June 2011

We're Up to Six

New York legalizes gay marriage

 

Six out of fifty is twelve percent. That's two percent closer to a hundred than we were at the start of this week. Progress: it's happening. I never thought they'd do it after Iowa, but at long last, New York has joined the ranks of states that permit gay couples to marry.

The news evoked some adorable reactions; namely, marriage proposals between long-time gay couples. People who have lived together for thirty years, essentially married, will in July be able to enjoy all the benefits of legal marriage. It might not change the relationship much, but it certainly indicates that the way queerness is thought of in the public sphere is changing.

Opponents of the motion predictably spewed some great sound bites upon hearing the news. Democratic Senator Ruben Diaz found himself concerned about human rights; namely, his own. "I'm sorry you are trying to take away my right to speak," he's quoted as having said. Because as we all know, the real human rights injustice at play here is the right of the homophobes to hate whomever they want. Don't you go treading on their God-given right to spew prejudice and injustice. How dare we silence those who are trying to silence a minority? Clearly, it's the heterosexuals we should be worried about.

The Choicer Conundrum

Why it doesn't matter if it's a choice or not

 

 

 

 

 

It's 2011, and we're still hearing from folks who proclaim that sexuality is a choice. Which is in itself not the worst--after all, we're still hearing from folks who believe that Hitler is retired and straight chilling out in Italy--except for the fact that these folks are politicians and have power over what other people do with their lives and such. Up in Canada, John Cummins, the leader of British Columbia's Conservative Party, recently stated that gay rights shouldn't be covered by the BC Human Rights Act because people consciously choose to be gay. Queer columnist Dan Savage railed against the sound bite in typical fashion, urging Cummins to, ahem, physically prove that he could flip the sexuality switch and go gay on command. 

 

I appreciate the humor Savage levels at these types of situations, but he's smoothing over a few complexities by going with the standard rebuttal of "we can't help it". It makes it sound like an apologetic excuse--we'd be straight if we could, but there's just no way we can. We're stuck with a bad case of the gay no matter what we do. 

 

The problem, really, is the line of thinking that insists alternative lifestyles should only be protected under the law if there's no way around them. That if you choose a certain part of your identity, it renders that part unfit for legal protection. I'm not too strong on Canadian lawmaking, but down here in the States at least, I'm pretty sure you're allowed to be whatever you want and still get the benefit of basic human dignity so long as you're not hurting anyone. 

"Q" - Seattles New Mega Gay Club

After reading "First look: The plans for Q, Broadway's new gay dance club" in the CHS, I can't help but laugh a little regarding the plans for "Q" - what will likely be the first real example of a Mega Gay club in Capitol Hill, or even Seattle. It is not that I don't love the plans for the new space, but the strange characters the 3D architects chose to place in the club have me a little giggly. Take for instance the uniformed police officer in the upper right hand corner - which, to me, looks like the architect is longing for the days when surprise police raids were required by our puritanical government and citizens to keep the "homosexuals" on their toes. Another fun patron, the guy dressed up to the nines in several of the images - if the creators of the images wanted to get a good response from the community they should have put in guys in pajamas - or shirtless bears - because it doesn't really get much dressier than that (at least in the Seattle Gay Scene).

Straight Boy Not in Damascus

No Kidnapped Lesbian but Lots of Wankage

I first discovered the Gay Girl in Damascus blog on April 26, via a link on Twitter from NPR journalist @acarvin, Andy Carvin. Carvin linked to this post, about Amina's father's defense of her as his lesbian daughter. I followed the blog, but as I noted to my partner, she didn't sound like any of the out lesbians we knew. By the time Amina started writing about her experiences with lesbian love-making, I was rolling my eyes; it was too Mary Sue.

Judge Ware Heard Testimony in Prop 8 Appeal

Vote Yes Running out of Straws

Last August, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in California's Prop 8 case, also known as Perry v. Schwarzenegger, that marriage as a socio-political and as a legal institution should be just attainable for same-sex couples as it is for heterosexual couples, and that Prop 8 violated the rights of California's gay and lesbian citizens. You can read Judge Walker's reasoned and thoughtful comments about his decision.