Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-09-02
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS Proposition hate redux
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2009-06-03

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


The California Supreme Court ruled again on same-sex marriage. This time it did to uphold Proposition 8, restricting marriage to one man and one woman. In a 6-1 decision, the justices decided that Prop 8 would remain part of the state constitution. And the 18,000 same-sex couples that ran to the altar to legally consecrate their nuptials before November 4, 2008, well they're the lucky ones, since our right to marry can be so easily taken away by the pull of a lever.

For a fleeting moment in 2008 we saw democracy work for same-sex couples in California. In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court in May of that year ruled that a "separate and unequal" system of domestic partnership for same-sex couples is not only blatantly discriminatory, but it is also unconstitutional.

The Court upheld the democratic process, offering same-sex couples "marriage" and not "marriage lite" with civil unions and put forth the following statement:

"In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual's sexual orientation—like a person's race or gender—does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights."

But California's same-sex couples and their allies knew the knot on this issue was not securely tied. Proposition 8, so rightly dubbed "Proposition Hate," would be the determining factor. And it was.

With six months now passed since the historic day in Nov. 4, 2008 that threw LGBTQ Americans under the bus, and symbolically removed black Americans, with the election of Barack Obama as this nation's first African American president, from riding on the back of the bus, I'm confused in terms of where my seat is on this bus ride toward democracy being both African American and lesbian and bicoastal.

Yes, I live in Massachusetts, the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. And on May 17 Massachusetts celebrated five years of marriage equality. But one of my jobs—coordinator of the African-American Roundtable at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion—is in California. I'm free to marry as long as I stay within the five states that now offer me the right to.

The fight for marriage equality in the U.S. is similarly to my ancestors' fight for freedom. In their day, before the Civil War in 1861, the U.S. consisted of nineteen free states and fifteen slave states. As a matter of fact, in the 2004 presidential race between John Kerry and George Bush where marriage equality was a hot-button issue, the election map results between Kerry's blues states and Bush's red states corresponded to the pre-civil war free states and slave states, respectively.

As LGBTQ Americans we're not in slavery, but we are certainly in a civil war. Whereas President Lincoln acted on behalf of my ancestor's civil rights, Obama is immovable on ours.

When Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked for a response to California's ruling he told the Associated Press, ""I think the issues involved are ones that you know where the president stands."

When society narrowly defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, it is not only policing the sexual behaviors of lesbian and gay people, but society is also policing the sexual behaviors of heterosexuals. Handcuffing marriage to a heterosexual paradigm merely chokes its possibility of ever flourishing and lasting, especially as we are coming to understand the fluidity of not only gender and sexual identities but also of the constant changing configuration of family units.

But with heterosexual marriage being so sacred, opponents to same-sex marriage fail to see how it is constantly desecrated on any given weeknight by being slotted for family entertainment—television shows like "The Bachelor" that cavalierly join people together for high Nielsen ratings.

To me, democracy is an ongoing process where people are part of a participatory government working to dismantle all existing discriminatory laws that truncate their full participation in society. The work of democracy is rooted in justice and social change allowing us to see, along this troubling human time line, those faces and to hear those voices in society of the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected, and the dispossessed.

Democracy can only begin to work when those relegated to the fringes of society can begin to sample what those in society take for granted as their inalienable right.

A government is ethically bankrupt when it legally frames a minority group's civil rights as a ballot question.

If I waited for slaveholders to free my ancestors predicated on a ballot vote we all wouldn't be living in the America we know today.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

NLGJA 25 kicks off; Quest interviews Champion 2015-09-04
Open To Thinking: A personal tribute to Julian Bond 2015-09-02
MOMBIAN Back-to-school reflections and resources 2015-09-02
THE AMAZON TRAIL Dykey Dorothy and friends 2015-08-26
Marriage Equality and Social Justice 2015-08-19
Stop and frisk: An Open Letter to the ACLU 2015-08-19
SENIOR MOMENTS The GOP zombie apocalypse is upon us 2015-08-12
VIEWS Where is my Black body safe in America? 2015-08-12
OPEN TO THINKING Marriage: Confusion of State and Church 2015-08-05
VIEWS Is Scouting prepared for the future? 2015-08-05
VIEWS Scouting comes out of the closet 2015-08-05
Good Cop? Bad Cop? No Cop! Queer Resistance to Policing 2015-07-29
MOMBIAN LGBTQ-inclusive sex-ed book for kids affirms, empowers 2015-07-29
Relationships & the Law Today: Immigration rights in era of marriage equality 2015-07-22
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Marriage equality FAQs 2015-07-22
VIEWS Hearing historic news at a historic spot 2015-07-22
Transforming Gender: The Train Station 2015-07-15
THE AMAZON TRAIL Teased to death 2015-07-15
VIEWS The welcome challenges of marriage equality 2015-07-15
VIEWS Time Out 2015-07-08
SENIOR MOMENTS Blessed are the fairies... 2015-07-08
VIEWS Partisan gridlock is killing my people 2015-07-08
Open To Thinking: The Future of Our Democracy 2015-07-01
VIEWS A victory for and by our children 2015-07-01
Writing For Justice: What cats and dogs reveal about intersectionality 2015-06-24
VIEWS Pride ponderings 2015-06-24
THE AMAZON TRAIL Worst job ever 2015-06-24
THEATER REVIEWS On Your Feet! 2015-06-24
VIEWS Did court hurt or help with specialty license plate ruling? 2015-06-24
VIEWS Why celebrate LGBT 50th anniversary at Independence Hall? 2015-06-23
Reproductive Justice at the Intersections 2015-06-17
VIEWS Very bad news, indeed 2015-06-17
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Pride and prejudice 2015-06-17
THEATER REVIEWS Soon I Will Be Invincible; Queen Amarantha 2015-06-17
LETTERS Hidden issue of date rape among men; Rock solid Rocks rebranding 2015-06-10
VIEWS: POSITIVE THOUGHTS Surviving with pride 2015-06-10
OPEN TO THINKING Marco Rubio: American Dream Candidate? 2015-06-03
SENIOR MOMENTS God-fearing pedophiles and creepy gays 2015-06-03
THE AMAZON TRAIL Aging tomboy 2015-06-03
Writing For Justice: Diversity in our entertainment matters 2015-05-27
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.