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The Daily Agenda for Friday, November 18

Jim Burroway

November 18th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Transgender Day of Remembrance: Several locations. While Sunday is officially the day set aside to remember those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia, some TDoR events are taking place today and tomorrow. TDoR began in reaction to the brutal murder of Rita Hester, who was killed on November 28, 1998. Her murder resulted in the creation of the Remembering Our Dead web site and a candlelight vigil in 1999. In the first nine months of 2011, 116 transgender people have been killed around the world, according to Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM). They also say that there have been at least 681 murders in 50 countries since 2008. Observances for the Transgender Day of Rememberance typically consist of the reading of the names of those who have died because of their gender identity, expression, presentation or perception of gender variance. Observances are being held in cities all around the world. Click here to find an observance near you.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Marriage Equality: 2003. It’s been eight years since marriage equality arrived in the Bay State, and the sky still hasn’t fallen. It was on this date in 2003 when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court became the first state supreme court to rule that same-sex couples had a right to marry. In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the court ruled 4-3 that the state could not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry,” and gave the state legislature 180 days to “take any such action as it may deem appropriate” to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Liberty Counsel tried to get the Federal Courts involved, but those efforts failed when the judge denied their request, the First Circuit Court of Appeals backed him up, and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.  After a long drawn-out battle in which the Massachusetts high court ruled in response to a question from the state Senate that civil unions would not satisfy the court’s ruling. The legislature ended up taking no action, neither blocking nor implementing the Goodridge decision, and the state began marrying same-sex couples on May 17, 2004.

If you know of something that belongs on the Agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

As always, please consider this your open thread for the day.

Comments

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Hunter
November 18th, 2011 | LINK

Point of information: The Hawaii Supreme Court found Hawaii’s marriage statute unconstitutional in 1993. That decision was superseded by the adoption of a constitutional amendment in 1998 limiting marriage to one man/one woman.

So Massachusetts was, strictly speaking, not the first, but it was the first in which the decision stuck.

Albert
November 18th, 2011 | LINK

Point of information: You forgot to mention that Massachusetts had the lowest divorce rate in the US both before and after the beginning of gay marriage.

Jim Hlavac
November 18th, 2011 | LINK

And don’t forgot to mention that Mass. had a Republican governor when gay marriage came into being. Poor Mitt, he’s being pilloried about it right now. Oh well.

Meanwhile, a thing on the Transgendered Day of Remembrance — while I’m certainly against murdering T-folks,or anyone else for that matter, and I wish them to be accorded all the rights in the world to live in peace and be whom they are — I have never understood what they have to do with rights for gays? For as I understand this, they think they are women trapped in male bodies, and they want to become physical women and find a guy and get married — which, strangely, they can do if they get their birth certificates changed. That sounds very heterosexual to me. Or in the much rarer instance, they are men in women’s bodies, like Chaz Bono, who got himself a girlfriend (and good for him,) and thus is, I guess, heterosexual, but gay friendly, no doubt. But again — I’ve been confused as to why this is part of the quest of gay men to be accepted as we are.

This linkage, all it seems to do is insert into the average hetero mind that us gay guys are gender confused and want to be women. And so while I have to argue to heteros for a shred of acceptance of me as a gay man, I find I also now have to defend the fact that I’m not at all gender confused whatsoever and have no desire to be a transgendered person at all, and that I also have to defend people who want to become heterosexual versions of their preferred gender. It does confuse me; maybe I should jump into the newly arriving “Q” in our ever growing acronym “LGBTQ,” which sounds more like a sandwich now, than anything my gay man’s life actually resembles.

Strangely, in this constellation of different people, the L, B and T are far more accepted than we G are, and we G are still the boogie men of society, the threat to it all.

Maybe next we should include “S” for straights, to show we care about them too, eh? And get back to who we are as individuals, and not whom we are as a group.

Priya Lynn
November 18th, 2011 | LINK

Jim H said “For as I understand this, they think they are women trapped in male bodies, and they want to become physical women and find a guy and get married — which, strangely, they can do if they get their birth certificates changed.”.

In some states, but not in others, having a sex change and birth certificate changed (which can’t be done in all states either) is no guarentee that a trans woman can legally marry a man.

Jim H said “That sounds very heterosexual to me.”.

And it would be if transpeople were legally, universally, and completely accepted as the gender we’ve transitioned to. Unfortuantely we are not and there are still huge barriers to living our lives as equals to heterosexuals which gives us common cause with gays and lesbians. We are both discriminated for not fitting into traditional gender expectations and so we are one. Also, some transpeople are gay, for example, a transwoman is attracted to and wishes to marry a woman, once again, allowed in some states, but not in others.

Jim said “Strangely, in this constellation of different people, the L, B and T are far more accepted than we G are, and we G are still the boogie men of society, the threat to it all.”.

I think its easy to feel that way due to subjectivity but it is also inaccurate. Not only are Transpeople and bisexuals rejected by the larger community we are also rejected by a significant minority of gay men such as yourself whereas I have never heard of a bisexual or trans person who wants to eject gays or lesbians from the LGBT community.

I’m sorry if the existance of transwomen leads some people to believe that you as a gay man want to be a woman, but that is not our fault and is not a valid reason for you to hate us and wish to split from our community.

Theo
November 18th, 2011 | LINK

You forgot to mention the most bizarre consequence of the MA Supreme Judicial Ct’s ruling. It seems that as a result of the decision, public schools in MA were required to teach about gay marriage. At least that is what NOM and the FRC keep telling me.

But the really strange thing is that, after 7 years, and with 1.5 million children entering, attending, or having graduated from MA public schools, there have been only 2 complaints – both from the same school 5 years ago. So the real question is: how has the powerful gay lobby managed to trick 1,499,998 students and nearly 3 million parents into thinking that there is no problem. And why have neither the Parkers nor the Wirthlins, who filed the only complaints 5 years ago, had any occasion to complain since? Clearly, there is a grand conspiracy at work in MA to make NOM and FRC look like a bunch of liars.

occono
November 18th, 2011 | LINK

How did Hawaii manage to ignore the ruling for five years?

Theo
November 19th, 2011 | LINK

I’m sorry if the existance of transwomen leads some people to believe that you as a gay man want to be a woman, but that is not our fault and is not a valid reason for you to hate us and wish to split from our community.”

He doesn’t “hate” you. He said explicitly that he doesn’t hate you. He seems to support trans rights. I know for myself, I support something like 95% of trans activists’ goals. But that is entirely distinct from the question of whether there is one “community”. As Hlavac correctly points out, there is no logical reason why gays should be grouped into one community with trans. There might be a case for being allies on particular issues, but as far as I can see, there is no persuasive case for recognizing this artificial unitary entity called LGBT.

To the extent that activists, whether gay or trans or whatever, continue to promote this concept and to the extent that this leads to the larger society conflating gay and trans, then yes, those “LGBT” promoters are very much to blame for the confusion.

Hlavac, keep raising this issue. You are certainly not alone. There is definitely rising opposition to LGBT. LGBT was never given a full and open debate. It was speedily foisted on us and on the trans community by a group of unelected activists some 15 years ago. And it has been sustained by blogs like BTB which mindlessly and uncritically use the term as a substitute for “gay”. But it makes no sense and it won’t endure.

Priya Lynn
November 19th, 2011 | LINK

“He doesn’t “hate” you. He said explicitly that he doesn’t hate you.”.

His other words say something his denial doesn’t, as do yours. I have no doubt you both will give the obligatory denials but your complaints contradict you.

“As Hlavac correctly points out, there is no logical reason why gays should be grouped into one community with trans.”.

I see many logical reasons and fortunately so do the majority of gays and lesbians. You and Hlavac are in the minority and for the good of us all I hope you remain that way.

Priya Lynn
November 19th, 2011 | LINK

“He doesn’t “hate” you. He said explicitly that he doesn’t hate you.”.

Upon re-reading, no he did not explicitely say that although I’m sure he would if pressed just as Maggie Ghallager or Peter Labarbera say they don’t hate gays.

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