Queer: February 2004 Archives

So, would the NYTimes fire a reporter they discovered had once demonstrated on behalf of a cure for breast cancer? Would they fire a John Kerry when they found out he had once worked to end a disastrous and outrageously immoral war? Would they fire a former member of ACT UP?

We only know the answer to the last question. Perhaps it was too easy, but it still surprises us - we now know it's yes, certainly. In fact, after almost a quarter century, is AIDS still a shameful diagnosis and are an individual's efforts to end the plague of dubious merit, and even unethical? [If the answers were to be yes, neither I nor the overwhelming majority of my friends have merit or ethics, and we would never be able to get jobs honestly.]

"My motivation is expediency as well as ethics" the Times represenative told our friend Jay Blotcher when he asked why he had been fired from his position as a "stringer" reporting from his current home in upstate New York. The paper had recently discovered he had once been an important part of ACT UP, so they maintained he would necessarily be biased reporting any story.

This outrageous story has legs. Even though they've already kicked him out, it's almost certain to be the most important story Jay will ever give to the paper which once valued his contributions, but it's not one his editors will like. For more, see Bloggy ["What a crappy paper"] and Atrios["This is just fucking unbelievable"].

even Log Cabin Republicans.

And the Democrats are not blameless either.

Bush has just now officially come out in support of a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

[but I no longer think so]

First of all, the media has it wrong. Is their reading deliberately false? This report is from Reuters:

Bush did not endorse specific legislation as the vehicle for the amendment but the White House said the president approved of the broad principles offered by Republican U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado.

Her proposed amendment says "marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Bush left the door open to states to provide homosexual civil unions and other legal arrangements for the gay community.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said these arrangements could include hospital visitation rights, insurance benefits and civil unions.

Bush's decision to support a Constitutional amendment defining marriage means open war on faggots. It not just an attempt to make our fundamental, secular law define "sacred marriage" narrowly.

If successful, this amendment would virtually outlaw gay and lesbian relationships. The estimable Atrios writes that it would

. . . prevent states from establishing same-sex civil unions of any kind. The sweeping language could also potentially overturn anti-discrimination statutes with respect to housing and other things, allowing landlords to refuse to rent to same-sex couples, or government provided partner health benefits. Don't believe me? Call up some smart lawyers and ask them.
I consider neither the right to marry, and certainly not , for that matter, what I think of as the dubious privilege of performing military service, to be the first priority for gay rights activists when Queers still have no protection for the most basic rights of employment or residence in most parts of this benighted nation. [significantly, mainstream gays were already focused on marriage and military service, and that strange invention, "hate crimes", years before the Supreme Court recently "gave" them the right even to have gay sex!] I still regard both marriage and military service only as significant economic benefits which should be available to all, but I realize that sometimes events take a shape and a direction neither anticipated nor intended, and you then have to work with what you have. But let's leave the churches out of marriage, please, except as eccentric ritual.

Watching what has happened in the last ten days or so in San Francisco, I was first shocked, then pleased and then shocked again, the second time by my emotional reaction to scenes of joy and excitement surrounding the couples who have lined up to have their commitments registered formally by the state, er, city.

Are we going to see these [more than 3000 so far] unions declared dissolved, "divorced", when California's forces of reaction, led by an ex-terminator, are able to regroup? And will that be followed by the still more disastrous blow of a 28th Amendment to the federal Constitution, for the first time removing civil rights?

I think there's going to be a very big fight.

Even if the rights only now being exercised by a long-suppressed minority survive these threats, will the battles be won at the expense of the larger war against the so-called Christian Right and its cynical Republican enablers? Will the Democrats once again collapse this year in confusion and cowardice?

Nader is not the enemy, guys. Greed, ignorance, stupidity and fear, much of it "Democratic", is the enemy, as it always is.

For more on the mendacity of Bush and the media, see bloggy today. This is an excerpt:

Do not trust the mainstream media to tell you the truth about this.

One last thought. The Democrats' (including Kerry and Edwards but not Kucinich) position on this, one of "we don't support gay marriage but we don't support the amendment either" is bullshit. This kind of splitting hairs is revolting when we're talking about civil rights, and they're going to be painted as homo-loving liberals by the GOP no matter what they do. Why not take a principled position rather than some stupid focus group-created one? I will hold my nose and vote for the Democratic candidate, but I can't say I'm excited about it, unless a miracle happens and we get Kucinich.

[image from Princeton University]

This page is an archive of entries in the Queer category from February 2004.

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