Barack Obama has officially come out in favour of marriage equality.
Credit’s due where credit’s due, but frankly, this is no surprise to me. There was no doubt in my mind that he supported same–sex marriage the whole time. He just didn’t say so in a hopeless attempt at hair–splitting, meet–in–the–middleism in a pathetic try at compromising with unreachable wingnuts.
At Fannie’s Room I came across a link to this article at Slate. It mostly concerns different–sex couples in Illinois who are opting for civil unions rather than marriage. In other words, there are fewer marriages than would otherwise have been the case.
The appropriate response to this is, of course, “I told you this would happen”. Just as I predicted over a year ago when this law was passed, and just as has happened in France, by allowing different–sex couples access to civil unions, it creates a competitor to marriage, and therefore weakens marriage and reduced the number of marriages. Had marriage equality simply been allowed none of this would have happened. This is why the supposed concern over the “sanctity of marriage” actually isn’t. Someone who was truly concerned about the sanctity of marriage would not create alternative to it. Rather, they would support marriage equality and therefore increase the number of marriage. Since none of the opponents of marriage equality (that I know of) appear to be doing anything to prevent the benefits of marriage from being available to those who aren’t married, it is clear that opposition to marriage equality is really motivated by bigotry.
And since Hawaii’s civil unions law also allows different–sex couples to enter into civil unions, I predict that the same thing will happen there.
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
How exactly are laws preventing same–sex couples who really want to get married from actually getting married supposed to protect the sanctity of this 72–day marriage, a marriage that, unlike many other things, actually was over by Christmas?