WBEZ | prop 8 http://www.wbez.org/tags/prop-8 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Take 'Pride' in gay cinema http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/take-pride-gay-cinema-107890 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/weekend.jpg" style="height: 455px; width: 610px; " title="Tom Cullen and Chris New play lovers in the 2011 British film &quot;Weekend.&quot; (Sundance Selects)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declared a key part of DOMA <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/read-the-supreme-court-declares-doma-unconstitutional/" target="_blank">unconstitutional</a>, and also struck down Prop 8 to allow <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/supreme-court-prop-8_n_3434854.html" target="_blank">full marriage rights</a> to gay couples in the state of California.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>To celebrate this momentous victory (and gear up for the 44th <a href="http://chicagopride.gopride.com" target="_blank">Annual Chicago Pride Parade</a> on Sunday, June 30), why not have a movie marathon of the greatest LGBTQ films of all time?</p><p>Here&#39;s my top 15:</p><p><strong>15. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0960730/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1" target="_blank">Beautiful Darling</a></strong></p><p>A captivating documentary about the colorful and ultimately tragic life of Andy Warhol superstar (and one of the most beautiful transgender women to emerge from any era) Candy Darling.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>14. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318997/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Angels in America</a></strong></p><p>Though technically a television miniseries, this filmed adaptation of a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_in_america" target="_blank">Pulitzer-Prize winning play</a>&nbsp;earns a spot on this list because of the exceptional acting (especially Al Pacino as the fiercely closeted, AIDS-stricken attorney Ray Cohn) and a powerful story about the shifting social and political climate of the 1980s that still resonates today.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>13. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0171804/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Boys Don&#39;t Cry</a></strong></p><p>Hilary Swank gives a stunning, Oscar-winning performance as Brandon Teena, a real-life transgender teen who was raped and murdered in 1993 rural Nebraska after a group of men discovered his secret.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>12. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714210/?ref_=sr_3" target="_blank">Weekend</a></strong></p><p>This 2011 British drama about two men who meet and begin a sexual relationship the week before one of them plans to leave the country is reminiscent of <em>Before Sunrise</em>: a smart and perceptive take on star-crossed lovers that feels achingly, intimately real.</p><p><strong>11. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112651/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">The Celluloid Closet</a></strong></p><p>If you are intrigued by the depiction of homosexuals on film&mdash;from the heavily-censored Golden Age of Hollywood through the renaissance of the early 1990s&mdash; then this documentary (featuring interviews with Tony Curtis, Shirley Maclaine, Tom Hanks and Harvey Fierstein) is a must-see.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>10. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1315981/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">A Single Man</a></strong></p><p>Directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, this artful and exquisite film tells the story of a college professor (Colin Firth) secretly grieving the death of his male partner in 1960s Los Angeles.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>9. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248845/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Hedwig and the Angry Inch</a></strong></p><p>Writer/director/star James Cameron Mitchell is a lightning rod of camp and innovation, turning his groundbreaking off-Broadway musical about an <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_and_the_Angry_Inch_(musical)" target="_blank">angry transgender rock star</a>&nbsp;into a movie that both satisfies the show&#39;s cult following and invites a new audience into Hedwig&#39;s irresistably bizzaro world.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0842926/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">The Kids Are All Right</a></strong></p><p>Some people hate this movie; I love it. The family dynamic, especially the committed yet complex relationship between long term partners Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), is a breath of fresh air in modern filmmaking: a remarkable story that portrays gay parents and their children like any other &quot;normal&quot; (loving, devoted and slightly dysfunctional) family on the block.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0275491/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Bad Education</a></strong></p><p>Pedro Almódovar is one of my favorite directors, and this film is one of his most ingenious masterpieces to date. The effect of religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two men&mdash;estranged friends who grow up with a wealth of secrets and lies between them&mdash;is told with eye-popping color, frenzied edits and a story so full of shocking twists and turns that it must be seen to be believed.</p><p><strong>6. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1013753/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Milk</a></strong></p><p>Sean Penn&#39;s Oscar-winning performance as gay rights hero&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk" target="_blank">Harvey Milk</a>&nbsp;is a triumph, and director Gus Van Sant also does a fine job in bringing Milk&#39;s inspiring true story to richly cinematic life. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388795/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Brokeback Mountain</a></strong></p><p>In 2005, this beautiful and heartwrenching film about the forbidden love between two cowboys (played by A-listers Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger) not only changed the way that typically conservative audiences perceived gay romances onscreen, but also broke down the barriers for films featuring homosexual love interests to enjoy mainstream success.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119590/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Ma Vie en Rose</a></strong></p><p>As another film that changed the dialogue about LGBTQ issues in the U.S. and around the world, 1997&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Ma Vie En Rose</em> (&quot;My Life in Pink&quot;) should be required viewing for every parent or peer of a transgendered child. The story of a little boy named Ludovic who dresses like a princess and dreams of becoming a girl was revolutionary at the time, and continues to ring true for any family learning to accept their child for who they are.</p><p><strong>3. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109045/?ref_=sr_6" target="_blank">The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert</a></strong></p><p>This 1985 Australian comedy was a huge hit overseas, and it&#39;s not difficult to see why. Two drag queens and a transsexual (an endlessly delightful trio played by Guy Pierce, Hugo Weaving and Terrance Stamp) put on a cabaret in the middle of the desert. Hilarity ensues.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102494/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">My Own Private Idaho</a></strong></p><p>Take the perfect casting of River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as gay hustlers, combine with the surrealist direction of Gus Van Sant and add a non-linear storyline set against the backdrop of early &#39;90s Portland for a film that re-defined &quot;indie&quot; for a new generation.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100332/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Paris is Burning</a></strong></p><p>In my opinion, this chronicle of New York City&#39;s drag scene in the late 1980s (including the vivacious, voguing performers who dream of becoming something more) is one of the most important and influential documentaries ever made. Do yourself a favor and see it&mdash;because if your experience watching this film is anything like mine, then it will change your life forever.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Honorable Mentions </strong>(not so much because I love them, but because they are beloved): <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089015/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Desert Hearts</a> (1985),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115736/?ref_=sr_3" target="_blank">Bound</a>&nbsp;(1996), <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069089/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Pink Flamingos</a>&nbsp;(1972), <a href="http://wiki" target="_blank">But I&#39;m a Cheerleader</a>&nbsp;(1999)&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629/" target="_blank">The Rocky Horror Picture Show</a>&nbsp;(1975).&nbsp;</p><p>What are your favorite LGBTQ films?</p><p><em>Leah writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/take-pride-gay-cinema-107890 Afternoon Shift: SCOTUS rules on DOMA, Prop 8 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-06-26/afternoon-shift-scotus-rules-doma-prop-8-107858 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rings.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>SCOTUS rules on Prop 8 and DOMA. What will the impact be on marriage rights across the states? <script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-is-there-wheat-in-that-is-it-process.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-is-there-wheat-in-that-is-it-process" target="_blank">View the story "WBEZ: SCOTUS rules on Prop 8 and DOMA " on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 13:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-06-26/afternoon-shift-scotus-rules-doma-prop-8-107858 Obama's statement on court's gay marriage ruling http://www.wbez.org/news/obamas-statement-courts-gay-marriage-ruling-107856 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP290984811016_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Obama&#39;s statement on court&#39;s gay marriage ruling<br />The Associated Press</p><p><br />WASHINGTON&nbsp; &mdash; President Barack Obama issued the following statement Wednesday in response to the Supreme Court&#39;s finding that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional:</p><p>___</p><p>I applaud the Supreme Court&#39;s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal - and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.</p><p>This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents&#39; marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.</p><p>So we welcome today&#39;s decision, and I&#39;ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.</p><p>On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation&#39;s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision - which applies only to civil marriages - changes that.</p><p>The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.</p></p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obamas-statement-courts-gay-marriage-ruling-107856 Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage in California http://www.wbez.org/news/supreme-court-clears-way-gay-marriage-california-107852 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP209256454344.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; The Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California&#39;s gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban.</p><p>The court&#39;s 5-4 vote Wednesday leaves in place the initial trial court declaration that the ban is unconstitutional. California officials probably will rely on that ruling to allow the resumption of same-sex unions in about a month&#39;s time.</p><p>The high court itself said nothing about the validity of gay marriage bans in California and roughly three dozen other states.</p><p>The outcome was not along ideological lines.</p><p>Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia.</p><p>&quot;We have no authority to decide this case on the merits, and neither did the 9th Circuit,&quot; Roberts said, referring to the federal appeals court that also struck down Proposition 8.</p><p>Four justices, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor, said the court should have decided the constitutional question that was before it.</p></p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 09:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/supreme-court-clears-way-gay-marriage-california-107852 Morning Shift: SCOTUS rules on Prop 8 and DOMA http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-26/morning-shift-scotus-rules-prop-8-and-doma-107849 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Gay Marriage Flickr- carlosmelia.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>SCOTUS rules on Prop 8 and Doma. What will the impact be on marriage rights across the states?&nbsp;</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-is-there-wheat-in-that-is-it-process.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-is-there-wheat-in-that-is-it-process" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: SCOTUS rules on Prop 8 and DOMA " on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-26/morning-shift-scotus-rules-prop-8-and-doma-107849 Tea Leaves, Notes on Prop 8 and DOMA http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-03/tea-leaves-notes-prop-8-and-doma-106399 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7174_AP29021142819-scr.jpg" title="Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in DOMA, outside the Supreme Court (AP)" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>There seems to be a growing consensus that the Supreme Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act but step away from Prop 8, ruling that the plaintiffs in the case -- private citizens who led a public referendum to undo California&rsquo;s same sex marriage legalization -- don&rsquo;t actually have standing.<br /><br />If that&rsquo;s what they do -- and I tend to lean in that direction -- the net effect will mean that, on Prop 8, the ruling of the lower courts will stand: Prop 8 will be thrown out and same sex marriages will be legal in California again. The ruling will affect only California.<br /><br />Ruling DOMA unconstitutional will mean that same sex couples married in any one of the eight states and the District of Columbia that permit it will be eligible for all the rights and privileges of opposite sex couples -- and as the Justices pointed out, there are more than 1,000 benefits from which same sex married couples are currently excluded, including Social Security survivor benefits, military family housing, tax filing, etc.<br /><br />But here are a few other things to consider:<br /><br />* There may be no majority opinion on Prop 8. Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed torn between wanting the case tossed and not wanting to devalue referendum efforts. But some of the Justices may rule the law unconstitutional (probably Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Steven Breyer and Ruth Gingsburg), others may argue standing (Samuel Alito, John Roberts), and some may argue that Prop 8 should be upheld (Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas). If the majority opinion doesn&rsquo;t have five Justices signing it, there&rsquo;s no precedent. If the Justices don&rsquo;t rule it out on standing, this may be the only way out on Prop 8. Otherwise, the court will be forced into establishing a constitutional precedent: either there&rsquo;s a right to same sex marriage (which the conservatives don&rsquo;t want on the books) or there&rsquo;s not (which the liberals don&rsquo;t want). Prop 8 is all or nothing -- there&#39;s almost no way to narrow it down; ruling on standing avoids both of those conclusions, as does not getting a majority.<br /><br />* If the Justices strike down California&#39;s ban on gay marriage by upholding Prop 8, tossing the case, or not getting a majority, it would trigger marriage ban repeal efforts in other states. Forty-one states now ban same-sex marriage. On the other hand, a verdict to find Prop 8 unconstitutional would render all of those bans illegal without state recourse.<br /><br />* If the Justices rule that the citizen organizers of Prop 8 don&rsquo;t have standing, that the interests of the people of California can only be represented in court by elected officials such as the state&rsquo;s governor, attorney general or solicitor general, they will seriously cripple California&rsquo;s referendum system (perhaps not the worst thing that could happen, given the state&rsquo;s history of controversial, and frequently problematic, propositions).<br /><br />* Standing -- whether there is an actual adversarial relationship between the parties before the court -- may actually be more tentative in DOMA than in the Prop 8 case. In fact, the Justices appointed an attorney to argue there&rsquo;s no standing in DOMA but not in Prop 8.</p><p>In DOMA, the government has already determined the law is unconstitutional but has continued to enforce it in spite of lower rulings that agree. In other words, the Obama administration and Edie Windsor, the plaintiff, are on the same side. In the meantime, the people defending DOMA are with the House of Representatives&rsquo; Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG). Both Roberts and Scalia made a point of saying it was unprecedented for a case to come to the court in which the law was being defended by a group that had not sustained injury or, basically, had much to do with the original suit. Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader in the House, has argued BLAG does not, in fact, represent the House&rsquo;s interests but only that of the GOP leadership. (BLAG has racked up a a $3 million bill so far.)</p><p>If the court decides BLAG doesn&rsquo;t have standing, it&rsquo;s less clear what will happen. Most likely, there will be no precedent and DOMA will continue on the books until there&rsquo;s another case or until Congress repeals it. Windsor would most likely get her tax monies back, as ordered by the lower courts.<br /><br />* Should there be no decision on DOMA, and if the law gets kicked back to Congress for repeal, the votes would break straight down party lines in the Senate but not quite in the House. There are currently six Republicans who support repealing DOMA, and <a href="http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/doma-who-are-the-19-democrats-who-voted-for-doma-this-week/legislation/2011/07/08/23322">19 Democrats who support DOMA</a>, including two in Illinois: Jerry Costello and Dan Lipinsky.<br /><br />* The National Organization for Marriage has said that, should there be a vote for same sex marriage in either case, it will begin <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/nom-s-brown-invokes-lincoln-push-federal-marriage-amendment-we-cannot-be-half-slave-half-fre">a campaign</a> for a Federal Marriage amendment, banning marriage equality nationwide. &ldquo;We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free,&rdquo; said Brian Brown, NOM&rsquo;s president. The FMA has been around since 2002, when former Supreme Court aspirant Robert Bork helped draft it, but it&rsquo;s never had enough support to even come for a vote. Nothing suggests it would have any better success now.<br /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 29 Mar 2013 22:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-03/tea-leaves-notes-prop-8-and-doma-106399 You can support equality without being into marriage http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-03/you-can-support-equality-without-being-marriage-106303 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/prop8.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right;" title="File: Prop 8 demonstrators. (AP/File)" /></p><p>F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that intelligence is the &ldquo;ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.&rdquo;</p><p>I thought of Fitzgerald today as SCOTUS deliberated on Prop 8 and God was flooded with prayers from queer people to strike Scalia dead and friends flooded my Facebook feed with equal signs to show their support for marriage equality. It should have been an easy decision, right? I click a button, make a red mathematical mark my profile pic and then go back to watching <em>Bob&rsquo;s Burgers</em> instead of being productive.</p><p>But I didn&rsquo;t do it. I couldn&rsquo;t do it. I support marriage equality, but my support deserves more explanation than a simple photograph can explain, and I saw a number of fights break out on Facebook as people struggled to articulate their mixed emotions on marriage to friends and family. Our politics are complicated. A picture might speak a thousand words, but in this case, those would be the wrong ones. These are my thousand words. They are my own.</p><p>As a queer person and a human person who respects the dignity of all people, I support everyone&rsquo;s right to love and to have that love recognized, if they so choose. I support my friends who have waited for years and decades to do something that Britney Spears can do when she&rsquo;s drunk.</p><p>I support everyone that deserves to be able to visit their partner in the hospital or inherit half of their life together when their partner dies. I support their right to completely, totally screw them up, just like straight parents do. I support the rights of distant gay dads and overbearing lesbian mothers. I support their right to a divorce -- to the ugliest, most Real Housewives-esque arbitration known to man.</p><p>I support everyone&rsquo;s right to have whatever beautifully imperfect love they want, to strive to do better than their parents and fail sometimes and post pictures of it on Facebook. One day, I spent an hour and a half looking through Facebook photos of my favorite professor and her partner&rsquo;s preposterously adorable twins, which they dress in matching baby jumpers. They even dressed them up like chickens for Halloween. Motherflipping c<em>hickens</em>. How can I not support baby poultry? I&rsquo;m not a monster.</p><p>However, supporting and affirming their marriages doesn&#39;t mean I have to support marriage as a concept or believe it should be the issue sweeping our social media. I want to see people coming together to think critically about assimilation and what marriage, as a value, means for us. Same-sex marriage isn&#39;t a shortcut to queer liberation, and it&#39;s not just society&#39;s views on who can get married that need to evolve. It&#39;s marriage.</p><p>Of all people, I feel that Rufus Wainwright put it best. Wainwright is a libertarian (like our good friend Ron Swanson) and doesn&rsquo;t believe in marriage in general. When asked about it his feelings on marriage equality back in 2008, Mr. Wainwright <a href="http://www.towleroad.com/2008/12/rufus-wainwrigh.html">quipped</a>:</p><div><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Oddly enough, I&rsquo;m actually not a huge gay marriage supporter. I personally don&rsquo;t want to get married but I think that any law or amendment to the constitution that deals with sex and love should just be banned in general. I don&rsquo;t think any government should encroach on what goes on in the bedroom at all. Frankly, if you want to marry a dog, why don&rsquo;t you go ahead and marry a dog, I don&rsquo;t care.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">But despite his opposition to marriage in general, Wainwright affirmed his belief in the individual&rsquo;s right to decide for themselves: &ldquo;A girl likes options,&quot; he said. &quot;Maybe someday I will want to marry.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">I agree with Wainwright (who later did get married to his partner). I believe in a person&rsquo;s right to choose the relationship that&rsquo;s right for them, whether that&rsquo;s a beautiful lesbian family with heartbreakingly photogenic children or no family at all. I also want to celebrate the unattached people and everyone who resists our culture of Singleism and doesn&rsquo;t confer rights to healthcare and visitation just because they&rsquo;re in a relationship the state approves of.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/femmehulk.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 390px; float: left;" title="(Feminist Hulk/Twitter)" /></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">As a feminist, I don&rsquo;t want to tell anyone that they need to get married to be deserving of rights and protections. Imagine if you told a female friend of yours she had to get married to have worth. She would Hulk-smash you.</p><p dir="ltr">Instead, I think that we need to do more work to give the benefits of marriage to everyone. Single folks deserve healthcare, just like poly folks shouldn&rsquo;t have to decide which of their partners gets to have rights and which do not. While we figure out what the Affordable Healthcare Act means for queer and trans* folks, we must continue to fight for our community health, including the people that marriage leaves out.</p><p dir="ltr">The problem is that marriage, as <a href="http://achatwithnicolang.tumblr.com/post/46405747469/for-me-queer-theory-is-the-emblematic-example-of">an ideology</a>, speaks to a homonormative subset of the community, where our worth is predicated on our ability to fit into a straight-approved archetype of &quot;gay identity.&quot; It asks us to be a part of the new normal, rather than critiquing the idea of a normal existing at all. Instead, we need to fight for the people outside of the box and their right to critique the box and tear down the box. We need to recognize the institutions that created the box, ask whose agenda the box really serves and question why we need a box at all. Screw the box.</p><p dir="ltr">We can support our friends who want to get married while realizing that marriage doesn&rsquo;t speak to all of our experiences, reflecting on those whose systemic issues marriage can&rsquo;t fix. What about the queer and trans* youth who don&rsquo;t need a ring to fix their problems? We need to put a roof on it, providing shelter for all those who need solace and refuge. All of us deserve love, whether that love is a piece of paper that speaks to decades of struggle for recognition or having a community that supports you and gives you the safe spaces you need.</p><p dir="ltr">Our love needs to be bigger, greater and more inclusive. Our love needs to stop asking trans* people to wait their turn, to start recognize bisexuals as even existing and to work to create a culture that isn&rsquo;t just marriage positive: it&rsquo;s body positive, fat positive, single positive, sex positive and intersectional. While we fight for marriage equality, we must remember to simply fight for equality.</p><p dir="ltr">Equality isn&rsquo;t just an inevitability. It&rsquo;s a necessity. Our community needs equal rights, so we can stop funding the rights of some and focus on the rights of all. It&rsquo;s time for marriage equality, but it&rsquo;s also time to move on. It&rsquo;s time for trans people. It&rsquo;s time for gender non-conformers. It&rsquo;s time for the differently abled. That&rsquo;s what equality means to me. Equality means everyone.</p><p dir="ltr">I know they don&rsquo;t have a Facebook photo for that, but that&rsquo;s what I want to see my Facebook feed light up with. I don&#39;t want it just to celebrate some of the luminous people I know. I want it to celebrate all of you.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Nico Lang writes about LGBTQ issues in Chicago. You can follow Nico on Twitter @<a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang">Nico_Lang</a> or find him on <a href="http://achatwithnicolang.tumblr.com">Tumblr</a> and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang">Facebook</a>.</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-03/you-can-support-equality-without-being-marriage-106303 Prop 8 lawyer's Supreme Court argument: Babies and timing http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-03/prop-8-lawyers-supreme-court-argument-babies-and-timing-106291 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7163_AP080613018219-scr_0.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="File: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy is considered the swing vote in the Prop 8 case. (AP/File)" />The weirdest part of this morning&rsquo;s arguments on Prop 8 before the Supreme Court is that everybody -- including the lawyer representing Prop 8 backers -- seems to think same sex marriage is an inevitability, but that the court&rsquo;s duty is not to hurry it along.</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/03/26/law-blog-doc-dump-transcript-of-proposition-8-arguments/?mod=e2tw" target="_blank">Consider the California voter</a>, in 2008,&rdquo; said Charles Cooper, the attorney for Prop 8&rsquo;s backers, &ldquo;in the ballot booth, with the question before her whether or not this age-old bedrock social institution should be fundamentally redefined, and knowing that there&rsquo;s no way that she or anyone else could possibly know what the long-term implications of -- of profound redefinition of a bedrock social institution would be. That is reason enough, Your Honor, that would hardly be irrational for the voter to say, I believe that this experiment, which is now only fairly four years old, even in Massachusetts, the oldest state that is conducting it, to say, I think it better for California to hit the pause button and await additional information from the jurisdictions where this experiment is still maturing.&rdquo;</p><p>The pause button! Not the stop or off button, but the pause button!</p><p>And what&rsquo;s the rationale for the slowdown? To see if same-sex marriage is working?</p><p>Here&rsquo;s my question: How in heaven&rsquo;s name would that be measured?</p><p>The arguments put forth by Cooper were, frankly, stunning to me. They center mostly on procreation.</p><p>&ldquo;The concern is that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historic traditional procreative purposes, and it will refocus, refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults, of adult couples,&rdquo; Cooper said.</p><p>But doesn&rsquo;t that actually sound like what modern marriage already is? Hasn&rsquo;t that redefinition already taken place among heterosexuals without any influence from the debate about same sex marriage? Hasn&rsquo;t industrialization and feminism already made &ldquo;the emotional needs and desires of adults&rdquo; the focus of modern marriage?</p><p>And because the case is based in California, where adoption is permitted to same-sex couples and where both partners in same-sex couples appear on the birth certificate of biological children, how does same sex marriage affect procreation and, specifically, procreation in traditional heterosexual families?</p><p>It&rsquo;s obvious it doesn&rsquo;t.</p><p>Still, this morning&rsquo;s proceedings suggest that the decision -- if there is a decision -- will likely be split and narrow. While it&rsquo;s fair to say that Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer seem ready to toss the totality Prop 8, Justice Anthony Kennedy, possibly the most anguished of the justices and the necessary vote in either direction, seemed a bit reluctant. (Kennedy is also the author of the only two Supreme Court decisions to affirm rights for gays.)</p><p>It was Kennedy, in fact, who today specifically brought up the ruling by the 9th District Court, which determined that Prop 8 improperly denied a right granted to same sex couples by the California Supreme Court. If the justices choose to uphold that verdict, the dismissal of Prop 8 would apply only to California and have no bearing on any other state. In other words, it would be a way of avoiding affirming a constitutional right to marriage for same-sex couples.</p><p>But there is also a chance -- slim but present -- that the case might be dismissed based on standing. That is, that the backers of Prop 8 do not have right to defend it before the court because the state of California itself -- meaning the governor and the attorney general -- have chosen not to defend it.</p><p>This last scenario would have multiple effects: One, it would toss out Prop 8 but without setting precedent. And it would hurl California&rsquo;s ballot initiative process into chaos.</p></p> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 13:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-03/prop-8-lawyers-supreme-court-argument-babies-and-timing-106291