poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, April 07, 2006

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Gay History in California Schools 
By Danny McCoy 

Sacramento, CA – A bill before California State Senate that would require California schools to teach students about the contributions gay people have made to society is an essential step toward ending the battle of homophobia, supporters say.


Second-class citizens no more 
All around the world, gays are being attacked and killed in the name of religion and culture. It’s time to end the barbarism.
FOR THE GAY community, foreign affairs used to mean an exotic one-night stand with a hottie from a foreign land. Today, however, gay and lesbian people are increasingly subjected to horrifying images of their brothers and sisters getting maimed and murdered overseas. Sure, we always knew such abuses occurred, but we weren’t actually confronted with them. However, as the world shrinks, it is harder to get lost in our myopia, while the anti-gay dystopia is beamed into our daily lives.


Is the Gay Rights Movement Anti-Immigrants Rights?
by New America Media

On July 11th, 2005 in Tres Cantos, Spain, Emilio Menendez and Carlos Baturin walked out of town hall as the first proudly married gay couple of Spain. Earlier, on July 3rd, Spain passed a law that allowed same-sex marriages, bestowing on gay couples the same rights as heterosexuals, including adopting children and inheriting each other's property. While this legal change in Spain is being celebrated as a landmark victory in the gay rights struggle, in a much less publicized event, the High Court of Justice in Spain's Catalonia region decided on July 6th that citizens of other countries cannot marry a same-sex partner in Spain unless the other country allows same-sex marriage. The case involved a Spanish man and his Indian partner. The couple, Vipul Dutt, 33, and Enric Baucells, 45, may appeal to the Ministry of justice.

This contrast of victory and loss evinces the inequality perpetuated between "citizens" and "immigrants" within the "gay rights movement" in North America and most parts of Western Europe. The "gay rights movement" has been absent in the struggles of immigrants. In the United States, where I have spent the last ten years organizing around immigrant rights, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) and HIV/AIDS issues, the "gay rights movement" and immigrant rights movement have rarely shared the table with each other. As a result, both movements have severely suffered in developing a vision, larger base and political power. 

The "gay rights movement" is largely dominated by an analysis that is rooted in the premises of citizenship and LGBT identity. LGBT movements demand equality for every citizen within the nation-state structure. Sadly, in the US, citizenship status is a site of major oppression and social control. Historically, citizenship was granted only to white men. The history of the US has been a history of struggle by women and communities of color to gain citizenship. Immigration laws in this country are based on the labor and military needs of the US. Immigrants are allowed legal entry whenever there is a need for labor, as evident in the Bracero Program, and are the first to be thrown out in economically hard times, as evident in the anti-immigrant laws that are now being passed. The US has been and is being built upon immigrant labor. Next time you get laundry done, or take a cab, or call moviefone for cinema tickets, ask for the country of origin for the person serving you!


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