Tag Archives: marriageequality

DefendDOMA.org

So NOM has started up another front group, like the ruth institute, called DefendDOMA.org.

Honestly its sick-making on so many grounds, the homophobia and bigotry expressed, but also the hypocrisy.

The rights of the minority cannot be in the hands of the majority, its one of the many lessons learned during the process of moving towards equality in this country.

Defending DOMA is unethical because marriage is not threatened, and nobody has come up with an iota of proof that allowing marriage equality would damage heterosexual marriage in any way.

The hypocrisy comes from the flip flopping, currently its the vote of the people meme, they know whats best, but were it the people supporting it they’d still be clamoring to the representatives/senators that they had to stand firm against the gay tide.

This to me is still the best argument against the tactics is this video on Reel Love

Would the real United States please catch up

American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance

The American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. (Source: www.wilsoninfo.com)

This is an open letter to the ‘Land of the Free’, and indeed, all those living under the colourful tones (and yes, I mean colourful… I’m a Brit!) of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’. This is a letter both to and about America and her people. This is a letter about liberty, democracy, equality, opportunity, merit, forgiveness and compassion. This is a letter about basic human decency.

Dear United States,

What the hell is going on with you? I grew up being taught of the many wonderful ideals that America held dear, and it once gave me some belief that there was a country in this world with the sense of fairness and decency to act out those ideals. Some of those ideals are supposedly the founding principles of your nation, and some of them simply ideals that America holds dear… ideas and ideals worth defending. Much of your country, after all, was founded with a population that grew from those that escaped the tyranny, persecution, and oppression they found in Britain, and even in Ireland. Yet more people have joined you since then from around the world, some of whom were slaves -OK, not a bright point in history, but at least Americans saw fit to eventually put an end to it – indeed, that Mr. Luther King was able to stand up as he did as a figurehead of the civil rights movement is just one example of how a man can supposedly start from humble beginnings and rise to greatness in America. Actually, I had grown up to think of you not just as a world leader, but one that leads by example.

Sadly, I no longer believe in that magical land of freedom I was taught about. It doesn’t seem to exist any more, and it’s a great loss to the world that it doesn’t exist. It is of course no great loss to LGBTQIA Americans, who have grown up with first hand experience of the flaws of your once great nation which serve to ensure that it is not free. All men (and women) under the American flag are not equal! Your levels of gun crime are truly shocking, and entitlement to healthcare was a shambles until recently, and is threatened to be so again by a Republican led congress determined to engage in culture war rather than concentrate on jobs, with jobs being the policy they were elected on. Britain is not perfect in this department either, but that excuses neither country and Britain isn’t the so-called ‘land of the free’.

The GOP led house has just voted to remove funding for Title X provisions; provisions which any civilised society should provide to anybody that needs them. Unfortunately those that cannot afford to pay for it can no longer gain access to…

  • pelvic exams and Pap tests, important for early detection of cervical cancer;
  • breast exams and instruction on breast self-examination
  • testing for high blood pressure, anemia, and diabetes;
  • screening and appropriate treatment for sexually transmitted infections; and
  • basic infertility screening.

… and how are those unable to access these things supposed to have a choice over their own health, let alone their own lifestyle? Is this is an ill informed attack on women in an attempt to keep them fidelitous and stop them having sex? Why? Is it because a bunch of so-called Christians in your country feel that only God’s way is the right way, and so do all they can to bend and shape your nation into their theocratic image? I mean, what’s the difference between a theocratic society and laws based on theocratic ideas anyway? How is such theocratic rule supposed to be any better than that of any other theocratic state… like, for example, Iran? Of what value is separation of Church and State if the secular laws of the land are created by those who wish to enshrine their religious beliefs into legislation intended to enforce the moral code of their favoured deity and holy book?

Why, in this enlightened age, are abortion doctors murdered by those who profess to be ‘pro-life’?.. and on what planet is the murder of an abortion doctor ‘justifiable homicide’, as recently proposed by Republican Representative Phil Jensen in South Dakota? Why are transgender people in the US denied treatment known to be successful for their condition, and why are they so often denied the right to ammend their documentation appropriately… even reported by names they were no longer known by after their deaths and mistreated at the hands of public servants.

What about marriage equality… why? Why is it that an LGBTQIA person can serve their country in any number of patriotic ways, and yet be denied the right to be married? Why is it that when Proposition 8 passed (dubiously) in California, it was hailed as a show of the democratic will of the people, but it doesn’t work that way around when opponents of marriage equality fail to impress with their bigotry. Instead, in a state like New Hampshire where most people support already existing marriage equality, Republicans try to pass bills to repeal it… and when that fails, people like Republican Representative David Bates suggest that a consitutional amendment could serve the same purpose if the bill is defeated… Where’s the democracy in that, in a state with 29% against marriage equality, 9% neutral, and 62% in favour of it? This isn’t representing the people! This is using the people as pawns to get into government in order to use their position in an effort to force through THEIR views, not the people’s!.. and it’s happened on both a state and federal scale!

Making it worse, what’s happening about an immigration policy that not only has no policy for gay people, but specifically refuses to recognise the marriages of those who ARE in a state where their marriages are recognised. Where is the American dream or the freedom, liberty, fairness and compassion in throwing someone out of the country or refusing to let them in, just because they happen to be gay, where a straight person in the same circumstances would be welcomed?

Oh America! How can you go to war on false pretences of WMD’s that don’t exist with a claim of “spreading democracy and freedom around the world”, when such monumental democratic failings, culture wars, and illiberty permeate your once great nation?

Much of the western world has woken up to the bigotry, hatred, discrimination, and illiberty of the past. Many countries now recognise transsexual men and women for who they really are, and even allow them to get married accordingly. Many countries in the western world allow same sex marriage, and many of those that don’t offer a non-marriage civil union which is not enough, but at least something. America doesn’t even reliably offer a civil union, and it’s benefits are limited where it IS available! America, are you really willing to be left behind and stand there as a pariah state of intolerance, hatred and bigotry in not affording these people recognition of their relationships on your soil, for immigration purposes or otherwise?

I used to look up to the United States as a country of freedom, fairness and opportunity. Now, the United States is simply a disappointment. Would the real United States please catch up?

What did you do on Valentines Day

These wonderful activists decided to try to get the basic human freedom of marrying the person they love. Sad to see that there were too many bigots at the licensing office in many states.

Two things stuck out to me, one was the woman in california who was so apologetic of the situation, and wrote an IOU a marriage license and said she would be honored to give them one when she could, it kinda made me cry. The other was a man saying “you aren’t helping your cause” what a little shit, and I say that with love and compassion… We will do what ever we can to raise the issue and fight for our basic human rights of equality. You wont stop us.

I wish i’d been out with these brave people, sadly obviously not in the US at the moment… more bigotry in action.

Denying LGBTQIA conservatives, the right to be conservative…

I’m a left of left ultra liberal, socialist, eggheaded, feminist, antitheist, bisexual, anti-war, anti-corporatist, pro-labour, lesbian identified transwoman…. I don’t like conservatism because it stands against on pretty much every issue. But I also realize that people have and are entitled to different perspectives. There are LGBTQIA people who believe in fiscal and defense conservative issues. I don’t like their viewpoint, and I consider them “good queers” but i think they have a right to believe what they do.

Star Parker and others disagree however, they consider that should someone who is LGBTQIA, then they should have no right to claim the conservative mantle. No matter their belief on defense and fiscal issues according to Star Parker, the fact that they ignore levitical law, and focus on reality rather than God, means that they do not fit with her definition of marriage. It seems clear that the walkout from CPAC by many of the anti-equality social conservatives that they want to deny the right of LGBTQIA conservatives a voice or even in a place within the political movement they are a part of. Its good to see that some within the Conservative movement such as Mitch Daniels have made it clear that such intolerance is not welcome, and they need to move past it, but the backlash against him suggests that GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans are certainly being kept out and thats outrageous given that 30% of LGBTQIA people voted for republican candidates this time (Allegedly).

Look I get it like Rush Limbaugh, that Star Parker wants to criminalize acceptance of LGBTQIA persons, and roll back any rights we have won. They cannot stand the idea that other conservatives are waking up to the realization that equality is right and just. The baptist god is not the absolute ruler of conservatism or the republican party, and denying the bile soaked religious dogma as the mantra of conservatism is the right way to go. Melanie Philips recently complained that David Cameron the conservative Prime Minister of the UK stood up for marriage equality, because while he is a fiscal conservative, and a defense conservative, he has not let the bigotry of social conservatives rule him. There will come the day when conservative republicans will recognizing that marriage equality is the right thing to do. I wish they would stand up for it today, but they are still cowards.

You damage your movement Star Parker, by trying to keep the new blood of the “Good Queers” out as well as their allies.

A letter to those who oppose equality

To whom it may concern,

There are so many of your groups out there, with different flavors of your bigotry, all filled with hatred for real equality for all.

I know we frighten you, I know we challenge the social order you believe is ordained, I know you worry for the future of a country that you cannot scare into control. I don’t care, because I don’t threaten your right to believe what you think in your own poisoned mind. There will always be forces of intolerance in our society all we can do is to ignore them and move forward.

You talk about 2011 being the year of saving marriage, about the idea that more states will repeal their equality laws, and those that already are unequal, want to make their states even more apartheid. I know that you hope for a federal marriage amendment that will in your eyes forever enshrine your hatred in the US constitution.

I honestly think that your chances of passing a marriage amendement at the federal level is non-existant. However I admit that were there republican majorities in the house and senate, not to mention in the White House in 2012 things would look bad for marriage equality, in fact I would imagine things would get worse.

However here’s the thing you don’t seem to get. The battle will not be over until we win, and we will win eventually. Even if you managed to set back the cause of gay equality 20 years, you will never stop our desire for freedom and equality. You cannot keep us down for long, we’ll keep fighting until equality is given. You may have almighty god behind you, but we have the desire for freedom and I know which i’m betting on.

Throughout human history, there have been oppressors and bigots, but every one has fallen.

I know you’ll never listen to me, or my advice, but I’ll give it anyway. You will loose, and will be remembered as haters and bigots, so please stop causing unnecessary pain and suffering and let us have our equality now rather than make us wait.

Hoping for your enlightenment,

From
Gemma

NOM fires up its cries of hatred in Indiana

Sometimes I find it difficult to understand the vehemence of NOM and their crowd. They have to know their actions cause unimaginable suffering and pain. When I get realistic, I remember that they have a pathological separation with reality. Indiana is moving closer to intolerance with a rights denying amendment passing through the state house yesterday. NOM is already crowing over their success, with this video announcing their summer of hate starting in Indiana.

This is their video from their last year’s bus trip of gay-bashing across America when it visited Indiana.

All of you throughout Indiana need to let your lawmakers know, that they must stand with justice and equality rather than apartheid and injustice…

From Nom’s own video archives

Indiana looks to join the league of proud bigoted states

Not much to report, beyond an amendment to enforce bigotry passing the Indiana house. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the progress through the state senate, but hopefully sanity and justice will prevail.

I’ll add more on Indiana, its politics, nature and demographics tomorrow, just a quick report for now.

Another helpful story found via NOM

Marriage Equality in the UK – A Rising Issue

I’ve seen it reported in US media from time to time, that same sex marriage exists in the UK. It doesn’t. What exists in the UK is a segregated system of sexuality based apartheid. If you’re straight, you can get married, and if you’re LGBT, you can have a ‘civil partnership’. However, the issue of marriage equality is now emerging into UK public consciousness.

A civil partnership is largely like a marriage in terms of its legal effects, but it is not a marriage. In fact, it was deliberately stripped of any and all emotional or spiritual connotations entirely. A marriage in the UK is binding from the point that vows are spoken, and yet, a civil partnership is created instead from the signatures on a legal contract. A straight couple who hold a religious or spiritual faith may choose to incorporate elements of their beliefs into the ceremony. They have the option of making their marriage special in their way, and to honour their love and commitment in the manner most meaningful to them. LGBT people do not have this option. For married people, adulterous behaviour is grounds for divorce if they so choose -the same is not true of civil partners. Even if these differences did not exist, the law makes clear that a civil partnership is not a marriage. Marriage equality is what was sought, and the UK gave LGBT people something less. They deliberately segregated gay and straight people, and effectively said that gay people should not be afforded the right to get married or celebrate their love and commitment in anything that resembles a personal, spiritual way, and so creating a greater and a lesser form of partnership. In fact, this discrimination is so firmly entrenched that transsexual people, if married, must actually divorce only to then obtain a civil partnership in order to have their personal details officially corrected.

Ever since the Civil Partnerships Act recieved Royal Assent in 2004, there has been a cry for full marriage equality. A cry which is finally beginning to be heared across all three major political parties, with the Liberal Democrats having even gone so far as to make marriage equality a matter of their party policy… and well they might, as marriage equality in the UK is a very popular move to make. Opinion polls show a consistent majority in favour of equal rights and an end to the discrimination. Sadly though, the politicians are slow to practice what they preach.

Currently, the Government is faced with an opportunity and with pressure to end this discrimination as stipulated by legislation passed last year.  The legislation makes very clear that no religious institution opposed to same sex partnerships would be required to perform them or to allow their places of worship to be used for them.

Many Liberal Democrats will no doubt be quick to claim any extention of LGBT rights towards marriage equality as a sign of their success and moral standing in Government. However, it should also be noted that the provisions which call for the change allowing LGBT people to involve their religious beliefs in their civil partnerships comes from an Equality Act, written last year under the leadership of a Labour Government (the self same act that effectively rolled back some of the rights of transsexual people, and decided that LGBT bullying in schools should not be specifically remedied). The implementation of the law allowing for this positive step towards marriage equality has in fact been delayed for a year by the current government. The fact is, when it comes to LGBT rights, none of the political parties have a particularly good record when it comes to actually fighting to do something about it -some worse than others, the worst, sadly, being the party leading the current Government!

Even so, this is a remarkably important step forward, at least in its potential, and it should be considered as such. The consultation undoubtedly will involve many churches vehemently opposed to marriage equality. These churches are worried that with the key difference in the ban on religious components to civil partnerships being removed, there would be no real reason not to call them marriages – and rightly so, because they’re right! However, there is no word from the Government on whether Civil Partnerships will be changed so that they may be referred to as marriages… it’s not really even on the agenda. The Government has simply suggested that it might think about it some time. The question is whether it is right that LGBT people who wish to be able to recognise their beliefs in a ceremony marking their partnership should be able to… and if their beliefs (or those of their church) allow for this, is there any fair reason why they should not be allowed to? No. There isn’t.

The right wing press is predictably spinning and overblowing the comments of church leaders to suggest a fear that they will be forced to perform gay marriages. It’s as predictable as it is tiresome. Left unchecked, extremist churches and right wing mariage equality opponents may well water down any eventual positive step towards marriage equality, or block it altogether. This should not be allowed to happen – at least not without firm opposition to such underhanded and homophobic intentions.

Fellow No More Lost writer Gemma, in her recent piece about France’s failure to ensure mariage equality, notes the way that the energy of the movement was lost following a homophobic court ruling in 2004. Reading her article, and noting the lack of widespread opposition to marriage equality, I have to wonder why. It seems to me that an explanation may be that unless related to an oppositional religious group, most heterosexual people aren’t exceptionally bothered by marriage equality, given that they don’t really have much cause to think about it and it doesn’t effect them.

For that reason, and that reason alone, as the issue of marriage equality enters the UK public consciousness, and as the right wing press spews out it’s typical homophobic propaganda and lies about the reality of what’s going on, it’s more important than ever that we make our case. It is more important than ever that we make ourselves heared. It is now more important than ever that we, LGBT people and our heterosexual allies, ensure that the public at large have more information than just the usual nationally disseminated lies and propaganda, and that the public consciousness of the issue also forms around an understanding of the wrongs and impacts that marriage INequality gives rise to.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité provided you are not Homosexuels or Lesbiennes

Here’s an article from 1999, about the collapse of the opposition to marriage equality in France. The country famed for liberty and equality, the Fifth Republic of France was ready to step forward and lead on equality.

So why today, 12 years later is Pat Robertson’s pet news agency, One News World reporting that France’s highest court continued blocking marriage equality.

Sadly that energy was lost, indeed in 2004, there was another homophobic court ruling annulling a gay marriage due to “The Traditional Family” a long since passed french concept. The president had a divorce and married his girlfriend AFTER his election to president, and nobody batted an eyelid. But apparently a lesbian couple wanting the same rights as other families, thats a step too far.

I look up to France, I idealize their principles, the social institutions and french character, including sensible views on sex and marriage. I am normally so proud of my french ancestry, except for at the moment. Intolerance has won this battle and we have to keep up the fight, ignoring the insult that french civil partnerships are.

I know that France is not the egalitarian progressive utopia I would love it to be, BUT I honestly assumed that the french people would stand up and demand real equality from their courts. Hopefully next time the battle is fought it’ll be a slam dunk, but honestly its time for President Sarkozy to step up and lead on real marriage.

Rather than what France claims to stand up for, their motto might be L’esclavage, la hiérarchie, Vendetta, please rise to the challenge….

A republican state senator, who fights for Gay Marriage?

Senator Kittleman of the 9th District of Maryland has stood up against the almost insurmountable forces of intolerance at the heart of his party.

Initially when the tides of equality seemed to be heading towards the Maryland Legislature, Kittleman chose to try to find a compromise by proposing a civil unions bill. Now while I may not agree, i applaud his efforts towards bridging the divide between progressives and intolerants. However when his own side refused to support such a measure, he chose what he felt was right for his constituents over the platform of his party.

More than that however, he went against the tenets of his own faith, which are firmly conservative christian, and instead went with his principles on the constitution that clearly state we are not a theocracy.

I know I’m generally fairly anti-religious in my viewpoint, this represents the way things should be in American Politics, a devout member of a faith, disagrees on the basis of his religion but then when he enters the legislature he does not drag his or her faith in behind him.

Allan Kittleman, I’m sure we would disagree on so many things, but you are a True American and an honorable man, thank you for your courage.

Via our friends at the NOM Blog who keep telling us about the brave and courageous people they hate and want to destroy.