Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Future of Marriage

Some excellent essays on marriage, from a variety of perspectives, are available at The Immanent Frame under "The Future of Marriage." They include historical and cultural overviews of the institution of marriage as well as reflections on the future for not only same-sex marriages but also other kinds of intimate relationships.

One in particular, "The race to marriage" by Tey Meadow and Judith Stacey, highlights some of the others, as well, and concludes with its own wide-ranging proposal:
As Stephanie Coontz signals in her post on “traditional” marriage, a long history of state intervention into religious doctrinal disputes underlies the installation of monogamous, heterosexual Christian marriage as the singular government-sponsored family form.

. . . .

Some contemporary critics of the movement for same-sex marriage, in contrast, underscore its implicit whiteness. In “Is Gay Marriage Anti-Black?” Kenyon Farrow argues that, for decades, social science research and “family values” rhetoric have stigmatized black families by positioning the monogamous marital family as the sole socially and psychologically healthy model. Instead of confronting this ideology or addressing the core concerns of poor, black Americans—housing, health care, employment and the over-incarceration of black men—that undermine black heterosexual marriages and families to begin with, the campaign for same-sex marriage insensitively places black churches and communities in the cross-hairs of an ideological battle between white religious conservatives and primarily white gay activists.

. . . .

We endorse Polikoff’s policy framework for “valuing all families,” along with Ann Pellegrini and Janet Jakobsen’s call for a conception of “sexual ethics” that is far broader than any notion of consensual marriage, whether straight or gay, and we would add, whether monogamous or polygamous. Sexual and gender justice require getting the state out of the marriage business altogether, returning marriage to the province of diverse religious and secular communities. A democratic state should award equal dignity and respect to all consensual, responsible forms of intimacy and care. Racial and economic justice require the same thing. We cannot achieve one without the other.
I'm still struggling myself about how to best to respond to the defeat of Proposition 8 in California and similar issues surrounding the struggle for equal rights with respect to sexual orientation and relationships. These and other articles ask some deeper questions about what the goals should be in terms of government instituted rights and benefits.

Kenyon Farrow's 2005 essay on “Is Gay Marriage Anti-Black?” also speaks to the conflict between blacks and what he sees as the predominantly white GLBT activist community, with the white religious Right actitvely driving the wedge between them. One may not agree with his conclusions, but his observations may provide valuable insights into what needs to be done within the black community to help garner their support for same-sex marriage and other legal protections for GLBTs of all races and religions.

Saturday a.m. Astairefest - I'm in Heaven!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Moses "Teish" Cannon R.I.P.

Mourning angel at the churchyard of San Miniato al Monte (Firenze) in Firenze, Italy. Photo by Mark Voorendt, April 2001. (Wikimedia Commons)
Dwight R. DeLee shot and killed Moses "Teish" Cannon with a .22-caliber rifle Friday night because he didn't like that Cannon was openly gay, Syracuse police said....

"There was no previous argument between these individuals, there was no previous fight, there was no bad blood," Miguel said. "Our suspect took a rifle and shot and killed this person, also wounding his brother, for the sole reason he didn't care for the sexual preference of our victim.
Syracuse Post-Standard. More at Pam's Houseblend. (HT to Closeted Pastor). [Note: Teish was trans, not gay.]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yes We Can

Belated request. (BTW - you post these by looking for "embed" - in YouTube it's the second box on the top right hand corner below the URL box. Copy the html code from there and paste into the html page for your blog post and voila!).

Magic Wall Conspiracy - just because

California Supreme Court to hear challenges to Prop 8

Reported here. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out - whether the state constitution can be amended this way or not or whether opponents of the ban will have to get it reversed some other way than by declaring the ballot initiative illegal.