Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Judge: Marriage isn't simply an institution - it's a right.

If you're reading this then I'll expect that you've heard by now that a Federal Judge overturned the ban against gay marriage in California.  I'm ecstatic.

I'll accept arguments about other controversial things I might write about - most recently, the immigration situation here in Arizona - but I won't in any way accept arguments that same sex marriages are immoral, bad for our culture, unequal, or otherwise a threat to existing marriage or the foundations of western civilization.  And, in this culture war that we're fighting it's a big, big deal.

There can be no arguing that putting the rights of a minority up to popular vote is inherently unfair.  On Anderson Cooper tonight there were a couple of lawyers on both sides of the argument and, just like in the trial, the lawyer who supported "traditional" marriage really didn't have anything to say.  The other lawyer was compelling, and explained how our country is built upon foundational principles in which the majority gets to choose a number of things, but one of the things they DON'T get to choose is rights that are guaranteed in our constitution.  Both today's decision and the justification for it are absolutely huge.

Newsweek already has something online to put it perspective (read it here).  The fight isn't over by any means.  And, the cultural component of all of this will be fought for generations.  But as far as I and many others are concerned - this IS the revolution.  Time magazine has a visual history of the "Gay Rights" movement (see it here).  NY Magazine says that this is what "history sounds like" (see article here).  It truly is.  It's an amazing time that I doubt many of us ever imagined we'd see in our lifetimes.

I realize that there are those in the trans community who don't believe that same-sex marriage is "our" fight.  I have been vocal about the fact that I do not share that perspective.  The cultural implications are huge and reverberate far beyond marriage.  It is validation.  I'll admit that I sometimes get frustrated when everything else seems to get overshadowed and pushed into the background by marriage - including ENDA - but that in no way diminishes my belief that all of these things are tied together and that movement in one area facilitates movement in others.  These rulings set the groundwork for my wearing a wedding dress someday as I would not be surprised if my partner were wearing one, too.

As far as I'm concerned - and I said this at the time - the fact that we lost the Prop. 8 fight at the ballots will ultimately prove to be a positive thing.  It brought the grassroots together like never before.  It helped the community to realize that the power was in the people, not in organizations who asked for our money and purported to represent our needs.  It crystallized the movement, and that movement has reason to celebrate today.

For what it's worth, I feel the same way about ENDA.  What happened last time - and the disappointment and acrimony involved - will set the stage for the right thing to happen next time.  History will show that those of us who refused to stoop to the lowest levels of political pragmatism and who stood firm on concepts like full equality for ALL, community, and fairness will win the day and those who opposed will prove to be the foils.

I don't know how many are following the fact that Target and Best Buy recently made significant campaign contributions to Tom Emmer, who is actively anti-gay in Minnesota, and the outcry that has ensured (see details here).  The Human Rights Campaign wrote and open letter  and have release a subsequent video demanding that both companies "Make it Right" and over 100,000 people have already signed it.  As for me - I won't sign anything with an HRC logo on it.  Ever.  That may seem counter-productive or bitter to some but I don't care.  I respect that others have signed it or are involved with the organization - that's fine and I have no problem with what others do.  As for me - I have good reasons for how I feel.  And, I'd be a hypocrite to betray myself.  I just won't.

There have been a number of interesting twists in the court case involving Nikki Araguz, as well.  One article in the Houston newspaper is uncharacteristically open-minded, ending with the sentence: "The case is in the court's hands, but here's hoping that amid all the confusion and the drama of this bizarre situation comes some long-sought clarity for the transgender community." (read it here).

Why is all of this so important?  Because of situations like the one just reported near NY where a man murdered a 17-month old infant for "acting like a girl" (see details here).  That kind of stuff is just sickening, but it happens.  Why?  Because of the cultural bullsh*t pressures that are still so suffocating to be the "right" kind of man or woman.  To kill a defenseless baby who you're simply baby-sitting over something like this - are you kidding?  Apparently not.

 See video and read WPIX Story

It's tragic, and heart-breaking.

As for me - I ran today.  I try to run a 10K (6.25 miles) on a treadmill in an hour at least three or four times a year.  I'm in very good shape but running for long distances on a regular basis is harder on me more than it helps me.  Well, today I ran for an hour and was a little shy of my goal - 6.15 miles.  I'm not too disappointed, though.  I'll admit needing to lay down for a while to recuperate this afternoon, though.  I wear a sweatshirt when I run which saps strength as time goes on more than it used to.

Right now it's almost 10pm and it's still 104 degrees.  We enjoyed some cooler, cloudier weather last week but our "normal" summer heat seems to be back.  The high tomorrow is supposed to be 112.  It's not a complaint - it's just the way it is....

I'll be in Ohio next weekend for the TransOhio conference next Saturday so I'll have a brief respite from this.  No worries, though, I may even try to do Squaw Peak tomorrow.  That'd be something...


sweetbrandigirl2004 said...

Donna Don't feel bad about not signing the HRC thing I won't sign or be invloved in anything that they are a part of...I still don't trust them and have no use for them as long as Joe is still there......I too am happy about the prop 8 ruling, and I can see how It's obvious this would help thoses like Nikki Araguz But I wonder if this rulling would help a post-op in a straight marriage since "Transsexuals" aren't specificlly mentioned in the ruling ?

Melissa said...

What's that I hear? Could it be the sound of.....dominoes falling?


Melissa XX

Jenna said...

I have been following Nikki Araguz very closely and posting videos on my youtube channel,,jenna08848. Nikki is doing a good thing for the whole community and not just for intersex people. I know that she has made mistakes earlier in life, we all have and no one walks without some sort of history unless your ego has made one blind. This would not be a case if the word transgender was not associated with it and that ius why I will keep making vlogs to keep society from trashing her and doing more harm to folks who fall under the banner of T. The point is Tom Araguz family has commited perjury and lied to the court and they need to be made accountable.

delgadovaraguzblog said...

The following blog contains a post that debunks the story written by Lisa Falkenberg for, and a critique of the media coverage generally. The blog also contains other detailed information about the case and the events surrounding it.

You may find the blog post on Nikki's PBS interview interesting as well. In it she distances herself from the transsexual population, and portrays herself as specifically intersex.