poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Hetero-Speed Bumps
By Cam Lindquist
There are little details of life that we tend to just take for granted. Little things that don’t quite fit who we are, but we accept them because “that’s the way it has always been.” And not just Gay people. Like, do you have to check the “divorced” box on medical or legal forms for your entire life if you never remarry? When are you considered single again? What exactly is the length of time you are stuck with a label which carries such societal taboos?

I promise this isn’t just another column about gay marriage, but what about Gay people? Are the majority of us destined to check “single” for eternity? Will we always have to check the “divorced” box because of one youthful effort to “de-gay” and please the family? That one error in judgment shouldn’t condemn a person to a lifetime of remembering a humiliating experience. On the other hand, it’s funny how one person’s pain can be another’s triumph; as Suzie longs to forget her married youth and just check “single” again, Chris crosses out the “married” and pencils in “partnered” in an effort to change his own label.

These little details plague our lives and chisel away at our self respect, well being, and feelings of self-worth. I have heard it called homophobia, but that is a misnomer. These types of situations are actually examples of heterosexism.

Heterosexism is defined by the American Social Workers Association as any system or program that values the aspects of a heterosexual lifestyle over a homosexual lifestyle.


Women's movement offers lessons to gays
By Danielle Grote
PGN Staff Writer
© 2004 Philadelphia Gay News
When feminists descend on Washington, D.C., April 25 for the national March for Women''s Lives, they will be flanked by gay community supporters.

Both the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are co-sponsors of the march, which is expected to attract about 1.25 million people.

As the gay-rights movement gains momentum, community activists can take lessons from the older, more advanced women''s rights movement.

With a shared constitutional protection - the right to privacy guarantees both a woman''s right to choose and the rights of lesbians and gays to have sex - the movements have much in common.
But there are also differences between the movements.

Three national leaders - National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy, NARAL Pro-Choice America president Kate Michelman, and Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal - recently discussed their organizations and their relationships with the gay-rights movement.


Another Texas Representative Attacks Same-Sex Marriage
By Christopher Curtis
Texas State Representative Corbin Van Arsdale, the Republican who represents district 130 in Northwest Harris County, introduced a resolution supporting a ban on same-sex marriage on April 16.

Currently being considered by the Juvenile Justice & Family Issues House Committee, the resolution asks the Congress to support the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA).

The FMA, which was introduced in May by Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., was revised late March to allow for civil unions in attempt to get additional sponsors.

The revised bill reads: “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any state, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”


State Senator Dibble speaks on GLBT issues
Minnesota State Senator Scott Dibble, the only openly gay member of the Minnesota Senate, spoke to Macalester students on Thursday, April 1. Macalester Democrats sponsored the event.

Senator Dibble (Democratic-Farmer-Labor-Minneapolis) spoke on the issue of same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Senator Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater) recently proposed a bill that would place on the November ballot an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The bill passed the Minnesota House of Representatives but failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has ended traditional action on the bill for this session.

Dibble spoke on his views of the political movement supporting the amendment and how it has shrouded the public from the real issues of the upcoming election.


D.C. protesters rally for various causes
WASHINGTON -- Banging buckets and the most agile doing cartwheels, protesters rallied Saturday against trade deals, Third World debt and war, taking those messages and more to the streets in numbers diminished from past years.

Peaceful and festive, a crowd of about 1,000 marched past the offices of multinational corporations they hold responsible for exploiting the poor, chanting "shame, shame" along the way.

The demonstrations are a spring ritual tied to the meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and, as always, the causes were varied. Protesters came to shout against the U.S. occupation of Iraq, sweatshop labor abroad, the policies of President Bush and much else.

"It's important to send a message in opposition to the poverty and misery that institutions like the World Bank and IMF force around the world," said David Thurston, 25, of New York City, an organizer from the International Socialist Organization.


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