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Novel ways of demonstrating commitment to equality

bagkitty
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bagkitty
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Of course, following on the heels of the actions in Montana this spring (where the state legislature used its powers to over-rule anti-discrimination ordinances in Missoula) I am left wondering how long it will be until some "higher" level of government intervenes or takes action against them.

Of course it could end up in limbo, with the Obama gov't having largely stepped away from enforcing the provisions of DOMA, but it appears to me that the need for a local community to have to take actions like this to deal with the consequences of discriminatory legislation from "higher" levels of government should be getting more attention in the American media.


Lachine Scot
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Interesting.

Hmm, shouldn't it apply to single people as well?


remind
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um...that question does not even make sense lachine scot, given it is about COUPLES and taxation of benefits to those who are of the same gender.


Lachine Scot
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Oh, I missed the part about it being about benefits.


Red Tory Tea Girl
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Ah Massachussets... would be nice if they would demonstrate any committment whatsoever to trans equality... gotta be the combined influence of Janice Raymond, Barney Frank, and the kind of pols they associate with, at this point... 1989 discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was outlawed, but we managed to leave out trans folks... again, I'm not surprised. Something guaranteeing a trans person the right to work for the aforementioned city with the protection of law seems like a bigger commmittment to equality, mind you.

Good countermand to a bad law though. I look forward to the day we stop subsidizing the nuclear family, mind you. It's not good for the institution if you're paid to be together, and it's way worse for families with single and poly heads of household.


bagkitty
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Heartily recommend this PSA out of Eire. Maybe we will yet see a marriage equality campaign that doen't get all dewey eyed about very narrow concepts of what marriage is.


Red Tory Tea Girl
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*rereads thread*

 

Yep, that's right people, committment to equality means marriage for middle-class cisfolk before rights to employment or housing or medicine for transfolk...

 

*facepalms*

 

As one American I read said:

 

"Marriage friends,

Is Not the Answer

Single Queers

Still Get Cancer"


Fidel
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And I thought being trans meant leading an exciting life, like the character Dil in The Crying Game. It was the first time I really thought about transgender people, or trans sans the medical procedure and what it must be like. "A nice thing to read..." can be read here.


bagkitty
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MPs in the Netherlands vote (against the ruling coalition) to remove special privileges from "fundamentalists" in the civil service.

Note to self: plant more tulips.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Great news, bagkitty!

We already had the case in Saskatchewan where the Court of Appeal told the provincial government that its proposed legislation to allow marriage commissioners to be homophobic assholes was unconstitutional.

The next job (IMHO) is to repeal, or drastically amend, Section 3 of the Civil Marriage Act, which was part of the dirty compromise inserted by the Paul Martin government as part of getting equal marriage legalized:

Quote:

Religious officials

3. It is recognized that officials of religious groups are free to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Freedom of conscience and religion and expression of beliefs

3.1 For greater certainty, no person or organization shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of marriage between persons of the same sex, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage as the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed freedom.

Maybe some legal expert babbler could explain how the Saskatchewan decision and this clause relate to each other - given that I haven't read the court decision, so maybe it's dealt with there?

 


bagkitty
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Unionist wrote:

Great news, bagkitty!

We already had the case in Saskatchewan where the Court of Appeal told the provincial government that its proposed legislation to allow marriage commissioners to be homophobic assholes was unconstitutional.

The next job (IMHO) is to repeal, or drastically amend, Section 3 of the Civil Marriage Act, which was part of the dirty compromise inserted by the Paul Martin government as part of getting equal marriage legalized:

Quote:

Religious officials

3. It is recognized that officials of religious groups are free to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Freedom of conscience and religion and expression of beliefs

3.1 For greater certainty, no person or organization shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of marriage between persons of the same sex, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage as the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed freedom.

Maybe some legal expert babbler could explain how the Saskatchewan decision and this clause relate to each other - given that I haven't read the court decision, so maybe it's dealt with there?

 

There is a world of difference between section 3 and section 3.1 -- I think section 3, while poorly worded, is defensible. Any cleric, when acting in their role as a cleric (i.e. a priest, parson, rabbi, imam etc. performing an essentially religious ceremony in their church, temple, synagogue, mosque etc.) should not be at the beck and call of the state. It is not the case that Canada has an "established" church, so there is no reason for Parliament to ever be considering the private matters that occur within any "place of worship", nor legislate on what is the appropriate interpretation of any religious doctrine.

However, if a cleric is ever acting outside of their role as a cleric (assuming that one of them has a day job as a marriage commissioner) they must be governed by the same laws as anyone else. If their beliefs do not permit this, the onus is on them to remove themselves from the position that causes the conflict (specifically, such a person should resign from their position as a marriage commissioner). Shirking their responsibilities to uphold the civil marriage laws should be grounds for immediate dismissal were they to ever to try and pick and choose which couples they would and which they would refuse to marry (again, assuming one of them had a day job) -- I think the expression to use would be "termination with just cause".

Recognition of sacramental marriages without forcing the particpants to go through an equivalent civil ceremony is a courtesty long extended to various religious communities and I think continuing this courtesy falls under the rubric of reasonable accomodation. But that accomodation must stop at the doors of the church, synagogue, mosque, etc.

Section 3.1 is salvagable insofar as it reaffirms freedom of expression -- is totally unacceptable insofar as it creates a privileged class exempt from ANY obligation or sanction for potential violation of the rights of fellow citizens.

ETA: oh, and in reference to the legal question -- as is stated in the article you linked to, it is not binding per se because it was a referral, not an actual case, however it is pretty clear that the finding of the Saskatchewan Court would be given a great deal of weight, and the argument that the Charter trumps any other particular piece of legislation is a clincher.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

bagkitty wrote:

Recognition of sacramental marriages without forcing the particpants to go through an equivalent civil ceremony is a courtesty long extended to various religious communities and I think continuing this courtesy falls under the rubric of reasonable accomodation.

That's where I think my problem lies, and it goes way beyond same-sex marriage.

Marriage is a relationship defined and circumscribed by law. I see no reason why a ceremony conducted by someone who claims to be an officiant of some religion should be recognized as equivalent to a statutory marriage. For example, a church which won't marry people of different races... why would a same-race marriage of that church automatically be accorded societal recognition? Why would it constitute an unreasonable hardship to require that they get a licence and get married like anyone else, in addition to whatever private ritual they choose to bask in?

We don't show such "courtesies" to religious education. You can spend all your youth consuming Jesus and Buddha and Moses and whatever - or even atheist propaganda - but unless you additionally complete the standardized syllabus, you don't get a high-school leaving certificate. In fact, you'll be in violation of truancy laws if you (or rather your kids) are below school-leaving age.

On fundamental issues of human rights, society needs to make clear statements, or as clear as possible. We long accepted that different-sex marriages had some superior (or unique) status. We now consider that morally and legally reprehensible. While of course we should allow people their anti-human beliefs and even practices, why should we sanctify them with the aura of social legitimacy?

 


Mr.Tea
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I don't see the point of making me people get their marriage certified by the government versus a religious authority. All it does is add an extra step. Many people will choose to get married in a religious institution. Why make them also go through a second 'wedding' at City Hall or whereever? Besides, even if someone just goes through a religiuous ceremony, without a civil one, before too long their relationship will take on the status of common law marriage anyway. With education, society is saying that the society as a whole has an interest in seeing that people have a certain level of knowledge. There are lots of areas where I think it's essential that government provide that service for reasons such as protection. I'm much more comfortable knowing that a government agency is responsible for ensuring the safety of the food I drink than passing off that responsibility to a private entity given government authority. But in a matter of two people choosing to get married, there's no compelling need whatsoever for government involvement. Your proposal just seems like a petty means of trying to stick it to religious people who you resent.


bagkitty
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I guess holding a "Mr. Gay Namibia" cntest counts:

I also quite like the responses that were reported:

Quote:
Norman Tjombe, a local human rights lawyer, said: "The recent Mr Gay event in Namibia is testimony to the fact that people of different sexual orientations can live alongside each other in complete harmony and be tolerated in the differences. People of different sexual orientations other than what is considered the mainstream are increasingly being tolerated to express themselves in a manner they choose."

According to him, "this is what is demanded by our Constitution - a society where the rights of all are respected and protected. A society that is compassionate and passionate about the next person."

Tjombe added: "It shows that gays and lesbians have never been the problem, but only some bigots who stir up emotions to divert attention away from the real problems of this country - poverty, unemployment and lack of delivery of the most basic things likes housing, health, education, and jobs."

It's interesting how the conversation goes when the media doesn't go running to the nearest god-botherer for a juicy quote.

 

 


bagkitty
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And then there is making a half-hour speech before the United Nations. Despite a certain built-in cynicism I have towards statements coming from ANY offical American speaker, I do welcome Ms. Clinton's remarks, not least in comparison to the last I have heard from her Canadian counterpart.


Red Tory Tea Girl
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Her Canadian counterpart endangered his spot in cabinet to vote for C-389. While I'm upset that he's the lone voice on the treasury benches who gets trans inclusion, his record is a lot more consistently good (on only this issue) than his American Counterpart who did manage a rhetorical road-to-Damascus conversion from her typical pandering to the cis wing of the LGBT movement... but Mr. Baird has a recorded vote.


bagkitty
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Does that mean you have included him on your Christmas list?


Red Tory Tea Girl
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No. He's a terrible public servant and generally has the worst partisan impulses I've ever seen. Just can't pretend he's got a bad record on TQGBL rights, just as I can't pretend that the NDP is lily white on the issue, despite my general inclination to support them.


bagkitty
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Further to post #15 - blink and you miss it. Perhaps this is what RTTG means by pandering.


Red Tory Tea Girl
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"gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights."

 

Yeah, I'm feeling the erasure... I'm seeing once again that trans people are pretty fucking ignored by this initiative. You think Hillary's going to tell the Swedish PM to stop the coercive sterilization of trans people? No, this, once again, wasn't for half the acronym.

Also, from the transscript the only specific mention of opporession or trans people, though I know it's mathematically a true statement, continues the typical erasure of the majority of trans people who aren't straight:

Quote:
It is a violation of human rights when lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments, or when people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives. And it is a violation of human rights when life-saving care is withheld from people because they are gay, or equal access to justice is denied to people because they are gay, or public spaces are out of bounds to people because they are gay. No matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we are, we are all equally entitled to our human rights and dignity.

Once again, a significant minority of lesbians are trans, this is because, based on the best data we have (NGLTF) 29% of trans women are lesbians... that, one supposes is one of a series of minor quibbles, more importantly, the continual conflation of LGBT and gay... and the focus on heterosexism to the exclusion of cissexism.

Also, transgendered... not many of us in the community use that word. This language could've benefitted from a quick glance from some trans appointee to the state dep... oh, wait, that's right, there aren't any. Amanda Simpson's at DoD.

Yeah, this was for Joe Solmonese, not Jane Blister-Pack. Pandering to the professional-class cis gay and lesbian donors, and I'll believe it's backed up with actual government action when I see it.

Pandering.


bagkitty
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Washington State - the State Senate passes a bill to permit same-sex marriage:

Quote:

"Mr. President, 28 yeas, 21 nays."

As the individual live blogging the vote observes:

Quote:

(That's 24 Democrats and 4 Republicans voting yea, and 3 Democrats and 18 Republicans voting nay.) THE BILL PASSES. It now goes on to the state house, where it's assured passage, and then to the governor's desk, where it's assured her signature.


Unionist
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A view of the gallery when the vote was announced (from bagkitty's link - thanks for this great news!).


bagkitty
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California: 9th Circuit court declares Prop 8 "unconstitutional".

Quote:
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

[...]

Writes Judge Stephen Reinhardt in a 2-1 decision:

"We consider whether that amendment violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We conclude that it does."

A stay on the decision remains in place, as many expected, so same-sex marriages will not immediately resume.

 


Caissa
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If your typical image of a frat boy is a borderline alcoholic party animal who's constantly on the hunt for females, you will have to make an exception. Canada's first ever fraternity for gay men opened Saturday at McGill University, making itself open to "gay, bisexual, and progressive men."

The frat, Delta Lambda Phi, began at Washington University in 1986. Though McGill marks the first Canadian chapter, the fraternity is well established in the United States with 28 chapters across the nation. The McGill chapter also marks the first branch of the fraternity outside of the United States.

The fraternity had previously been a "colony" of Delta Lambda Phi for three years. The colony was initially started by McGill student Sam Reisler. Saturday marked the official opening of the fraternity as the Beta Omega chapter. Membership currently stands at 16 active members. While membership is not restricted to only gay or bisexual men, the fraternity does not yet boast a straight member.

http://www.westerngazette.ca/2012/02/07/mcgill-opens-first-gay-frat/

bagkitty
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Further to post #21 - Equal Marriage legislation has now been approved by Washington's lower house 55-43

Quote:
Washington state has passed marriage equality after a 55-43 vote in the House. The bill will now go to Governor Chris Gregoire who introduced, and will sign it.

[...]

Once the governor signs the bill-which has to happen within five days of her receiving it from the legislature-referendum mayhem begins. The National Organization for Marriage recently told the Seattle Times that it will file for a referendum on gay marriage "before the ink is dry on the governor's signature." NOM-which spent millions to repeal marriage equality in California and Maine-will then have 90 days from March 8, the scheduled end of the legislative session, to work with its allies to gather 120,557 valid signatures in support of their referendum. If they don't get the required signatures, gay marriages could begin in mid-June. If they do get the signatures-which they probably will-we'll be voting on gay marriage in November. Assuming it passes, gay marriages will begin after the election is certified sometime in December. But don't get excited yet: No state has ever upheld same-sex marriage at the ballot.

Washington will now become the seventh state (New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa, plus D.C.) to allow same-sex marriage.

 


bagkitty
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and further to posts #21 & #25... Governor Gregoire will be signing the bill into law on Monday (February 13).

 

Quote:
A statehouse signing ceremony in Olympia, Washington's capital, was slated for 11:30 a.m. local time on Monday. The bill won final legislative approval from the state House of Representatives on Wednesday by a vote of 55-43.

The measure will not take effect before early June. Opponents have vowed to seek its repeal at the polls in November, but they cannot begin collecting signatures for a petition to overturn the measure by referendum until it is signed into law.

 


Caissa
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A bill that would legalise gay marriage in the US state of Maryland has been approved in the state Senate, less than a week after it passed the state House.

The bill, which will become law when signed by Governor Martin O'Malley, who sponsored it, will make Maryland the eighth US state to permit gay marriage.

But opponents have vowed to challenge the measure by putting it on the state ballot in November's election.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17149605


bagkitty
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Pink News headline: Poll finds Irish support for gay marriage at 73%

Quote:
"We will be engaging fully with the Constitutional Convention and we look forward to engaging in debate with the members of the Convention, and other stakeholders, as to how marriage equality can be introduced as quickly as possible.

"With 73% of the population in favour of allowing marriage equality in the Constitution, the Irish people are clearly ready for marriage equality."

Marriage Equality said the level of support for lifting the ban on gay marriages had grown from 56% in 2008.

 


Red Tory Tea Girl
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Ah Maryland, where cisGL couples can step over a trans woman beaten for daring to use the restroom... I'm sorry, but Non-discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations comes first if you're really lobbying for the whole community.


bagkitty
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Very nice way thing to read on a Saturday morning.

And the "cleaned up" version is pretty damn fine too:

Quote:
I've also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your "I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing" and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole."

- Minnesota Vikings kicker Chris Kluwe, in a letter to Maryland state Rep. Emmett Burns, who has called for sanctions against a Baltimore Ravens player for supporting same-sex marriage.

Perhaps it is just me, but seeing an asshat called out for being an asshat always brings a big smile to my face. Although I think the host of the program that the video includes at the above link made an error, Mr. Kluwe's kick was not to Burns' butt, it was definitely a shot to the crotch.


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