There are some phrases that, when you see them in an article, you know aren’t going to lead to anywhere good. “Political correctness gone mad”, for one. “Some of my best friends are…”, for another. “I’m not a ___, but..” is definitely one. One of the phrases that takes the proverbial biscuit (and a lot of other proverbials), though, is this one:
Now, before you run off to compose a face-meltingly indignant email to the editor..
When the writer already knows that they’ve written something to get their readers face-meltingly indignant, things can only go two ways. It could be that they’ve come up with something so new and wonderful that it’ll take the rest of us years to get our heads around. Far more often, though, you’re about to read something that will have you facepalming so hard you end up with permanent dents on your forehead. If you’re unlucky, you might not be able to stop yourself from muttering obscenities at the screen in the middle of your office....read more
In 1996, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) argued passionately against the Defense of Marriage Act. This is what it sounded like....read more
Punting on Marriage Equality Won’t Prevent Culture Wars; It’ll Undermine the Supreme Court’s Credibility
Political commentators, at least on the left and center, seem relatively convinced that the past two days of marriage equality hearings in the Supreme Court won’t result in an opinion extending same-sex marriage rights to all people in the United States. They might be right, but I’m not sure why so many left-of-center folks seem to be warning the Court not to move too quickly on marriage equality. I get why the socially conservative right is doing it — it’s a threat, essentially. “Do a think we don’t like and we will FREAK OUT!” And they will surely throw a mild temper-tantrum if the fundamental right of marriage is found to include same-sex couples. But “Oh jeez, the religious right might act like toddlers again” is not a very good reason to delay granting a group of citizens basic constitutional rights. Also: Contrary to what has somehow become an accepted truth, Roe v. Wade did not ignite the culture wars. Abortion was controversial well before Roe, and while abortion rights were secured in a small handful of states (four, I believe), they weren’t going to move ahead in many more because of conservative, religious push-back. The idea that a Roe-free U.S. would somehow have led to the broad securement of abortion rights without controversy is flat-out wrong. As is the idea that marginalized groups of people should have to wait for the tides of public opinion to turn before they get rights. Which is what this piece in the Nation is about:...read more
Today, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a day after it heard Hollingsworth v. Perry, about California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in that state. The Hollingsworth audio is worth a listen if you have an hour. There are a lot of things that stand out about the arguments, and I’ll be writing about them in various places around the internet (hopefully) today and tomorrow. But one piece that, unsurprisingly, was hammered by Mr. Cooper, the attorney for the anti-marriage-equality side, was the idea that marriage has always been a certain way, and allowing same-sex couples to marry would change the entire institution in a way that had never been seen before. Which is kinda true, except of course that same-sex marriage is already legal in a bunch of places and Armageddon has not arrived. And also, marriage has been fundamentally changed in ways never seen before dozens (hundreds?) of times over. The vast majority of folks who crow about their support for traditional marriage are in (or seek to be in, or support) decidedly un-traditional marriages. So for all the female proponents of “traditional marriage,” I hope you are following these rules:...read more
This is a signal boost for a gut-wrenching post on the F-Word Blog about the transphobic press campaign that drove UK teacher Lucy Meadows to suicide.
Comments will be closed on this post. Please just go read Sarah Noble’s article....read more
My Guardian column this week is on the Coy Mathis case, which we’re discussing in a thread below. It’s much more 101 than the post here, since it’s targeted to an audience that may not be familiar with trans issues. A bit:...read more
When school districts treat trans and gender-nonconforming kids as “different,” requiring that they use special bathrooms, is it any surprise when the other kids follow suit?...read more
I’m writing in Al Jazeera today about how the fight over the Violence Against Women Act exemplifies the increased extremism of the Republican party. A bit:...read more
Go read this piece about how the NYPD can arrest you for carrying condoms and someone please explain to me in what universe any of this makes sense. Trans and carrying condoms? You must be a prostitute, and condoms are the proof! Wearing a tight t-shirt and carrying condoms? You must be a prostitute, and condoms are the proof! A sex worker who is trying to keep herself safe in her work? You are actually a prostitute, so go to jail, or at the very least get your condoms taken away so your work is more dangerous. The condoms-as-evidence policy serves absolutely no one....read more
The House is voting tomorrow on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The anti-VAWA Republicans are introducing their own version of the bill, which removes protections for people in same-sex relationships and weakens provisions to allow courts on Native lands to prosecute non-Native Americans who commit violence on tribal lands. If the Republican version fails — and I hope it will — then the House will take up the more comprehensive version of the bill already passed in the Senate. The fact that VAWA remains controversial, and particularly that Republicans would want to make prosecutions more difficult on tribal lands and strip protections from people who suffer intimate partner violence from a member of the same sex, is stunning, though not surprising. There are 22 senators opposing VAWA, including Republican It Boy and Poland Springs spokesman Marco Rubio. The Ms Foundation for Women has brought a little levity (along with some eduction) to the issue with this parody video, which I am helping them disseminate, featuring the queen of the revenge tune, Ms. [fake] Taylor Swift:...read more
In the Times’ “Booming” series, a famous concert pianist writes about her transition – being forced to fly to Thailand for the surgery she needed (and having that surgery botched), seeing her career opportunities dry up, facing legal housing discrimination. A move to Canada opens up more opportunities, but her home country — the United States — rejects her, then shifts a bit, but still doesn’t open its arms. And she’s “lucky” — she’s educated and talented and class-privileged. Her life isn’t tragic; she’s fine, and talented, and married to the woman she loves. But because her existence troubles some people, she can’t get gigs, can’t get an apartment, can’t get a job. So we lose her to other places that are more open. We lose trans women and men in worse ways — to violence, to hiding, to death. And for what, exactly?...read more
That is actually an argument being made by anti-same-sex-marriage litigators. To the Supreme Court of the United States. This is not a joke. Someone give this guy a raise, because this is creative:...read more