poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

N.C. GOP bans gay party members from opening booth at convention
The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The state Republican party has banned gay GOP members from setting up a booth this weekend at their state convention.

"I am extremely disappointed that the leadership of the North Carolina Republican Party is attempting to so narrowly define who can be a Republican," Ed Farthing, a retired Hickory lawyer who requested the booth, said Tuesday.

"It appears to be you must be a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant and married for the Republican Party to pay any attention to you. I think that is a good 1950s voter profile."

The state party leadership backs a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages and said it plans to denounce homosexuality as "not normal" at its convention. Its stance was prompted by intense national debate about same-sex marriages stemming in part from a Massachusetts court ruling allowing such unions. Gay and lesbian couples began marrying there Monday.


New immigrants get gay marriage recognition
Canadian Press

TORONTO — Canada's recognition of gay marriage is being extended to would-be immigrants.
The Immigration Department confirmed Wednesday that it has begun recognizing same-sex marriages in processing immigration applications.

But the change only applies to couples in which one spouse is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. It also applies only to those who marry in Ontario, B.C. or Quebec -- the provinces that allow such marriages.

"It's encouraging to see the federal government follow through on its commitment to equal marriage," said Alex Munter, co-chair of Canadians for Equal Marriage.


Group Collects Signatures for Anti-gay Marriage Amendment

Little Rock (AP) - A group is collecting signatures in the hope of putting an item on the fall ballot that would ban same-sex marriage in Arkansas.

Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee wants to put forth an amendment to the state constitution to formally make marriage between one man and one woman.

Members of the group say the amendment would solidify the intent of laws now on the books and would prevent judges from reinterpreting the law. The measure would also make civil unions illegal.

Organizers have until July 2nd to gather 80,570 signatures of registered voters. If the signatures are certified, the measure will be on the November second ballot.


Ministers vow to fight Arizona ban on same-sex unions
By The Associated Press

PHOENIX — Four Arizona ministers vowed to continue battling for gay rights yesterday after Maricopa County officials refused to legalize dozens of gay marriages the clerics performed May 15.

The ministers’ appeal to the county was the culmination of a three-day challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex unions and coincided with Massachusetts’ first-in-the-nation legalization of gay marriage.

The Arizona ministers, along with more than 100 gay couples and gay-rights supporters, marched from Patriots Square Park near the state Capitol to a downtown courthouse yesterday. They waved signs that read: “God has blessed my gay marriage” and “Judge not my love.” They also sang “We Shall Overcome.”

After the ministers walked into the court building, county spokeswoman Cari Gerchick told them the 41 marriages they performed May 15 were illegal and would not be recognized.


County rejects gay-diversity statement

Kalamazoo County leaders rejected a proposal Tuesday to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the county's nondiscrimination list.

The 10-to-7 vote against the policy split along party lines, with Republicans on the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners rejecting the policy and Democrats favoring it, after nearly two hours of discussion.


Sexual Domination in Uniform: An American Value
The Abu Ghraib portraits of sexual humiliation and submission have exposed the unbelievably tangled strands of racism, misogyny, homophobia, national arrogance and hyper-masculinity that characterize the U.S. military. Militarized sexual domination is neither "contrary to American values" nor simply the work of a few "bad apples." It is, rather, a daily practice.

The "bad apples" defense is both unspeakably inadequate and completely disingenuous.

While narrowing the scope of inquiry to individual transgression may provide a convenient protective shield for the military, it also deflects attention away from very troubling realities. The photos of Abu Ghraib reveal as much about our nation as they do about the soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company.

As our president made clear, the intent of the invasion and occupation of Iraq was to bring the Iraqi opposition to its knees. Why then the surprise that soldiers would be thrilled to comply so literally? The scenario in which an Iraqi man kneels with the penis of another in or near his mouth shocked us all. But our leaders' call for the naked humiliation of Arabs and Muslims was not so muted that only a few stray soldiers heard.


Meanwhile: Etymological wedlock deadlock
  Jan Freeman The Boston Globe

As same-sex couples queued at Massachusetts' courthouse doors Sunday night, waiting for the stroke of midnight to turn them into eligible brides and grooms, a reader posed a timely question: Many people, he e-mails, say that marriage "has always meant the union between a man and a woman. Are they right? Is this the real etymology?"

Those defenders of heterosexual alliances probably aren't making an etymological argument, but a historical one: that marriage has usually united a man and a woman. Except, of course, when it joined a king with a royal toddler from another dynasty, or a couple of kids barely into puberty, or a devout polygamist and his several wives, or Shakespeare's "true minds."

.But rooting around in the linguistic past doesn't help either side in the debate. In fact, arguing from word origins is such a losing strategy that it even has a name, the etymological fallacy. Meanings do change, sometimes dramatically, over time; you can insist all you want that November should be the ninth month (it's based on the Latin "novem," nine), but it will still be the 11th page of your calendar.

.Hard-line etymologists, notes Bryan Garner, even object to "hybrid" recombinations: "Some, for example, insist that homophobe, in Greek, would refer to a self-hater," Garner writes in Modern American Usage, because homo means "same" and phobe means "aversion." In homophobe, though, the prefix is obviously short for homosexual, so homophobe - "though at variance with classical word formation" - is standard English, not an error. But even if etymology makes a poor weapon, it can be excellent entertainment. Just for fun, let's see what it can tell us about the matrimonial past - starting with our most common word for the condition, marriage.

.Along with its companion verb marry, the noun marriage arrived in the 14th century, one of the many French imports of the time. Marry (in French, marier) was descended from the classical Latin maritare - a verb used, the Oxford English Dictionary tantalizingly notes, "of people and animals and in viticulture." (Did the grapes wed on the vine or in the vat, I wonder? Either way, the metaphor had legs: We still speak of "marrying" food and wine.) The Roman husband and wife were maritus and marita, words that gave birth to the verb marry but have no identifiable parents themselves; mari may have meant simply "young person," but nobody knows for sure.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home