poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Why gay marriage is a civil rights issue
By Sherry Wolf

WHEN THE California Supreme Court struck down that state’s ban on interracial marriage in 1947, 48 states prohibited Blacks and whites from marrying, and nine out of 10 Americans opposed interracial marriage.

Twenty years later--in the wake of the civil rights movement for integration and voting rights--the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down all interracial marriage bans across the U.S. Twenty years after that, only the most hardened bigots thought that laws barring Blacks and whites from marrying were legitimate.
The California and U.S. Supreme Court rulings were blows against racism. Similarly, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court made its two decisions last year in favor of legalizing gay marriage, it was a blow against homophobia.
Socialists are critical of the institution of marriage under capitalism, for many reasons. But we support the fight for same-sex marriage--as a struggle for elementary civil rights.


Gay Rights Advocates Working Against Amendments
Organizations Mobilizing Against State, Federal Marriage Amendment Proposals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas' gay-rights advocates said Wednesday that they are playing catch-up in their fight against amendments to the state and federal constitutions that would ban gay marriage.
A group of three organizations is holding a series of town meetings to mobilize a response to the proposals. The groups are the Arkansas Equality Network, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union.

A meeting was held in Little Rock Wednesday night, and the final one is planned for Thursday night in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee is well into the process of collecting signatures to place a proposed amendment on the November election ballot. If passed, the measure would make gay marriage or civil unions between partners of the same sex unconstitutional.


Showing their support for making gay and lesbian marriage legislation a reality in New Jersey, nearly 600 people attended a recent town meeting at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield.

Dubbed "Equal People, Equal Marriage: Continuing All Roads to Justice," the April 15 meeting marked the 14th in a series of related meetings across the state sponsored by Lambda Legal, the New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition and 106 other New Jersey organizations.

Although Congressman Barney Frank was among the guest speakers slated to appear, he had to cancel to due the sudden death of his niece. Instead, Jason West, mayor of New Paltz, N.Y., addressed the audience and shared some of his thoughts on a controversial topic that has drawn national attention.

West was sued shortly after performing 25 gay and lesbian weddings in New Paltz, but said the weddings have continued.


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