Monday, July 12, 2010

DOMA I hope you go DOWN!

Recently a landmark ruling in Massachusetts made by Judge Joseph L. Tauro (a federal judge in that state) stated that there was never a rational basis for DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) which claims that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. Judge Tauro, in one of the two rulings he presided over, claimed that the definition of marriage under DOMA violates the equal-protection provisions in the constitution for gay and lesbian couples wishing to marry. There are two articles from the weekend New York Times that discuss the ramifications for this ruling, an editorial "Defining Marriage," and a piece that discusses the ramifications for states' rights groups (like those tea party folks and a group called 10th Amendment), "Basis on Ruling for Gay Marriage Stirs Debate."

I know not all queer people care about this issue. In fact, I have friends and acquaintances who firmly believe that their identities as gay and lesbian and queer folk preclude them from entering into an institution that is seen as so rabidly heteronormative (and perhaps with certain class and cultural markers that they are uncomfortable with as well--the whole wedding thing for example).

However, I also have friends who have had commitment ceremonies, who have gotten married in Connecticut and Hawaii and Vermont and California (pre Prop-8). And I know that what they want is to simply have the same rights as every other person in the nation--to marry the person that they love. To join in the institution of marriage, for better or for worse, with all the baggage that comes with marriage that is both heartwarming and challenging. To receive the institutional and legal benefits that comes with marriage (and believe me, now that I have cancer and have been in and out of hospitals signing various waiver forms about whether I should be resuscitated and who will make these decisions and who is allowed to see me in the immediate post-op room, being married comes in handy--before, when we were living together, I had notarized forms designating Southern Man as the person to make these kinds of decisions, but we all know about situations like Terry Schaivo...)

Anyway, thanks to my friend "J" I watched this clip about the legal challenge to Prop 8 and thought I should share it here, because I really dropped the ball in recognizing June as Gay and Lesbian (and Queer) awareness month. I also dropped the ball with Asian Pacific Awareness Month (that was May). Mea Culpa. Although given my own resistance to just naming a single month to concentrate on these issues, I'd like to think that from time to time you'll just see a post discussing these issues (and others, and the intersections of these topics) rather than just containing all my queer themed posts to the month of June.

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