12.03.2004

Same-Sex Marriage WEDGIE -- ow!

StinkyLulu confesses to being more than a little shocked at the brutality of the first wave of reactions to the "mandate" of anti-same-sex marriage decisions has become. Michigan's governor has removed domestic partner benefits from the new contracts for state employees on December 15 even though the voters were not polled on domestic partner status.

But what really hurts StinkyLulu's heart is what's happening in the case of Jiffy & Donita where the INS (or whatever it's called these days) is now denying marriages of couples if one of the partners -- whether legally or surgically the opposite sex of their spouse -- identifies as transgender. StinkyLulu really didn't think that the Bush administration would go so far as to void existing marriages, but here it goes.

So it goes. The same-sex marriage wedge is being used to deny domestic partnership benefits even in states where the marriage amendments were promoted to draw the distinctions between marriage and civil unions. The same-sex marriage wedge is being used to diminish long-fought-for legal statuses of transgender individuals and their families. StinkyLulu now fears legally adopted children being removed from the homes of their parents because of the bans on same-sex marriage.

For all those queers who complain that gay marriage was never their issue, StinkyLulu's sorry to say that it is now. The same-sex marriage wedge threatens to become the primary strategy to delegitimize gay relationships and to make patently illegal the extension of basic civil rights protections to those perceived to be gay.

1 comment:

Afrofuturist said...

Well, I think the events in Michigan confirms my feelings thay gay marriage is not my issue: health care is. The right wing is going after these benefits as a 'special right' the governor was 'secretly' trying to pay out to her 'lesbian and gay donors' at the expense of 'Michigan taxpayers.' I am sure they will even try to spin health care for partners as one of the unfair perks wealthy professionals get. Progressives will have to fight against this perception, and make this an issue of basic fairness, which I hope is still winnable in America, although I'm no longer optimistic about anything.
We must keep in mind that this fight occurs in the broader context of a race to the bottom in terms of all aspects of the welfare state. Does it take much to see the attack on health care for queers as a 'wedge' into an attack on health care in general? Since Hilary Clinton, no major politician has had the courage to even fight for universal health care. In the vacuum created by this political abdication on the part of the Democrats, all sorts of monstrous resentments have been brewing in the body politic. Unfortunately queers are easy scapegoats, and we have to defend ourselves on terms not of our choosing. But that doesn't mean that we can win this by staying on the terms the right wants to fight on: gay marriage. We need to fight on the principle that an injury to one is an injury to all.