Today has been a great day for homomentum, as SCOTUS has struck down part of the United States’ Defense of (heteronormative) Marriage Act and overturned California’s Proposition 8.
The guts of the first decision striking down part of the DOMA was that the federal government is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation when it comes to providing the benefits of marriage. Proposition 8 was struck down on a technicality: standing.
Look at this rubbish by one of Serena Joy’s relatives. I’d like to draw your attention to the big photograph accompanying it at the top (screenshot below).
Does the big photograph right below the title look familiar?
It should, because the photograph is actually one of Lela McArthur (left), and Stephanie Figarelle (right), the first same–sex couple to get married at the Empire State Building.
In other words, a screed against gender equality is accompanied by a photograph of a same–sex couple, an example of an institution that helps to increase gender equality.
You really, really can’t make this up.
And speaking of same–sex marriage, I strongly suspect that much conservative opposition to it is rooted in misogyny. As Echidne (and others) have argued, same–sex marriage subverts traditional/stereotypical gender roles. In (say) a marriage between two women, it can be a partnership of equals or not. If it is a partnership of equals, than neither is in the stereotypical submissive “feminine” role. If it is not partnership between equals, than one partner (who, be definition, is female) must be in the stereotypical dominant “masculine” role. It therefore means that some woman is adopting a stereotypical masculine gender role in her marriage. The same reasoning applies to a same–sex marriage between two men. If it is a partnership of equals, than neither partner is dominant or submissive. If it is not a partnership of equals, than one man must be in a stereotypical submissive feminine role. Either way, either neither partner is in their sex’s stereotypical gender role, or else one partner is, but you cannot tell which purely by determining their gender. As Echidne put it (my emphasis):
“I cannot help thinking that those who are opposed to same-sex marriage might be opposed to the idea of a marriage where they cannot tell, right off the bat, who should be the high priest and who the congregation in the family. In other words, they treasure the patriarchal form of marriage more than the idea that the partners should be of different genders.”
Via Jessica Valenti.
Update: The picture has been removed. But I saved a screenshot. The internet never forgets.
Update 2: Figarelle released a statement. You can read it at Feministing.
I think we should file this under the “You can’t make this up” category (emphasis added):
WASHINGTON — Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.
By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.
This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.
This argument from shotgun wedding pretty much shows how opponents of marriage have no real arguments. That’s why they’ve come up with an argument that actually comes up with a reason to support same–sex marriage. Also juxtapose how many of those who oppose marriage equality also attack Planned Parenthood and seek to restrict access to abortion and contraception.
The apparently disturbing thing about this argument is that it has been used before and apparently accepted by some US court.
Via Lawyers, Guns, and Money.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has, in a 2–1 ruling, struck down California’s bigoted Proposition 8 (via). Hence, unless a stay is issued, same–sex couples will be able to marry in
the 9th circuit’s jurisdiction California again. Personally, I expect a stay to be issued and the appeals process to continue, hence I don’t think same–sex couples will be allowed to marry.
In the decision is granted the proponents of Prop 8 standing to defend, and it rejected the claim that the trial judge, Vaughn Walker, should have disqualified himself because he is gay. The striking down was the correct decision. And in reaction to the ruling, I expect the wingnut and homophobe types to freak out.
From the decision:
“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.”
Update: The actual ruling is an extremely narrow, California–specific ruling, and I have therefore corrected that error. Also, the Daily Dish has a mini–roundup of reactions.
I came across this story on Pam’s House Blend (my emphasis):
Gay activists in Russia are planning to ask air passengers to boycott Aeroflot, Russia’s leading airline and not to use its services until the creation of equal conditions for all workers.
The call [for a boycott] comes following the revelation that gay flight attendant Maxim Kupreev was forced by his employers to enter into heterosexual marriage with his former high school girlfriend following his announcement last year to create an LGBT group within the company to fight for the protection of the rights of homosexual employees.
According to internal Aeroflot sources reported by GayRussia.eu, 25-year-old flight attendant Maxim Kupreev was given an ultimatum late last year to enter into heterosexual marriage or to lose his job. At the end of 2011 he married his school friend Sofia Mikhailova who got the right to fly Aeroflot for 10% of the fare – and other company privileges.
In order to register marriage with Kupreev, Mikhailova had to dissolve her real marriage to Grigoriy Andreykin. The divorce was finalised on 11 October last year.
Besides the fact that this is blatant bigotry, I’d also like to emphasize that this is actually weakening the sort of marriage anti–LGBT activists are always claiming needs to be protected.* First, Kupreev did not marry for any of the reasons anti–LGBT bigots are always claiming the purpose of marriage is (like having children), but rather to keep his job. And it required some other (different–sex) marriage to accomplish that. And if those things don’t weaken marriage, it’s beyond me how same–sex marriage possibly could.
* As far as I know, marriage equality hasn’t been much of an issue in Russia, and therefore I can’t know what sort of arguments are used about it over there. However, if I had to guess, anti–LGBT activists over there would probably use the same sorts of (refuted) arguments that are used over here.
As all rational people could reasonably foresee, the Supreme Court of British Columbia has upheld the sections of the Criminal Code of Canada that outlaw polygamy. The pith and substance of the ruling is that even though laws against polygamy infringe on the religious freedom of Mormon fundamentalists, it is a justified restriction based on a Section 1 tes
Cartoon by Barry Deutsch
Such a decision is the correct one. If polygamy were to be legalized now, almost certainly the only ones who would take advantage of the legalization would be Mormon or Muslim fundamentalists. Considering that severe negative consequences arise from the existence if these relationships, (such as how Mormon fundamentalists rape women, abuse girls, and expel “surplus boys”) it is perfectly justifiable to keep polygamy illegal.
Considering that many bigots and opponents of marriage equality explicitly argued (the fallacy of the slippery slope) that same–sex marriage would lead to polygamy, this decision proves them wrong. In other words, so much for the slippery slope.
Hopefully, this case will set a precedent regarding the harmful effects of religion on others. Frankly, women’s rights (and others) ought to take precedence over freedom of religion. Amongst the people this ought to apply to are fundamentalist Muslims, Mormon fundamentalists, the Patriarchy/Quiverfull movement, and ultra–Orthodox Jews. First of all, religion is a choice, while gender isn’t. Even if adults voluntarily chose to enter these religions, their children didn’t, and unlike them I don’t think children should suffer just because they had the misfortune of being born to nutcase parents. Furthermore, no one is preventing these people from converting to denominations that are not so blatantly misogynistic. No one is ever forced to be a gynophobic misogynist. Freedom of religion shouldn’t be the “freedom” to oppress women, especially those who aren’t part of it.
Cartoon attribution/legal stuff: Barry Deutsch / CC BY 3.0
[TW: Rape, kidnapping, suicide]
This is seriously disturbing (via):
Bride kidnapping, or “bridenapping”, happens in at least 17 countries around the world, from China to Mexico to Russia to southern Africa. In each of these lands, there are communities where it is routine for young women and girls to be plucked from their families, raped and forced into marriage. Few continents are not blighted by the practice, yet there is little awareness of these crimes, and few police investigations. The lack of reporting means there are no global statistics, but inquiries over many weeks by The Independent on Sunday have found anecdotal evidence that bridenapping is increasing. Something that belongs more to the Middle Ages is growing in the 21st century.
[In Kyrgyzstan], [d]espite bridenapping being a criminal offence carrying a maximum three-year jail term, very few cases are brought, and most of those who are prosecuted get away with a negligible fine…
“Little awareness” and “few police investigations”. Yet again legal systems are failing women. And the kidnapped women are often subject to rape and abuse, as indicated in the linked article. In Rwanda, kidnapped women are basically forced to marry their kidnapper, as they are raped and beaten, and then held hostage by their kidnapper, which results in them being seen as too “tainted” to be able to marry anyone else. (more…)