I learned that gay marriage became legal in New York state in a hotel room in Detroit while there for the Allied Media Conference. While I am not a huge advocate of marriage in general, acknowledging that I am coming from it privileged as a mostly straight someone who always has had the option of being lawfully wedded, it was the right thing. Equity. My older daughter and I were happy. There maybe were some members of our family (biological & chosen) who would get married now. But I was also disturbed by some of the media coverage and some of the reactions from the lgbt organizations.
Being at the Allied Media Conference and the week before at Netroots Nation and being with and among the queer community of color, I scanned the faces of the people recorded in the gallery of the New York State Senate. There wasn’t alot of color. There wasn’t alot of people who presented as women and did I hear chants of “USA”? I could have sworn I did. Away from my state and my city, I could step away from what I knew was celebration in corners of my hood. Why was everyone acting like that’s it, like the struggle is over?
My mind meant to queer people of color and queer youth of color in New York City and how they have been harassed and brutalized by the police for decades. Earlier this month, the organization FIERCE released a statement ( link will open as PDF) to the press denouncing the continuation of of quality of life initiatives made popular under former Mayor Giuliani.
From the statement:
On Tuesday, May 31, two plainclothes Detectives from the 6th
Precinct stationed themselves in an unmarked car outside of 147 West 24th
Street, the location of FIERCE, the Audre Lorde Project, Queers for Economic Justice, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project—four community-based organizations working with LGBTQ communities of color, homeless and low-income community members and
youth of color. The Detectives proceeded to stop and question FIERCE youth members. They did not have a warrant, but informed FIERCE staff that they had been ordered to question youth entering and exiting the building.
The issue of same-sex marriage and adoption was raised to the Supreme Court by the Attorney General under Mexican President Felipe Calderon. The lawsuit alleged that gay marriages and adoption went against the idea of family and put children at risk.
They may have not gone as far as they would have likein the World Cup pero Argentina has something else to celebrate. Argentina is the first Latin American country to grant gay couples the same legal rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage brings to heterosexual couples.
This isn’t some half assed civil union deal, it’s marriage.
Such was the case in California and that intricately mobilized hate campaign had serious consequences. And the same is beginning to play out in Maine, where the fate of gay marriage is now in the hands of voters, who will be asked to cast their ballot for or against Question 1, an initiative that if passed would overturn the law. Playing dirty apparently pays, and it appears that gay marriage opponents in Maine have figured that out, as this is what the citizens of that state are currently getting on their TV screens:
Funny, that “gay marriage will be taught in schools”rhetoric lie was precisely the “gota que colmó el vaso” in the California Prop 8 debate. Many believe that inserting that little piece of bigoted dishonesty is what put on the fence voters on the side of voting against civil rights for Californians:
Very original Maine homophobes! Luckily, gay marriage supporters have put together some great ads of their own, taking the high road and showing what “family values” are really all about. Check them out after the jump.
Planning a vacation to the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula this summer? You might want to know a couple of things before you go: 1) it’s hotter than all hell in the summer and 2) Yucatan’s Congress just overwhelmingly approved a ban on gay marriage in the Mexican state. And while they were at it, they managed to ban gay adoption and ensure that abortion be illegal in almost all cases:
With the vote of 24 of the 25 local deputies, the Yucatan Congress raised heterosexual marriage and families to the constitutional level via the approval of amendments to the state’s Civil Code. With this, marriage between people of the is same sex will be penalized as will abortion “unless it is totally justified”.
14 legislators from the PRI, 9 from the PAN and the representative for the Todos Somos Yucatán coalition (comprised of the Convergencia party and local political groups) voted in favor of the grassroots initiative promoted by the Pro Yucatán Network, made up of conservative groups, to reject all efforts by people of the same sex to form a family and adopt children.
In other words, if you aren’t looking a whole lot like the couple in the photo above and you want to get married or just adopt a kid, you’d better not “estar en Yucatán”.
And about that abortion issue: what exactly is a “totally justified” abortion? According to Mexico’s Anodis.com, the only circumstances under which abortion will be “justifiable” in Yucatán are “poverty, having more than 4 children, a terminal illness or risk of death for the mother”. If you have an abortion and don’t fall into any of these categories, you are facing a year in prison.
Meanwhile, PAN politicians attempted to disguise the ban as something other than hateful and discriminatory by alleging that “there still aren’t adequate conditions within Yucatán society to allow for unions between people of the same sex.”
When we look with nostalgia and cultural pride at Mexico and other Latin American countries, it’s often easy to forget that the Latino motherlands are also home to discrimination in various forms, with a particular emphasis on race and sexual orientation. It was because of such persecution that a lesbian couple from Mexico traveled to Canada and have decided to stay and seek sanctuary from abuse. The Toronto Sun reports:
Norma Angelica Gomez, 33, and Alina Gallegos Lee, 34, say their dream is to get married in Toronto and be happy. The couple fled to Canada a year ago but claimed asylum last March after going public with their love in Mexico. They claimed they were harassed, followed and beaten by Mexican police officers for expressing that love.
“Canada is a good country and we feel free,” Lee said yesterday. “At home we were constantly persecuted for being lesbians.” The couple claim the attacks against them escalated after they were detained and beaten by police last year in Mexico.
According to Amnesty International, gays and lesbians in Mexico are routinely beaten, sexually assaulted, raped or tortured by police and soldiers.
Since the couple entered the country, Canada has since (as a matter of fact, just last week) imposed a visa requirement on Mexican and Czech nationals due to the number of refugee applicants coming from the two countries. The couple is represented by an attorney and is fighting for their right to marry and remain in Canada permanently.