies that a union between two homosexual people is less authentic or valid than one between a heterosexual couple. In conclusion, what I will say is that there were two grooms. And over the past nine months I have gotten to know the both of them, which was why I was put to work that day as the world’s most nervous and highly anxious usher. Friends tend to be introverted and somewhat socially awkward, and this Friend is no exception.
Tag: same-sex marriage
Jun 06 2011
A Marriage Story for all the Skeptics Out There
Feb 24 2011
A Lesson for Stoppin’ Liberal Activist Judges
(cross-posted from the ol’ Daily Kos there)
Duh! Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
A new bill in the Iowa House of Representatives FINALLY solves the problem of liberal activist judges takin’ away all our precious freedoms! Republicans are showin’ some real ingenuity in the ol’ legislative arena for dealin’ with same-sex marriage:
County recorders would be prohibited from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and the Iowa Supreme Court would be unable to rule on the issue under a bill sponsored by six conservative House Republicans.
House File 330 specifically says that the Supreme Court would not be able to overturn or restrict the law if the bill were passed.
How brilliant is that? If the liberal courts are givin’ ya trouble, just pass a law to keep their noses out of our business! It’s like the Republicans are playin’ chess and the Democrats are playin’ Minesweeper.
Aug 19 2010
On Saving Us From The Immoral, Or “Ready, Fire…Aim!”
It was about a week ago that we saw the ruling throwing out California’s Prop 8; that decision has now been appealed, and we will see, at some point in the future, how the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handles the matter.
A couple of days later, I had a story up that walked through the ruling, describing the tactics used by the Prop 8 proponents, which, in the opinion of the Judge who looked at the evidence, were basically to try to scare Californians into thinking that gay people, once they’re able to get gay married, will somehow now be free to evangelize your kids and make them gay, too.
In the course of answering comments on the several sites where the story is up, I noticed that there were those who felt the Bible should be guiding our thinking here…that if it did, we would be better off than where we are today, with all those immoral gay people running around free to do all those immoral gay things.
This led me to an obvious question: are those who have been using the Bible as a sort of “divining rod” to figure out who is immoral and who is not…actually any good at it?
Jul 13 2010
On A Pair Of Victories, Part Two, Or, DOMA Ruled Unconstitutionally Irrational
We are back, just a bit late, to wrap up the discussion we began about the pair of rulings issued in Boston by Federal District Judge Joseph Tauro this week that declare the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
In the first half of the conversation, we examined the ruling in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today we examine the companion case, Gill v Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
I don’t usually tell you the end of the story at the beginning, but this time I will: there are a lot of happy Plaintiffs this week, and the Federal Government, as Defendant (whom I will refer to as “the Feds” from time to time), is not so happy at the moment.
As with last time, there’s a lot of ground to cover, and the sooner we get to it, the better.
Jul 09 2010
On A Pair Of Victories, Part One, Or, “I DOMA Think Congress Can Define Spouse Anymore”
I have to work fast over the next two days to get you this story, but it is a good one.
We are all aware of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), championed by former Congressman Bob “I’m A Libertarian If It Doesn’t Involve Your Penis Or Vagina” Barr; we now have two rulings, released on the same day by the same Federal judge, that will render the Act moot, if they’re either upheld throughout the appeals process…or if the Obama Administration decides to end that appeals process right now.
There’s a lot of ground to cover, and time is short.
Let’s get to work.
Oct 14 2009
On Same-Sex Inheritance, Or, “‘Til Death Do We Part” Comes To Boyzone
There was a time, in the 1990s, when “boy bands” walked tall in the musical world. New stars with names like “BoyzIIMen” and “Backstreet Boys” and “*NSYNC” were everywhere to be seen, and positioned prominently within this firmament of stars was an Irish band, “Boyzone”.
One of the five members of Boyzone’s most famous lineup, Stephen Gately, died over the weekend in Mallorca, aged 33, much to the dismay of the group’s fans and friends.
Because Gately came out at the height of his career, and at considerable risk to his (and the group’s) “brand” prospects, the LBGT community is experiencing considerable dismay over the loss as well.
Today’s story, however, isn’t about any of that.
Instead, we’ll consider what’s likely to happen to Gately’s estate.
The point of the exercise? With this being one of the most prominent deaths of a gay celebrity to occur since civil commitment came to pass, and with Mr. Gately being legally committed to husband Andrew Cowles at the time of his death, it seems like a good time to examine how the law responds to these situations in the UK-and how it could work in the United States.
Oct 13 2009
Iowa NAACP head needs a history lesson
Sioux City businessman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats got a surprising endorsement on Monday from Keith Ratliff, pastor of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines and president of the Iowa-Nebraska chapter of the NAACP.
Vander Plaats was the front-runner in the Republican field until former Governor Terry Branstad entered the race. Ratliff said Vander Plaats’ position on same-sex marriage rights was “an important factor” in his endorsement.
Sep 19 2009
Friday Philosophy: I sat down on the floor…and I can’t get up
I had an alternate title: Frienemies with Aging. This could be part two of a very slow-moving series: On Aging was published March 7, 2008.
When we got home from teaching last night, and with Debbie not having to teach at City Tech this morning because classes were canceled for Rosh Hashanah, I decided to use the fact that we had no classes this morning to do something to make the place slightly more livable.
Like assemble the cat tree we had purchased online and that arrived via UPS on Wednesday. Photos of the finished project will be interspersed among this story of pain and fatigue and just growing old. Now I didn’t have the camera with me last night when I was stuck on the floor, so I went the extra mile for verisimilitude and got back down on the floor in order to show the view from there and during the struggle to rise up against my oppressor: gravity.
May 26 2009
About tomorrow’s Prop 8 decision.
Whether tomorrow’s Prop 8 decision affects you directly or not, it’s likely to be a big moment for the LGBT movement, insofar as so many married and wanting-to-right-to-be-married couples are heavily invested in the outcome.
I won’t waste words on the background of this issue since so much has been written already. But if you value equality and want to be part of what happens next, I’ve put together a list of events and links that should be useful.
Apr 11 2009
NOM, NOM, NOM. Fibbers extraordinaire
Also posted on Daily Kos. I figured I would share here, too.
First, I know that I am preaching to the proverbial choir on this. Please comment, but this diary is as much for lurkers, trolls, and freepers as it is for this community.
Second, I am an entrenched GLBT ally. I have no direct and solely personal interest in same sex marriage, but I have family, friends, and online friends who are. That’s more than enough for me to get involved.
Third, and this will come as the shocker of the week, but it turns out that the National Organization for Marriage is a bunch of liars.
Fourth, I haven’t gone off on a good rant in a while and I don’t have a date this Friday evening (or most Friday evenings for that matter). So this is my outlet for righteous indignation.
Fifth: I am the sort of person who reads methodology sections in academic papers. I actually enjoy this sort of thing.
Dec 08 2008
Iowa Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Same-Sex Marriage Case
The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday on a same-sex marriage case that challenges whether Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act enacted in 1998 is constitutional. The case specifically challenges whether a ban on same-sex marriage violates the Iowa constitution’s “equal protection” clause (Article 1, Section 6) and “due process” clause (Article 1, Section 9). Decisions from Iowa’s high court usually come two to six months after oral arguments.
The case, Varnum v. Brien, was filed by Lambda Legal in 2005. The plaintiffs in the case are a group of same-sex couples who tried to get marriage licenses in Polk County in late 2005 or early 2006, including Kate Varnum and her partner Trish, who has legally changed her last name to Varnum also. The defendant in the case is Timothy J. Brien, the Polk County Recorder who refused to issue marriage licenses to the couples. Brien informed the couples he could not issue marriage licenses to them by state law, citing the Defense of Marriage Act (Iowa Code, Section 595.2).
Nov 17 2008
So why am I not divorced yet?
I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around the “gay marriage threatens ‘traditional’ marriage” meme. Marriage between same-sex partners was legal in California for a few months, until the passage of Prop H8; it’s now legal in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Same-sex marriage is legal in Canada, Norway (as of January 1 2009), South Africa, Belgium, The Netherlands… I’m not getting this. Didn’t ‘separate but equal’ fall by the wayside a long time ago?
OK, I confess…I AM divorced. From Husband #1. But that divorce was in 1981, long before same-sex marriage was legalized anywhere in the United States. So golly, what happened?
I’ll tell you what: physical abuse threatens marriage. Emotional and psychological abuse threatens marriage. That’s what happened to me. Abuse that was never acknowledged by my ex; never dealt with, admitted, apologized for, or STOPPED.
We tried, mind you…or I should say, I tried. I took my marriage vows seriously. When I said, “For better, for worse…’til death do us part…” I meant it. I admit, it hadn’t even occurred to me at the time that my death might be a lot more imminent than I thought. It never occurred to me that my husband (who had sworn to love, honor, yadda yadda yadda) might try to do me in within a week or so of having taken that vow. When he told me he planned to be a triple-A husband, little did I suspect that meant Abusive Alcoholic Asshole. So when the drinking and the violence started, I insisted on counseling. I tried to keep it together. I tried to be the understanding wife.
I’m far from a perfect human, God knows. I know I have my flaws. But I don’t think ANY person deserves to have the kitchen table overturned on top of him/her, for having forgotten to put the milk on the table at supper. I don’t think ANY person deserves to be dragged down the hall of the marriage therapist’s office by the hair, being kicked in the back at the same time. I don’t think ANY person deserves to be called vicious names; to be accused of non-existent infidelity; to have dishes flung at one’s head; to be verbally and emotionally and physically battered.
So yeah, abuse threatens marriage.
Here’s what else can threaten a marriage:
Chronic or serious illness. The death of a child. Addiction. Financial worries. Unemployment. Infidelity. Just to name a few…
I’ve had some experience with a couple of these, too. I’ve been married to my second husband for almost 24 years now, and we’ve faced money problems, life-threatening illness, and the death of our firstborn. That last was probably the toughest thing any parent can face; we lost our beloved daughter to a drunk driver, just a few months before she would have wed the father of her two young children. At least she wouldn’t have been denied that right, had she lived…we wouldn’t have had to fight for her to be able to do that.
We’ve been lucky. We’ve managed to survive those potential threats, and have worked at growing stronger as a couple as a result of those challenges.
But same-sex marriage? Holy shit, that’s not even on the RADAR as a potential cause for a split. How the hell could it be? How can the thought of a same-sex couple wanting to commit to one another in a lifetime of monogamous fidelity possibly threaten our marriage, or that of anyone else?
Rather, does it not uphold marriage as the ideal? Does it not say, that’s the brass ring…that’s the ultimate commitment goal…that’s what many loving couples want to publicly declare?
Granted, not every opposite-sex couple choose to marry, nor should they be forced to. I’m sure there are same-sex couples who feel the same way, whether out of fear of commitment, not wanting to ‘mess up a good thing,’ the costs involved, the legal hoops to jump through, or whatever. But for those who DO want a public, legal, recognized marriage, why the hell should they be denied that? If they are adults, why can’t they enter into that contract with one another? And why can’t it be a marriage, just like any other?
I’m sorry to hear that there are some folks out there whose marriages are on such shaky ground that the thought of another couple wanting that same level of commitment would destroy their legal relationship. Must have built that house on sand, eh?
I’m happy to say that my feet, and my husband’s, are on pretty solid rock. Our marriage has not always been smooth sailing, and if we live long enough, we may yet hit stormy seas. But I am confident that, should we ever face a serious threat to our closing-on-a-quarter-century marriage, it WON’T be because Adam and Steve, or Ada and Eve, decided they want the same level of legal and social recognition for their relationship that we all too often take for granted.
For those who want to ‘preserve marriage’:
Support equal pay for equal work.
Support stronger families, of ALL kinds. (Real ‘family values’ means valuing all families. Honest.)
Work to end poverty.
Work for full employment.
Work to end disease.
Work to end abuse.
Work to overcome addiction.
But please DON’T tell me that love isn’t love. Don’t tell me that the gay couple down the street, who may have been together even longer than you and your spouse, are not entitled to marry. Don’t tell me that the lesbian couple whose kids attend your kids’ school, aren’t a ‘real’ family.
It IS a civil rights issue. And America should be at the forefront of the movement to grant those rights to all its citizens, not playing catch-up.