poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, July 12, 2004

Roots of Russian 'homosexual subculture'
Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series, part 7
By Leslie Feinberg

Revolutions against feudalism and capitalism in Russia illuminated the nexus of the battles for the liberation of sexuality, particularly same-sex love, the abolition of sex and gender restrictions, and the emancipation of women.

These seemingly divergent struggles were up against institutionalized common obstacles. The economic unit for both peasants and workers was the oppressive patriarchal family, whether feudal or capitalist. The super-structure of law, religion, politics and education functioned to justify the inequality of a class-divided economic base. And this economic and social injustice was enforced by the state machinery of repression.

Russian capitalism created an exploited economic class that was up against these common enemies at every turn and was forced to take on the Amazonian task of battling class rule, its ideology and its state.

Of course, women as a whole were easily visible in pre-revolutionary Russian society; they were not a "closeted" population. But it took the growth of capitalist industrialization to create a homosexual "subculture" in Russia.


New England senators form coalition on gay marriage
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON -- New England's 12 senators span the political spectrum, from Massachusetts' liberal lion to the more conservative thinkers in New Hampshire, but they are finding a common ground on one of the political season's most contentious issues: gay marriage.

At least four of the region's five Republicans will join the six Democrats and one Independent and vote against the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage this week. Only one, Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., was still undecided, and calls to his office Monday were not returned.

Bonding the New England legislators is a sense that while most don't approve of gay marriage, they say it does not belong in the U.S. Constitution and is an issue for the states, not the federal government, to decide.

Supporters of the amendment, such as Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, have argued that the federal government must step in to preserve traditional marriage and insure that state courts don't rewrite laws in ways that erode families.


Senate Republicans Split on Wording Gay-Marriage Ban

ASHINGTON, July 12 - A split emerged among Senate Republicans on Monday over the wording of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. And Democrats accused the Republican Senate leadership of promoting the issue strictly for political gain.

"Why are we doing this?" Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, asked. "The only answer I can come up with is because this is political. It is to drive a division into the voters of America, into the people of America.'' To attract support for a proposal that both sides acknowledge is well short of the 67 votes needed to pass, Senate Republicans said they wanted a vote on a simpler version that would state just that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. The chief Republican proposal carries a second sentence that some interpret as prohibiting civil unions, as well.

"A group of us have an idea, but there are other ideas out there that should be considered when this very important issue is decided," said Senator Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania Republican who is a chief advocate of the ban on gay marriage.

The push to bring more than one version of the amendment to the floor was resisted by Democrats, who had offered to allow an up-or-down vote on the proposal by midweek, as long as no efforts to alter it were permitted. The Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, said that after the door had been opened to changes, senators could rush in with a flood of other pet constitutional amendments, citing one on campaign finance spending as an example.


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